My friend chuckled as he looked over my resume. Upon asking him what he was laughing at, he responded with “Why the heck would you put your college hockey experience and awards on your resume? No one is going to care about that.”
Spending 4 years as a student athlete – it felt wrong NOT to put this information on my resume, after all I had been through. The grind of getting through class, practice, tests and games is something that your normal college student just wouldn’t understand.
About two days after I posted my resume, I got a call from a manager who said he had found my resume because they had specifically searched for someone with college sports experience. Upon interviewing at another opportunity, the President interviewing me alerted me that they loved the student athlete experience that I had, and that most of the company was comprised of college sports veterans. I made sure to let my friend know about the success I had with putting my college hockey experience on my resume.
There are a number of reasons why your next hire should be a college athlete:
1 – A Team First Mindset
A student athlete does anything they can to get the team a win. Hockey players block shots. Football players take big hits to make a block. For an athlete to transition into a job – they will bring the mindset of doing anything they can that benefits the team above-all before themselves as an individual. If the team is succeeding; you are succeeding. As an individual on a team, you are merely a piece to the puzzle of success.
2 – Communication Skills
Between communication with teachers, coaches, and teammates on a daily basis; a student athlete knows how to effectively connect with superiors as well as their peers. Being able to work efficiently with co-workers and managers makes a huge difference in short-term effectiveness and long-term success for the team. As a student athlete, you have already dealt with one of the toughest bosses around: a coach. In order to thrive you need to be able to take criticism to better yourself and succeed. In the working world – being able to take constructive criticism from a manager is what is going to make you a more effective team member.
3 – Time Management Skills
In any job that you have – time management is one of the challenges that always seems to be apparent. We have all been there; it feels like there just isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done. Student athletes have had no choice but to master the art of time management. Between class, homework, practice, and games being able to get everything done is an intricate process. This skill is brought to the workplace, making student athletes more valuable than the average candidate.
4 – Work Ethic, Accountability, and Resilience
Student athletes have a work ethic that is unparalleled from any other type of worker or former student. Take a top-of-the-line student who works their butt off at school; studying, papers, tests, and reading. Now take all of that and add 2 hours of practice, an hour in the gym, and an hour film-session and you have the life of a student athlete. As an individual on a team, they know they are held accountable for pulling their own weight. They have encountered many more losses than wins; and have learned from it.
5 – The Desire to Win
Student athletes are driven by the wins. They are achievement-focused and aren’t satisfied with just going through the motions. They will be driven to win for you as a manager, as a team, and as a company.
If you are looking to build a winning-culture in your company, your next hire should be a former student athlete.