Cardinals attend a mass in St. Peter's Basilica
Cardinals attend a mass in St. Peter's Basilica (Reuters)

A job advert offering the position of pope has appeared on the professional networking website LinkedIn and attracted 30 applicants.

The spoof advert appeared on the website offering the role of 266th pope. Desired skills and expertise included being a born leader, celibate, a frequent flyer and a strong public speaker.

Based in the Vatican, the job said it was open to people "from all ethnicities and backgrounds", but "of course" not if the candidate was a woman.

"This is a great opportunity for any executive professional seeking that next big challenge in their life. As supreme pontiff, you will be the head of state for the Vatican City and God's divine representative on Earth," the advert said.

"Infallibility and strong problem-solving skills are a must. As the leader of 1.2 billion people, you will also be required to bring your immense wealth of knowledge, experience and energy to the role."

The job reminded potential candidates that the role of pope is not temporary "but a job for life". It added that the Roman Catholic Church is one of the world's oldest institutions.

"We offer a competitive salary, plenty of opportunities to travel and, as the chosen candidate, you will be rewarded with a generous fringe benefits package, including our Popemobile company car, a private jet, an annual pass to the Sistine Chapel, dental and Life Everlasting. You will, however, be expected to work Sundays."

LinkedIn removed the job listing.

Cardinals are in Rome deciding who will assume the papacy after Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI resigned in February.

The 115 cardinal-electors attended a special Mass in St Peter's Basilica and are due to begin their deliberations in the Sistine Chapel.

The conclave will vote four times a day on candidates until one is chosen by a two-thirds majority. Once they have made a decision, white smoke will appear from the Sistine Chapel.

Pope job advert on LinkedIn