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How sporting accomplishments can perk up your resume

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

By Dr. Amit Bhalla, Vice President, Manav Rachna Educational Institutions.

Adding sports in your resume allows your personality to shine through, gives you an opportunity to introduce yourself, tailor your message to the individual employer and describe why you’re a good fit for the job. It is a powerful tool!

Nowadays, conventional career professionals not only list out those activities that are directly related to their jobs, but are also highlighting sports activities in their resume to showcase more offbeat interests which adds to their creativity, personality and enthusiasm.

Recruiters value extra-curricular activities, and many companies particularly those in client-servicing industry are seeking candidates who show determination and are committed to their work.

As an athlete, you have a great potential as an employee and make up a successful career. Here are a few qualities that are relatable:

Accountable - You’re accountable to yourself and your goals. You are equally good and dynamic as a team.

Managing Skills -You can balance academics and sports, and you’re used to managing your time.

Work Ethics - You have a strong work ethic and are dedicated to your goals.

Adaptive - You’re used to the public spotlight, and the pressure and scrutiny that comes with it.

Leadership skills -You have good mentoring and leadership skills, especially as a team leader.

Versatile - You’re proficient with team dynamics and dealing with different personalities.

Meeting deadlines & never give up attitude - You are mentally tough and are able to handle situations when you are let-down or defeated.

Activities including clubs, membership organizations, hobbies, participation in any sports and interests that show leadership, technical skills, community involvement  or team-playing capabilities may enhance your candidature for an admission or to a hiring manager.

The workplace favours athletes so do your best to be one. Companies do recruitments on college campuses and so you stand a good chance than others.  

Athletes in many companies are universally respected as high performers and it is no coincidence that more than 80 percent of the executives at Fortune 500 companies describe themselves as former athletes. Companies seek employees who can stand out in high pressure situations, demonstrate leadership and react positively to the instruction of superiors.

Reasons why athletes make the best hires:

  • They have grit.
    Working, especially for a start-up, is about putting in the hours towards a goal- a quarterly sales number, a KPI, or a new product. True momentous victories in the office are rare. As a manager, you want people who aren’t working for the “win,” but for the pure love of the effort.
     
  • They can prioritize.
    Athletes are goal-oriented by nature, which means they’re constantly assessing where they stand in relationship to their objective and fine-tuning the tactics they need to get there. Like a soccer midfielder, reading the defence to decide whether to shoot or pass, the best worker constantly reprioritize to focus on the goal that matter most to their team.
     
  • They know what “team” means.
    If you want a business with a collaborative ethos, adding athletes to the mix is essential. Great teamwork is about subsuming individual egos and agendas under the goals of the group. But athletes understand that teamwork is about more than just sharing the workload, supporting your teammates or jumping in to lead when needed. Great teamwork requires people who understand group dynamics and know how to adjust their behaviour and role to fit the organizational needs.

In today’s workplace sports career resume stand out among all because they value much emotional intelligence over academic intelligence. Emotional intelligence is the “soft skills” that enable smooth running interpersonal relationships at work — such as the ability to read peoples’ nonverbal cues and the ability to manage oneself within a team.

These skills are not something that can be taught in a classroom but comes within you when you slog hard and continue to put your whole hearted effort to be an athlete.  “Sports teach workplace values like teamwork, shared commitment, decision-making under pressure, and leadership. Also, playing sports help people succeed because it teaches skills such as time management, focus and mental toughness.

As it goes, “Healthy mind in a healthy body ‘’ so the benefits of sports spill over into other parts of life.” The career benefits of being an athlete are not necessarily related to talent, but also brings with it, its share of focus and commitment.

Sports help you to overcome with disappointments, rejection and setbacks that will only make you stronger as long as you get back on your feet and move on to the next opportunity.

It's smart to use extracurricular activities to your advantage by including information that will highlight the important skills you have learned and applied.

So before you hit “send” and your resume flies through internet, make sure you have included your time spend on the court or playing field. And its’ better to weave-in the skills that your sports taught you and will surely be noticed by a smart recruiter.

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