What is a sports CV? (Plus careers and how to write one)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 25 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A strong CV can improve your chances of securing a job within the sports industry. Submitting your CV is one of the first steps in a job hunt and is often the first thing your potential employer may see. If you're interested in working in the sports industry it's important to present yourself as a skilled applicant. Your CV plays an important role in displaying your skills. In this article, we explain what a sports CV is, describe what careers you might be considering and explain how to write an effective CV.

What is a sports CV?

A sports CV is largely similar to any other kind of CV. It's a CV that details the experience, educational history and skills of a sports professional. This kind of CV helps athletic professionals give a summary of their experience for interviews to consider. An effective athletic CV demonstrates your knowledge and skills in a particular field. A sports-related CV differs from other CVs as it contains some other elements that cover the nuances of the industry. For example, it could include a section that lists your athletic accomplishments rather than work experience.

How to write a sports CV

It's advisable to create a sports-related CV that showcases your skills and experience most effectively. A strong CV may give you a competitive edge over other applicants when applying for a sports-related role. Steps to create an effective athletic CV include:

1. Include a professional objective

A good first step to take is to include a personal objective, sometimes called a career objective or career goal. Use this to describe what it is you're looking for in your career and what aspirations you have within the industry. Include this just under your name and contact information, as the first thing potential employers may read.

A professional objective may help to highlight your skills and experiences, informing the hiring manager what your goals are. This can be especially helpful if you're beginning your career or entering a new sports position. It can help explain why you're making the change and how your skills are transferable.

2. Highlight your strongest skills

Consider producing a bullet point list of your strongest skills. Tailor them to the specific role you're applying for and order them from most to least important. A bullet point list can help present your skills and abilities in an easy-to-read format. Different career paths require different skill sets, so it can be useful to write down what skills the job listing discusses and incorporate some keywords they use in their list.

3. Detail your responsibilities and accomplishments

This section is here to help give you a chance to detail your achievements and experiences. These can include academic or work-related experiences that highlight your strengths and abilities. Be mindful of the language you use, make it easy to read and use specific examples for hiring managers to read.

4. Explain your team experience

Depending on the role you're applying for, your experience with sports teams may not be the most important thing to discuss. That said, it's likely to be an important thing to discuss, explaining your ability to work within a team or your knowledge of what it is like to be in a team. Many professionals highlight their work within a team, discussing their ability to motivate others.

It can be useful to provide specific examples of how you've used your communication and interpersonal skills in a team environment. Include moments within training sessions or meetings. You can dedicate an entire section to extracurricular activities, hobbies or voluntary events you've completed if it would benefit the position.

5. Be readable and accessible

Hiring managers within the sports industry regularly receive a large number of applications and may appreciate a more streamlined, easy-to-read and symmetrical CV format. Be mindful of the white spaces on your CV, use them to create comfortable gaps between sections and improve the readability of your test. Use bullet points and consider using bolded or capitalised text for headed sections.

Related: How to answer 'What are you passionate about?' in an interview

6. Consider action verbs

Consider your use of verbs throughout your CV. Verbs, or ‘doing words', are words and phrases that describe what you've done. Be mindful of how hiring managers may read a lot of CVs and may be used to hearing the same language repeated over several CVs. Help increase their interest and improve their attention to your CV by utilising more impactful words. It may help hiring managers visualise your experiences and appreciate the scale of your achievements. Here are a few examples of some action verbs you could include in your CV:

  • accomplished

  • represented

  • conditioned

  • instructed

  • devised

  • presented

7. Highlight your education

It can always be beneficial to show employers your educational background as it can help show the career path you've chosen, including your knowledge, commitment and interest in the career. Describe every relevant degree, training program or certification you possess. Depending on your level of experience, you may want to consider placing your education above your experience, to help highlight your strongest skills. Each position you apply for may also have different entry requirements, possibly looking for bachelor's degrees or certifications.

8. Include references

Depending on the position you're applying for, it can be beneficial to consider including a list of references. Many hiring managers prefer applicants to provide this at a future stage in the hiring process, so research the role you're specifically applying for and look at what people often recommend. If you're able to, maybe ask other professionals in the industry and listen to what they suggest.

Consider whom to use as a reference and ask your references if they feel comfortable being used. Try to pick coaches, supervisors or mentors in similar jobs to the one you're applying for or from people who are best qualified to comment on your abilities. For example, athletes can list previous coaches or athletic trainers.

Related: What is sports management and what does a sports manager do?

What positions require an athletic CV?

Many professionals within sports use this kind of CV to help display their talents when they apply to positions in the industry. There's a wide range of positions where an athletic CV may be relevant. These could include:

1. Professional athlete

National average salary: £33,901 per year

Primary duties: Professional athletes are individuals that play a particular sport, either as an individual or as part of a team. They usually possess knowledge of the regulations and rules within their chosen sports. They also have an in-depth knowledge of the fitness training, nutritional recommendations and general sports medicine of their field.

2. Sports coach

National average salary: £24,471 per year

Primary duties: Coaches are individuals that work as part of a team or on their own in either a professional or amateur capacity. They work for a team at some level, whether it's a team at a school, club or recreation centre. Their CVs often highlight their ability to train their squad, their knowledge of the game and various strategies and their ability to build a rapport with others. It also helps to emphasise their time management, leadership and problem-solving skills.

Related: Sports coach's roles and skills: a practical guide

3. Sales executive

National average salary: £25,908 per year

Primary duties: Marking and sales professionals that work within the sports industry may work to help promote a team, sport, competition, athletic gear or other merchandise. They may also help to arrange sponsorships for their company or team. Their CVs typically cover their work history, marketing experience, sales achievements and their collaborations with other athletic industries. It also details their education and marketing skills.

4. Athletic trainer

National average salary: £27,558 per year

Primary duties: A trainer, unlike a coach, is part of a team that assists the coach, making recommendations and creating exercise programmes. They work on injury prevention and help create training schemes for their team. Many trainers work for professional teams, though some work in hospitals or offer their services at universities. Their CV typically details how they manage their athletes and how they coordinate with other professionals in their team, including their participation in developing programmes and recruitment.

5. Physical education teacher

National average salary: £31,773 per year

Primary duties: A physical education, or PE teacher, can teach at any level of education, usually primary school or college. They instruct students on how to compete in sports and educate them on fitness techniques. CVs for physical education teachers often help to highlight their professional background in physical education, including certifications and qualifications. They're usually responsible for communicating with parents, managing a classroom and maintaining sports equipment.

6. Broadcaster

National average salary: £34,441 per year

Primary duties: Many broadcasters commentate and discuss sports games live on television or the radio. They may help to announce or explain events in the game as they happen. Their CVs often include information about how to prepare footage, comment on or discuss events and interview individuals and their possible sources of information. Their CV could include a list of skills, such as public speaking, writing and interpersonal skills.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries‌ ‌may‌ ‌‌vary‌‌ ‌depending‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌hiring‌ ‌organisation‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌candidate's‌ ‌experience,‌ ‌academic‌ background‌ ‌and‌ ‌location.‌

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