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5 Tips For a Strong Student Athlete Resume

The Summer Olympics 2016 has begun. As we watch experts perform at the highest level, our thoughts turn toward student athletes outside the Olympic arena. All over the country, young athletes work hard to make their way in the world, both on the field and in the workforce.  Some qualities (like determination and focus) carry over from one to another. But many others don’t.  As a student athlete, you may have to work hard to convince your employers that you function behind a desk just as well as you do on a racetrack. Here are five student athlete resume tips to help you jump over a new hurdle.

Incorporate accomplishments carefully

Until now, your athletic prowess has been the driving engine of your success. Your race times and game stats have opened doors for you. When you talk about your accomplishments, you find yourself using terms like “third division championship.” You may be dismayed by employers who wave these things off. Be proud of your hard work and your medals, but showcase them differently. Instead of making them the forefront of your student athlete resume, include your proudest accomplishment under your skills section. Make it brief. .

Emphasize broader experiences

During your years on the field, you weren’t just working for yourself. You were also helping struggling teammates, coaching children’s leagues, teaching clinics and workshops, and maybe holding an administrative or leadership role in your athletic organization. Don’t let a single one of these contributions disappear from the page. Include them in your experience section. Choose the experiences that best relate to the job you want. Begin each line with an action verb. (For extra help, read the job description carefully to determine what experiences best relate.)

Compensate for opportunity costs

Becoming an exceptional athlete doesn’t just take talent — it takes time. And you’ve spent plenty of time working on your sport that you might otherwise have spent gaining workplace experience in an internship or a part time job. Use your resume to make it clear that you were gainfully occupied during this time, and you’re not “catching up” with your peers; you’re actually holding a competitive advantage. Mention these sacrifices in your summary statement. Sell yourself, even if you don’t have much work experience.

Draw lines of connection

Did you know that you gained numerous skills as an athlete? Skills that employers desperately need? The following list are all great phrases to include in your student athlete resume.

Time management

Leadership skills

Excellent communication

Self discipline

Team oriented

Goal directed




Take and give criticism

Keep things professional

Employers never like to see typos and weak writing in a resume, but these blunders can be especially harmful for student athletes. Like it or not, you’ll have to counter the assumption that you’ve been spending more time on the field than in the classroom. You have the same academic credentials as everyone else, but you may have to work a little harder to prove it. If you aren’t confident about your writing and editing skills, get some help. Use a thesaurus (with caution) to find creative ways to express yourself. Go the extra mile to prove your intelligence.

For more on how to leverage your athletic experience and use it to your best advantage, explore the resume building tools available on MyPerfectResume.