How to Create a Student-Athlete Resume: 6 Steps

  • The successful navigation of the complex and sometimes stressful college recruiting process for athletes requires a number of key resources allowing you to easily communicate your value to college coaches. In addition to a college recruiting highlight video, a comprehensive student-athlete college resume will prove vital in illustrating to coaches your accomplishments, ability and likelihood of success in their program. This college resume should be written and organized to communicate both your athletic ability and academic fit within a certain college program. This article will explain the 6 key steps in creating a comprehensive, yet appealing, college resume for your communications with college coaches during the college recruiting and application process.

    Step 1: Avoid Recruiting Website ‘Profiles’

    College recruiting companies advise aspiring college athletes to create online profiles. These companies tell athletes that their online profiles will be ‘discovered’ by college coaches and that you can use their platforms to mass email your profile link to many coaches. The truth is that college coaches don’t use online recruiting platforms to search for or communicate with prospects and don’t like receiving recruiting website emails and messages. An ACA survey revealed that 95% of college coaches rely mostly on email for their recruiting efforts and value personal, individualized emails when discovering and evaluating prospects. College coaches want to receive personal communications from student-athletes with their college resume attached. Coaches don’t want to receive generic mass messages from athletes using recruiting services and companies with links to online profiles. Links to online athletic profiles on college recruiting platforms tell coaches that you are most likely contacting a large number of coaches and therefore don’t have any specific interest in their program or their college. Additionally, attaching a link to an online profile often requires a number of extra steps for coaches in order to see your profile. Coaches are very busy and don’t have the time to go through college recruiting websites looking at profiles.

    ACA advises players to create a Student-Athlete Résumé to organize your academic and athletic information. We like the word résumé better than profile because a résumé is inherently proactive. Proactive student-athletes submit their résumé for the specific consideration of the coaches at their Best Fit colleges. Reactive student athletes create profiles and hope that coaches find them. Once created, your Student-Athlete Résumé can be attached as a PDF when you personally email the college coaches on your list, to avoid the impression of a mass email. This resume will be very useful for your college application and college recruiting process.

    Step 2: Make Sure to Include Basic Information

    This may seem obvious, but the basic details of the prospective student-athlete are quite often forgotten or not easily visible on a college resume. Athletes contacting coaches must ensure that they list the following prominently and at the top of their college resume:

    • Full name
    • Email
    • Phone number
    • Graduation Year
    • GPA
    • Playing Position (where relevant)

    Including this information prominently will allow the coach to easily identify and follow up with an athlete. This information includes both the sport, identifying information and academic information which are all essential components for the top of the resume, before any further details are explored.

    Step 3: Highlight General Athletic Information

    This is often where a college athletic resume deviates from an academic resume in that it prioritizes the communication of your value as an athlete, in your respective sport. This section can be labeled as ‘Athletic Information’ on your resume and includes a variety of basic information relating to your specific sport. Some of this information could include:

    • Sport
    • Position
    • Height and Weight
    • Team
    • League
    • Level

    It is important to include all of the relevant and basic information relating to the sport in question in order to communicate your athletic value to the coach in a comprehensive way. This section could also include specific athletic pieces of information such as vertical jump, 40 yard dash speed etc, depending on your sport.

    Step 4: Include Basic Academic Information

    This section is less important than the athletic sections but is still a vital aspect of the college athlete resume as it shows a coach that you would be admitted and thrive in their program, from an academic standpoint. Coaches don’t want to go through the whole recruiting process with an athlete only for them to fail to gain academic entry into the college because the athlete does not meet the academic requirements of the school. A brief recap of GPA, SAT score and any academic honors or achievements can help to encourage the coach on your fit with their college from an academic standpoint.

    Step 5: List Your Best Athletic Honors/ Accomplishments

    This section will help you to further strengthen the communication of your athletic ability to the respective coach and will include your best sporting achievements in the respective sport. This could include your captaincy during the 2017 season, your placing first in X sport at Y event, your two goals in the conference finals etc. Listing 3 or 4 of your best athletic accomplishments will go a long way toward demonstrating to a coach what you might bring to the team.

    Step 6: Attach as a PDF in Personal Communications

    This step follows from the first step which discouraged the use of online college recruiting website ‘profiles’ in lieu of college resumes. Ideally, you will want to attach your athletic college resume as a PDF in a highly personalized email to college coaches. This email should have no links to recruiting websites as previously mentioned, which will show the coach that you are genuinely interested in them and are not mass emailing a variety of coaches impersonally. To learn how to send highly personalized emails read here. ACA’s Fit First Platform allows you to create a best fit list of schools, find coach contact information and message them using the platform. However, the ACA platform attaches your online resume as a PDF and has no branding or links to the ACA platform so coaches don’t know that this email is not coming from your personal email address.

    Following the above 6 steps will greatly assist you in creating a highly valuable, concise, athlete college resume which will help you to more effectively demonstrate both your fit and potential worth to college coaches. This college resume is vital for your applications and communications. For more info and examples check out this link.