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Written by Susan ShorSusan Shor

Sports Resume Example & Writing Guide

Competing for an awesome sports job is like a sport in itself, starting with a winning resume strategy to outscore the other contenders. This writing guide and sports resume example can help you hit it out of the park.
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Sports  Resume Example & Writing Guide
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Sports are your passion and you’ve been able to turn them into your career. Now you’re looking to move up a bracket, or maybe into a different league altogether. A great sports resume sets you on the right path to scoring your next position.

Because the competition is fierce, you need to distinguish yourself from the starting gun with a top-notch application. Just as in the championship game, you only get one chance to win. Resume.io has everything you need to hit the ground running in your job hunt, more than 350 occupation-specific resume examples and writing guides.

This guide, along with our adaptable sports resume example, will cover the following topics:

  • What do sports professionals do?
  • How to write a sports resume
  • The best format for a sports resume
  • Advice on each section of your resume: header, summary, employment history, skills, and education
  • Professional resume layout and design hints.

What does a sports professional do?

The sports industry is broad and wide and accommodates almost any job category. From participating and coaching to marketing and accounting, your skills are needed.

Many sports professionals teach and coach their sport(s) or manage teams. They may work at many different levels from elementary school physical education teachers to college team coaches. A coach’s job is to teach skills, techniques and strategy to an individual or team playing a sport. Coaches design and oversee practice sessions. They also develop plays for teams to run during games. Some coaches work in more than one sport.

Coaching is just the beginning of what you can do if you love sports. If you enjoy working in a school, you may level up to athletic director and oversee all the athletic activities at your school. But there are plenty of jobs for wordsmiths, numbers geeks and marketers. Look at it this way: No matter where your talent lies, if you love sports, there’s a job for you!

Statistical insight

Job Outlook

There were about 15,800 professional athletes and sports jobs in 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated. That’s just the athletes making money in sports. 

But those numbers don’t take into account all the careers you could have in the sports industry. SportsCareerFinder, a sports job search site, lists 22 different industry sectors. 

How to write a sports resume

The perfect resume can be a game changer! Most resumes follow the same structure, so first, you need to know that the following essential sections should be included in your sports CV:

  • The resume header
  • The resume summary (aka profile or personal statement)
  • The employment history section
  • The skills section
  • The education section

While the format is the same, your tone should be aimed at your audience. The type of sports job you are hunting for will dictate how formal you should be. For example, you may want to shoot for a more sporting, conversational tone if you are applying to be a coach, but a more formal tone if you are looking to become a sports data analyst.

Expert tip

Your first opponent: the ATS

Sports jobs are high-interest. That means employers have to sort through hundreds of applications. Their first step is likely to be an applicant tracking system (ATS). This software scans resumes for keywords and phrases to rank all the resumes they receive. Only the top-ranked make it to round two: a perusal by a person.

You don’t want to get cut before your tryout. So what can you do? Scout your opponent. Carefully analyze the job listing and description for keywords and phrases. Then, repeat relevant words as many times as feels natural in your resume.

Choosing the right resume format for sports

If your relevant work background has primarily been in employee positions, the chronological resume format is the best choice. The floodlights are on the employment history section, where your previous duties and achievements are listed in bullet points below employer headings. These appear in order from current or most recent to earliest dates.

If you are new to the workforce or making a career change, you might want to consider the functional resume format, emphasizing skills rather than employers, or the hybrid (combination) format.

Resume header

Sports professionals know more than most about competing to win, and that very often applies to job competition. It starts with the first glance at your resume by a busy recruiter, whose eyes should be drawn to the right place on the page where you’ve incorporated a distinctively dynamic header design. 

The header serves three key purposes: 

  • Help your job application stand out from the rest,
  • Make your name and contact information noticeable and easy to retrieve later on when you’ve made the interview cut
  • Enhance your resume layout with a balance of white space so the text looks more inviting to read.

Sports resume summary example

Calling this section a resume summary is like calling a star quarterback good at throwing a ball. While both are true, they are both much more than that. Just as the team looks to the quarterback to set the tone on the field, recruiters will look to your summary — also called a profile or personal statement —  to set the tone for your application. You want recruiters to be excited about you after they read your profile. It’s the big game and this is your pep talk! 

Sports pros are part cheerleaders, part analysts, and part eagle-eye observers. Coaches may also act as mentors and they must have detailed knowledge of their sport. Your task here is to get all that and your sports philosophy across in this brief section. 

How do you win points here? Choose your greatest sports achievement and pump it up, but save the trash talk for the field. You need to stay professional and save space for important details that mesh with, but don’t repeat, the rest of your resume. See how this is done in the resume sample summary section below.

Expert tip

Guidelines for your resume summary

This may be the toughest section to write. We offer a profile resume sample below, but here is an outline you can use as a guide:

  • Introduce yourself with a strong professional description and the unique talents you bring to the job..
  • One or two sentences on your championship game ( the data analysis you did to help the team get there, the great profile you wrote of a champion, etc.)
  • One sentence on your sports/coaching philosophy.
Adaptable resume summary example

Passionate Sports Coach with 7+ years of dynamic leadership experience, including in a high school sports department management role, plus group and private coaching. Coached two state championship-winning teams and contributed to successful league marketing projects to expand membership by over 20 in just two years.

Copied!

Employment history sample: A league apart

Your employment history section is the play-by-play of your career. You don’t want to leave out any important work experience, but you don’t have to say everything you’ve ever done either. Here, starting with your current job and working backward in time, you are detailing your achievements and contributions at each position. This holds true no matter what area of the sports world you fit into. 

Each bullet item should demonstrate a career win or positive outcome, not simply a job responsibility.

Do

Enticed an elusive athlete into extensive interview and increased web site page views by 150%

Don't

Wrote profile of famous golfer.

It never hurts to have a jumping-off point, so check out the employment history resume sample below.

Adaptable resume employment history example

Assistant Director of Sports Department at Great Neck High School, New York
September 2017 - December 2023

  • Helped to manage the school sports department, including budgets, planning, and curriculum. 
  • Oversaw coaches and aimed to achieve a cohesive and strong sports program for 450+ athletes. 
  • Helped elevate the school’s reputation for excellence by implementing the latest sports techniques and training methods, generating local media attention and a Fast Class magazine article.
  • Worked with Coaches, Administrators, and Athletes to achieve goals. 
  • Brought forth a spirit and enthusiasm for good sportsmanship. Coached the football team to three state championships, twice achieving wins.

 

Assistant Sports Manager at Bomba League , New York
May 2015 - July 2017

  • Aided the Head of Sports in creating and managing a powerful and respected sports program. 
  • Collaborated with the marketing team on campaigns that helped boost membership by 23%.
  • Worked with administrators and coaches to achieve desired league goals.  
Copied!

CV skills example: This is your highlight reel

A great resume skills section culls the best of your abilities and puts them on easy display for a quick scan by recruiters (and a scan by the ATS, so make sure you choose keywords carefully for each job application).

Some of these skills will be directly related to the sport you are involved in and the role you play within that sport. These are hard skills, or the learned knowledge of your field you have developed over time. The sports field is a collegial one, so people skills are of great importance as well. Communication, mentoring and listening along with other soft skills, such as organization, are valued in the sports industry. 

Check out the resume sample skills section right below.

Adaptable resume skills example
  • Effective Time Management
  • Ability to Work in a Team
  • Leadership
  • Athletic Ability
  • Sports Management
  • Coaching and Mentoring
Copied!

Sports resume education example

Your sports resume education section is a simple listing of your academic degrees and achievements. This section can also accommodate any certifications you have, such as CPR, first aid, or a certificate from your sports’ governing body.

Depending on how many awards or championships you have, you may break out an "Awards and Accolades" section, or create a subsection under the education heading. 

Below you can find an education section from a sports resume example.

Adaptable resume education example

Bachelor of Sports Management, Nassau Community College, Garden City
September 2015 - May 2017

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Resume layout and design

The look of your sports CV is as important as what you have to say. Imagine if you went to a golf course and the sand was flowing out of the traps or the green had dried out brown spots on it. Not the course of your dreams, right? First impressions matter, so your resume layout and design should be executed in a tasteful but catchy manner.

Recruiters want easy access to your information, so keep it clean and organized. You want to grab their attention … in a good way. That means no flashy graphics or bright colors. If you’re aiming for an on-camera position, a photo is appropriate, but otherwise avoid it.

Expert tip

Hit a home run with your layout

The world of sports isn’t exactly subtle. Big, bold declarations of superiority and announcers yelling at each other can be the norm. But keep that away from your resume design. Here are some tips for a successful, eye-catching layout and formatting:

  • Use legible fonts such as Helvetica and Verdana for display type and the tried-and-true Times New Roman for the text.
  • Leave ample margins and white space.
  • Get a little creative with your contact information in the header so it stands out.
  • Proofread and proofread again. Then have someone else proofread. You don’t want to lose a job opportunity because of a typo.

You need a championship-caliber sports resume, so leave it to the experts. Use one of our resume templates to take the guesswork out of formatting.

Key takeaways for a sports resume

  1. A job in sports is a dream for many, so the competition is tough but the opportunities come in a wide variety.
  2. Your talent for firing up athletes can help you inspire hiring managers to grant you that interview.
  3. Just as you alter your game plan for each opponent, you need to alter your sports resume for each prospective employer.
  4. Using one of our pro-designed can make this crucial step towards your sports dream job a whole lot easier.
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