Student-Athlete Resume Tips to Set Yourself Apart

Student-athletes have many valuable experiences and accomplishments that are worthy of being highlighted on their resume. Their resume should also highlight the skills they have developed from playing a competitive sport. The skills acquired during college playing days are often transferrable to professional contexts and can make them successful in their future career. Employers value these life skills because they convey personal development and promote a well-balanced lifestyle. Here are a few examples student-athletes should include in their resume to demonstrate they are ready to transition from a college athlete to a professional job seeker.

Transferrable Skills:

Time Management – Student-athletes must be extremely attentive to the demands of their athletic and academic schedules. This skill is also vital in the workplace since employees often juggle many tasks at once while trying to maintain a work-life balance.

e.g. “Managed a full-time student course load with an average of 20+ hours per week training, play review, and

Goal Oriented – Athletes remain focused on the end goal as they overcome a variety of challenges. Employers look for workers who will do the same for their company by accomplishing tasks for a given purpose.

e.g. “Planned, executed, and reviewed yearly competition goals set by coaches”

Communication – Athletes are constantly speaking with their teammates and coaches to create a plan, solve problems, and evaluate their progress. Effective communication in the workplace is becoming increasingly important as employees must communicate both virtually and in person.

e.g. “Demonstrated effective communication skills to assist in mediating team conflict”

Strategic and Analytical – Having a strategic and analytical mindset allows for better problem solving and decision-making skills. This mindset helps student-athletes analyze their team plan and helps employees analyze data.

e.g. “Collaborated with coaches to design team practice, team workshops, and community involvement opportunities”

Accomplishments and Awards:

Student-athletes may be awarded scholarships or nominations that should be highlighted on their resume. When a student is nominated or awarded, it proves that others recognize their level of achievements and dedication. These accomplishments could be an honorary mention, athlete of the month/year, outstanding performance award, and more, not only athletically related awards, but most athletes excel in their academics pursuits, highlighting dean’s list or president’s list should be also taken in account.

Leadership Roles:

If a student-athlete holds a leadership position within SAAC (Student-Athlete Advisory Committee) or as captain or co-captain, it shows employers that they take initiative and can motivate and lead a team to success. Leadership skills can separate a student from other candidates.


Some student-athletes get involved in other jobs, organizations, or positions through athletics. If a student-athlete leads camps or trainings, works in the athletic department, or volunteers with their team, they should mention that in their resume. This shows employers they are willing to get involved in other roles and activities.

It is also important to use strong action verbs when describing accomplishments and involvement. Here is a list of recommended action verbs:

-Exceeded                                                      -Influenced

-Accomplished                                              -Collaborated

-Achieved                                                       -Instructed

-Directed                                                        -Motivated

-Led                                                               -Strengthened

For more tips, please make an appointment with the Career Consultant for Student-Athletes.

By Raquel Montalvo Perez
Raquel Montalvo Perez