The 2016 Summer Olympics are are going strong in Rio. Even if your sports career ended years ago, you have more in common with Olympians than you think. You see, years of athletic conquests have given you a special skill set that employers find desirable. Every time you write a cover letter, you should include one (or several) of these seven transferrable skills to get employers' attention.
Hiring managers — especially those who seek entry-level candidates — appreciate strong focus, but they don't see it often. True commitment to a goal is important, but this quality is rarer than you think. Athletes, on the other hand, know how to stay focused and tune out distractions. If this sounds like you, find a way to work in the word "focused" in your cover letter.
Many job seekers don't know how to shake off setbacks and criticisms to move forward. (After all, getting judged for work is not fun.) But sports experience provides this training. If you know what it's like to lose, fail, get knocked down, but then get back up, use "resilient" in your cover letter. Possessing this skills tells employers that you can (and will) develop under their leadership.
If you've played on a team, you know what it means to pass the ball instead of taking the shot yourself. More importantly, you've seen, firsthand, how this decision can lead to victory. You also know the power of reaching out to a struggling teammate, giving encouragement, and winning (or losing) as a group. While the term "team player" is now considered trite, you can work in your team ethic in another way. Try something similar to "I thrive in team environments" to convey the same message.
Think back to your sports days. When you're standing by the goal, you accept the pass and take the shot. The professional world is similar, no matter where you work. When leadership opportunities come your way, you step up. Share this talent in your cover letter. Even if you're applying for an entry-level position, employers will be impressed that you take initiative.
You're no stranger to early mornings, putting the future ahead of the present, and continuing to work even when the going gets rough. Again, this trait is not as common as you think. If you apply to a job with shifts (rather than a nine-to-five, Monday through Friday setup), this sports skill is especially important to include. Even if you don't have many accomplishments to share, this skill alone might be valuable enough to make you an ideal candidate.
You know your teammates and coaches can trust you to get the job done. But you also know how to put your trust in them, which can sometimes be the harder task. You know how to let go and delegate; you respect those who know more than you do and have skills that you don't have. Convey your ability to delegate in your cover letter. Sometimes things get stressful at work. Employers need to know that you can be trusted to outsource your tasks to focus on your strengths in order to meet goals.
As an athlete and a disciplined competitor, you don't leave a trail of loose ends behind you. You finish what you start. In the workplace, this means following up and maintaining pressure until the job gets done. Use a phrase similar to "dedicated to meet goals" to show your employers this.
You have what it takes to succeed on the field, so show your employers that you can succeed in the workplace. Use the cover letter creation tools at MyPerfectResume to grab the attention you need.