As young athletes, you are making some tough life decisions about your college education, and your future in sport. You are thinking about what to major in, and considering what direction your future career may take you. Being a collegiate athlete is difficult, you balance a full time academic load, with a full time job as a student athlete, you are travelling every weekend, training every day and getting your homework, projects and exams done and also living on your own for the very first time! Believe me, you will be mastering some very valuable life skills! We are so fortunate to have Kristen Suess of Rock my Resume as a guest blogger! Kristen is a HR professional who, over the years, has seen tens of thousands of resumes, and been involved in countless interviews. Kristen offers us some advice on how to use your experience as a student athlete to make your resume stand out in your job hunt.
From the Playing Field to the Workplace:
A Step by Step Guide to Highlighting your Collegiate Sports Experience on your Resume
As a professional resume writer & interview coach, I spend a lot of my time shining a mirror back on my clients so that they can see their own value. Be it our humble nature, or an aversion to be seen as “bragging”, job seekers can often be guilty of undervaluing, or simply not identifying, what they bring to the table.
As a collegiate athlete, let me assure you, that you bring a special and valuable set of skills to your future potential employer. You may feel like the number one thing you gained during your college experience is a degree, or certificate that you will undoubtedly note on your resume. I’m here to tell you that the education is important, yes, but the experiences and skills you developed as an athlete in college are what will give you the competitive advantage over other job seekers.
Think about it…
- Those early morning practices – were you sleeping in or were you first to arrive at the gym?
- The pressure of the final few minutes of a tied game – did you breakdown or dig deep?
- Traveling to a tournament when your final paper is due on Monday – did you manage to successfully do both?
The experiences noted above could also be translated into transferable skills: punctual, driven, calm demeanour, focused, organized.
Transferable skills are the talents a person gathers through real life experiences which can be applied to a new job or new career. These talents might seem insignificant when you are looking for new employment; however, they’re often just what an employer is looking for when they’re hoping to hire a new employee. Here’s how you can highlight these experiences on your resume:
- Create a section called “Transferable Skills” or “Key Skills”
- Spend some time thinking about your athletic career and make some notes:
- What were some of the most difficult parts of being a college athlete?
- What qualities do your teammates see in you? (hint: try asking them why they like to play with you!)
- What does your coach think your greatest strengths are?
- What are you particularly proud of in your athletic career?
- Make a link between those experiences and use the feedback from your teammates and coach to list 10 skills you have developed as a result. (hint: try Googling “resume adjectives” for ideas)
- List 5-10 transferable skills on your resume
- Don’t be afraid to adapt the transferable skills based on the job posting requirements.
- Consider listing the skill with a brief 1-2 sentences that demonstrate how you have used or developed that skill.
Multitasking: Skilled at meeting multiple obligations and deadlines developed through years of balancing a demanding practice schedule while maintaining a 3.5 GPA.
Land your dream job! For more helpful articles, or for affordable and professional
resume editing and interview coaching services, please visit Rock My Resume: www.rockmyresume.ca