What sets you apart from the competition? How will your skills help an employer? Student-athletes seem to have a tough time with their job search. Why? There are several skills and attributes athletes possess that would make a recruiter jump at the chance to hire them. The challenge is how athletes are viewed (not all want to go pro) and how most are taught to position themselves for success. Here are a few different ways to think about student-athletes:
Teamwork – From day one, you’re working as a team. You know how a functional and dysfunctional team operates. Use this to your advantage in the job search. Reach out to your fellow teammates and network to help each other.
Leadership – As a member of a team, you may have the opportunity to serve as the team Captain. This is your chance to work with senior leadership (the coaches) calling the right plays to win. In the workforce, it’s no different. Employers need people who will work with their bosses to achieve the greater vision. Possessing the skills to call the play and function as a team can be mutually beneficial.
Communication – Whether you’re the team Captain or not, you have to be a good communicator in sports and in business. If you have a great idea, speak up. It may seem like a stupid question to you, but it could help the team function more efficiently and effectively. They’ll never know if you don’t ask.
Execution – Athletes work as a team, using leadership and communication to get the “W”. However, that’s just part of the play. A great play has flawless execution. Follow through with your game plan.
Dedication – As an athlete, you’ll likely never hear a complaint about an 8:00-5:00pm job. In most cases, they’re used to getting up early, running drills and preparing for the big game. The dedication that athletes possess carries over into the professional workplace. The big game is their (and your) success.
As an athlete, I would encourage you to highlight these skills and attributes on your résumé. You may not have had traditional employment experience, but you’ve had a full-time job: your role on the team. List this as experience, quantify the results, and show that you’re more than just a jock. Be a jock that gets the job!
Recruiters and HR Managers: What are your thoughts on hiring athletes? Do you have a strategy already in place? In my opinion, they’re an untapped asset missing from many recruitment strategies.
Student-Athletes: What challenges are you facing in your job search? Let us know how we can help. Now, let’s GO TEAM!