1. Resume Examples
  2. Referee
Written by Susan ShorSusan Shor

Referee Resume Example & Writing Guide

You’ve decided to jump into the job hunting game, but you need a refresher on the rules. The guide below will give you all the tips you need to play up your sports acumen in your referee resume.
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Referee Resume Example & Writing Guide
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You’re used to making quick, accurate decisions during game play. But how do you demonstrate that plus your knowledge of the rules, your ability to mediate disputes on the field and your impartiality all in a one-page referee resume?

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This resume guide, along with the corresponding referee resume example will cover the following topics:

  • What does a referee do?
  • Hints and ideas for writing a referee resume
  • The best format for a referee resume
  • Advice for building each section of your resume (summary, work history, education, skills)
  • Professional resume layout and design hints.

What does a referee do?

Referees are the arbiters of the rules of sport. At all levels and in all sports, they ensure that the rules are being followed and applied fairly and evenly so that no athlete or team gets preferential treatment. In other words, they enforce the rules of the game.

But referees do more than enforce the rules; they make instant judgments on the field of play about whether a ball is in or out of play, if a player has committed a foul or scored, or even if they need to intervene. At times, they confer with other referees on the field who may have had a better view of the play or to ensure they are applying the rules correctly.

Because referees work only during the sports season and during games, the work is part-time. The hours are irregular and, if they work an outdoor sport, the weather conditions can be uncomfortable. Referees work at all levels of sport from the volunteers who help out at preschool activities to those who earn a living at the professional level. Every sport needs referees, but referees at the professional and semi-pro level specialize.

Referee job market and outlook

If you love sports and don’t mind getting booed when you rule against the home team, refereeing may be the choice for you. The market for sports officials is expected to leap 32% in the coming decade, according to U.S. statistics.

The salary range for referees varies widely depending on the level and sport. 

For example: Major League Baseball referees earn more than $300,000 a year, while their minor league counterparts earn $2,000-$3,000 a month and those who referee high school games earn a little more than $50,000 per year. 

How to write a referee resume

Before the whistle blows, you need all the information about the teams or individuals who are about to take the field. Before you compile your referee resume, you also need information or the sections you need to include. 

Your CV should contain the following elements:

  • The resume header
  • The resume summary, which you may also know as the profile
  • The employment history section
  • The resume skills section
  • The education section

Choosing the best resume format for a referee

If your referee career follows a clear path to the pros, we recommend using the reverse chronological order resume format since recruiters and the online application systems (ATS) that you may be applying through are geared toward this style.

Refereeing may be different since you may have multiple employers in a year or you may have sidestepped onto this path after you ended your playing career. In those cases, you may consider a hybrid resume format that gives you more leeway for highlighting your skills and multiple career paths.

Resume header

The header of your referee resume is where you spotlight all your contact information so that recruiters can easily reach out to schedule your interview. It should contain:

  • Your name
  • Your title or the sports you referee
  • The best phone number at which to reach you
  • The best email at which to reach you
  • Your address or at least the city in which you live

This is the sole graphic element of your document, so create an eye-catching design without going overboard. No need to include a football or any other sporting icons. The recruiter knows you’re applying for a sports job and images such as those tend to look amateurish.

Expert tip

Having a sports-related email address was cute when you were a high school athlete, but it’s time to level-up to a professional address. Simply use some combination of your name or initials.

Resume summary example 

How do you make close calls on the field? If you work with younger athletes, what communication do you have with them to help them understand the rules of the sport? Answering these questions will help guide the writing of the summary of your referee resume.

It is within this section that you explain to the league why you will be an excellent addition to the referee squad. Tout your experience in refereeing games of importance and highlight a difficult decision you had to make and how you dealt with frustrated players and coaches. You may also choose to offer a sentence on your history in your sport.

Adaptable summary CV sample

Passionate, energetic referee with a stellar attention to detail and a proven ability to make rapid, accurate calls on and off the field. Collaborative team player and effective leader, known for a strong dedication to fair play and a comprehensive knowledge of the rules.


Employment history sample

Your employment history section is the place to offer details such as the age level, competition level, how many events you refereed in a season, and any other evidence of your qualifications for the job that distinguish your referee resume from other candidates.

If you are looking for your first position, feel free to include volunteer refereeing, coaching or other sports-related experience.

Adaptable employment history CV example

Referee, Reno Youth Sports League, Reno, NV 
September 2015 - June 2023 

  • Ensured accurate calls during fast-paced youth games, monitoring players for fair play, adherence to rules, and safety alignment.
  • Engaged with players of all ages, building trust and rapport to support effective on-field activities.
  • Assessed field setup for adherence to safety standards and age-appropriate regulations, empowering young athletes to safely build their skills and knowledge of the sport.
  • Maintained strict alignment with the rules of competition and soccer rule book, expertly navigating heightened tempers of players and parents to ensure positive experiences and fair judgment.


Player, Goalie, University of Nevada Wolf Pack Women's Soccer , Reno, NV 
January 2010 - May 2014 

  • Served as goalkeeper for the Nevada Wolf Pack Women's Soccer team, building top-tier team partnerships and trust to facilitate seamless coordination on the field.
  • Maintained adherence to soccer rules and regulations, supporting team in multiple high-level wins.
  • Cultivated a deep love of the sport and an encyclopedic knowledge of rules and regulations.
Expert tip

Sports are full of jargon and it is tempting to pepper your referee resume with some cute sports-related puns, but go easy. One or two is OK, but more than that makes you sound less than professional and refereeing, especially at the pro level, is a serious business.

CV skills example

Choose your top 5-7 skills to highlight in your referee resume by examining the job posting to discover what your prospective employer finds most important. To start, referees need focus, expertise in the rules of the sport, and the ability to stay calm under pressure.

Other important attributes are decision-making, communication, and excellent visual perception.

Adaptable skills section CV example
  • Rules & Regulations Knowledge
  • Soccer Game-Play Expertise
  • Player & Parent Communications
  • U.S. Soccer Federation Certified
  • Refereeing
  • Attention to Detail

Referee resume education example

You don’t necessarily need a college degree to work in your field, but you do need some training. The education section of your referee resume is the spot to compile all your academic accomplishments and completed training courses and any certifications you have earned.

If you have earned awards as an athlete or referee, you may include those here or, if you have space, add an “Awards” section.

Adaptable education CV example

Bachelor of Science in Communications, University of Nevada, Reno, NV 
January 2010 - May 2014 

  • Athletic Scholarship
  • Wolf Pack Women's Soccer Goalkeeper

Resume layout and design

Your best bet here is to keep the focus on your experience by creating a clean, professional layout for your referee resume. Take advantage of our expertly designed resume templates to give yourself a head start. Here are some pointers to keep in mind:

  • Use legible fonts and font sizes
  • Create a package by coordinating the style of you resume with the header of your cover letter
  • Leave one-inch margins all around
  • If you choose color, use it for accents only

Key takeaways for a referee resume

  1. Being a referee can be a great – and lucrative – career choice for a sports lover with an even temperament.
  2. Use your summary, or profile, to explain to the league how you will enhance the referee team.
  3. Fairness rules in your career, so make sure your employment history includes an example of how you ensure impartiality.
  4. Make the big play with a referee resume that looks as great as it sounds.
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