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Top Sports Resume Examples

Football Coach

Soccer Coach

Volleyball Coach

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How to Craft Your Resume for a Sports Career

Below are resume examples and tips for some prominent professions in sports — use our guidance to build your own resume, and land the right job.

Career Track: Collegiate Sports

Collegiate sports is not only part of the fabric of university life, it’s also major business. According to an NCAA report, more than 480,000 students compete as NCAA athletes, which means there’s plenty of opportunities in collegiate sports coaching and administration.

Assistant Coach $35,297 Median Salary

Resume Format: Functional

This junior-level position requires the focus on developing individual players’ skills, while also supporting the coaching staff in game-day preparation and execution. Use a functional format to spotlight your skills under different subcategories (e.g. “Practical Skills” and “Soft Skills”).

Summary statement tip: Focus on relevant organizational skills, as well as any noteworthy experiences you’ve had in managing athletes and game/match situations. For example: “Assistant coach with 5+ years guiding teams of 20+ students in track and field competition at the national level”). You should also highlight any vocational training you’ve had that honed your game skills.   

Skills to feature:

  • Organizational skills
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Performance monitoring and improvement
  • Sport-specific techniques and strategy
  • Competitiveness
  • Motivational ability

Get to the next level: To continue moving up in your professional career, try to add expertise in the following areas:

  • Specific examples of how you’ve trained, supervised and guided athletes towards excellence
  • Evidence of leadership and management in which you’ve analyzed team and individual player situations, identified problems and implemented solutions
  • Experience preparing teams for national and state-level competitions

Head Coach $50,202 Median Salary

Resume Format: Combination

As this position usually demands a few years of experience, use a combination format which will highlight both your work achievements and your relevant skills.

Summary statement tip: Showcase your top abilities and skills in critical areas such as teaching, motivation and game-planning. Add value to your accomplishments by making use of details and numbers (e.g., “Coached soccer team to first and second-place finishes in the league for six straight seasons”).

Skills to feature:

  • Game planning and strategy
  • Organizational ability
  • Time management
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Physical and endurance training
  • Motivation skills
  • Communication skills

Get to the next level: Accelerate your career growth by featuring experience and knowledge in these areas:

  • Teaching athletes sportsmanship and academic commitment
  • Examples of improved player performance through training and management
  • Examples of success with teams at different age and difficulty levels

Athletic Director $117,127 per week Median Salary

Resume Format: Chronological

For this high-level position, use a chronological format that helps you emphasize your career path, and how you’ve gained sports expertise and knowledge through previous jobs. Highlight notable skills such as communication, management and organizational skills.

Summary statement tip: Emphasize the top experiences in your career as well as areas where you’ve excelled. Provide examples that illustrate your leadership, decision-making and good judgement. For instance: “Recruited and interviewed individuals for 50+ coaching jobs and other athletic department staff positions at prestigious, nationally-ranked university.”

Skills to feature:

  • Athletic program management
  • Prioritization and problem-solving skills
  • Strong moral code
  • Multitasking ability
  • Communication and teamwork
  • Cultural awareness
  • Consultation and advisory skills

Get to the next level: To move up in your career, focus on these experiences and skills: 

  • Proven success of running athletic programs, while also producing student-athletes who excel at academics
  • Examples of successfully organizing and managing athletic department activities and budgets
  • Ability to work well with school administration and external groups in promoting athletic department goals and achievements

Career Track: Basketball Coaching

Basketball coaches are tasked with devising winning strategies for teams, as well as  providing mentorship to help athletes excel. In general, the number of sports coaches is expected to grow by 12% over the next decade, far above the national job average, and basketball teams make up the largest number of sports teams at the collegiate level.

Volunteer Basketball Coach $33,194 Median Salary

Resume Format: Functional

As this job typically doesn’t require heavy experience, use the functional format, which primarily highlights your skills and qualifications. Place your training and certifications under separate categories to make an impact on hiring managers.

Summary statement tip: Emphasize strengths that relate to the job description, such as motivational skills, and any experience you’ve had in coaching (e.g., providing kids with basketball fundamentals through drills).

Skills to feature:

  • Communication
  • Injury assessments
  • Basketball techniques and strategy
  • Team building
  • Monitoring player conduct

Get to the next level: Move up your career ladder by emphasizing these skills and experiences:

  • Additional training or apprenticeships you’ve had that have increased your basketball knowledge and coaching skills
  • Examples of your ability to successfully teach techniques and strategy, leading to improved team performance
  • Proficiency in training athletes through workout regimes and practices

Assistant Basketball Coach $43,580 Median Salary

Resume Format: Combination

For this mid-level position, use a combination format as it presents a blend of both your basketball skills and coaching experiences, showing you off as an all-round talent.

Summary statement tip: Include quantifiable metrics that show how effective you can be (e.g., “Dedicated assistant coach who helped improve player free throw percentages by an average of 25%”). Also, keep the summary statement short and simple, and use active language to help hiring managers easily determine whether you are a good fit.

Skills to feature:

  • Extensive knowledge of basketball skills and strategy
  • Organizational skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Listening skills and ability to communicate
  • Motivational ability
  • Teamwork
  • Athlete safety

Get to the next level: Prepare yourself for the next coaching opportunity by focusing on the following:

  • Proven experience in managing drills and practice sessions that help athletes improve their skills
  • Examples of how your coaching have improved player performance in specific areas, e.g., foul shooting or three-point shooting
  • Proven knowledge of basketball rules and strategies

Basketball Coach$49,435 Median Salary

Resume Format: Chronological

As this position usually requires a few years of experience, use the chronological format, which features an expanded work history section to show your career path towards more senior coaching roles.

Summary statement tip: Give specific examples of the positive impact you’ve made at previous jobs, in areas such as improving player abilities through workout management, drills and practices. For example: “Experienced basketball coach known for improving team’s winning percentage by 30% through practice sessions and strategy.”

Skills to feature:

  • Recruitment ability
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Team-building
  • Motivation and leadership skills
  • Fitness assessment
  • Basketball strategy and fundamentals

Get to the next level: To continue moving up in your professional career, add expertise in these areas:

  • In-depth knowledge of game-planning and ability to devise new strategies
  • Certifications or additional training in areas such as coaching or sports science
  • Broadening the range of tasks and responsibilities you’re familiar with, such as interfacing with academic departments and managing athletic funds
  • Proven examples of success as a motivator, teacher and game-day coach

Sports Resume FAQs

1.How should you format your resume based on your career level?

Your choice of resume format will depend on your skills, work experience and accomplishments. If you lack work experience but can display relevant skills and training, then the functional format is for you. The chronological format works best if you can show a consistent career progression, backed up with a list of notable skills. The  combination format is a blend of the other two formats, and is a good fit if you wish to give equal weight to your skills and work experience.

2.What are the qualities and traits that employers are looking for in this industry, and what should you emphasize?

To keep moving forward in the sports industry, proven success at developing cohesive, successful teams and sports programs is a must, so include any skills that speak to your abilities in this area, such as exceptional motivational abilities, or your deep knowledge of specific sports and skills. You should also have good communication and interpersonal skills, leadership ability, attention to detail, and the prime intangible skills of a competitive spirit and good sportsmanship. Other abilities you can emphasize include the ability to relate to and motivate athletes, put together winning strategies, understand rules and regulations, and proficiency at putting together effective training and endurance programs.

3.What are other useful skills, certifications or training for this job category?

Certifications and training you should feature will depend upon the specific sport you’re choosing and planning to see your career in. Other than this, there are common certification and trainings required to have an excellent career in the sports field:

  • Graduate Certificate in Sports Counselling
  • Sports Performance Specialist Certification
  • Certification is Leadership in Sports Organization
  • Sports Injury Cure Course
  • Sports Nutrition Certification

You should also be well-versed with basic rules of sports, communication skills, attention to detail, and the ability to devise new strategies and apply techniques whenever required.

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