Tips for Your Sports Industry Resume - Work in Sports Podcast

How do you craft a resume to stand out in the sports industry? That's easy, listen to this podcast episode.

Hey, everybody, I’m Brian Clapp Director of Content for and this is the Work in Sports podcast.

Coming up later this week on the Pod, Andrew Sidney Houston Rockets Director of Group and Inside Sales… just conducted this interview late last week and it was awesome. Andrew has a cool background, interned with 3 different minor league teams while in college - dabbled in PR, operations, coaching...ended up getting a sales job with the Frisco RoughRiders and loved it, has never looked back and now just 10 years into his career he’s an executive with an NBA team. More on his story coming up on Wednesday...tune in for that.

But’s a fan question! I love Mondays, maybe it’s my ego because in these episodes I get to talk a lot more, on the Wednesday's I have to consciously tell myself to shut up and let them talk...but on Monday it's all me, baby!

So let’s check the question for today -- it comes in from Bradley in San Diego… Bradley what would you like to know?

Hi, Brian, this is Bradley -- I’ve been really focused on your tips for creating great resume lately since I’m not sure mine is up to quality yet. You mentioned the importance of metrics having data in your resume to prove you are capable of making a tangible difference, but what else can you share...any new ideas or concepts that can help us stand out for the right reasons?

Bradley, it’s a good question - I admit I don’t do a ton of resume advice for a couple of reasons.

1: It's such a subjective thing -- every person reading your resume is going to have a different style they are looking for, or content they seek, or format. So for me to provide advice that may or may not be right for that scenario freaks me out. I like to give advice that works, and I’m never sure resume advice is all that black and white.

That said, there are best practices to follow, standards of operation, that we can lean into and follow.

2: The other reason I don’t do a ton of resume advice is because I get tons of agitated feedback every time I talk resumes. When I talk about including metrics in your resume like “increased twitter followers by 23%” or “implemented a social media campaign that resulted in a 17% increase in revenue” or “created a mentorship program that resulted in 80% less turnover in 1st-year staff”...

When I talk about this stuff, which is super powerful, and you should do immediately, I invariably get 100’s of emails saying -- YEAH BUT, how do I do that for my career! My career doesn’t have metrics.

And then I spend the next 32 hours writing back to people telling them, yes it is, here's 3 you do the rest.

See I’m a bit crazy and I respond to everyone, and next thing you know I’m in this black hole of responding to people’s resume inquiries and proving them wrong that they can create metrics to measure performance, then I pull what’s left of my hair out. And it’s a viscious cycle.

So, Bradley, for you, and for the sake of this podcast, I will venture into the resume waters again. Just don’t hate mail me, people.

I would also like to add that in the upcoming release of our online course, The Sports Career Game Plan, brought to you by yours truly and - for purchase soon on our site -- I have a whole course module on resumes, cover letters and personal branding.

The course is bonkers, if you like this podcast you are in for a treat, and we’re making it super cheap so everyone can get involved.

Ok, back on track - let’s talk new resume ideas. And new is relative. Let’s say it’s ideas that make sense and work.

1: Start with your purpose.

We’re going squishy to start. Nothing black and white here, we’re starting with tone and feeling!

If you are somewhat lost and scrambled in your career goals and aspirations -- that will come through in your resume.  I’ve read resumes before and thought afterward -- I don’t get this person.

You want to have a direction - and that direction is pointed at the roles you are passionate about and want. When you know your purpose, what excites you and makes you passionate, all of a sudden the content on your resume has focus -- and that is super important.

You want the person reading to feel they understand you, your skill set and why you are applying for this job. It’s not just being a skills match, that is super important, but that’s not all, you want it to make sense and all fit together.

Once you have your purpose, you’ll know what jobs to target, what organizations to focus on and how to create a resume that fits those opportunities.  

2: Ask yourself career focused questions that will help drive the creative process.

A few of my favorites are: “Why am I applying to this job?” and “What skills do I have that fit this job?” and “How can i make this organization better?”

When you answer these questions you begin to prioritize what is important to include in your resume and the TONE for your message. Remember, you think of your resume as a list of experiences and accomplishments. Clear your mind of that and think of it as just a piece of paper meant to convince someone you are the right fit for this job. What should it include? What should it answer?

Your purpose, your why, your skills, how you can make a difference here. Your resume will end up being a list of experiences and accomplishments, but told through a lense of purpose and why!

3: If you don’t match your skill set to the needs of the job you haven’t been paying attention.

You need a new resume for each application and it needs to focus on the traits they want in the job description. What strengths do you have that fit the job they want to fill -- make sure your resume highlights these traits!

4: Focus on hard skills!

Stating that you have experience with Final Cut Pro, or SalesForce, or CRM software is more powerful that soft skills like a team player and high work ethic, not only when humans read it but when applicant tracking systems read it.

And it’s not just keywords and skills. It’s also identifying pain points. Look between the lines of the job description -- what do they need? It’s in there, the hidden pain points. You want someone to read your resume and think -- this is exactly who I need to help us solve our problems!

It they mention revenue creation 5 times -- well you know they need revenue creators, lean into your sales experience. If they mention the connection to the community, or organizational structure or creative marketing, or social growth -- now you know where to lean in. It’s more than just I can edit videos… it’s accomplished Final Cut Pro editor with a proven track record of conversion improvement through creative social video campaigns.

Or tie in a metric… even better “Accomplished Final Cut Pro editor and producer of social video campaigns that resulted in a 38% increase in site visits”

You get the skill (final cut pro), and the pain point (social growth), and the metric (38% increase) all in one. Boom!

5: Skip the objective statement and get to a mission statement.

Objective statements are when people say near the top of their resume what they want out of an opportunity. “Seeking an entry-level marketing opportunity that will leverage my experience with branding and promotions. “

Great you’ve told me what you want. Problem is, as a hiring manager I don’t care what you want, I care what I need.

If you are going to write anything at the top it has to be a mission statement and your mission is how you can help them.

Collaborative, detail-oriented leader with demonstrated expertise in content marketing, broadcast media, and podcasting. 20 years of experience in digital and broadcast media as a writer, editor, producer, news director, and strategist.

Something like that is more effective and tells them a little about you before you get into it.

6: Here’s a new idea I’ve been playing around with -- call out quotes.

You know how when you are reading a long-form article on and they’ll have call out quotes? It almost looks like an image, but it’s just a quote from someone in the article they highlight in bold italics to emphasize the point and call out that specific thing.

Well, what about something like that on your resume. Imagine: you have your mission statement, your experience your education, but on the right side of the page there is a box with a quote in it.

“Because of Brian’s commitment to creating the WorkinSports podcast, our premium memberships increased by 14%” - John Mellor CEO,  

That is so much more powerful than “references available upon request”

So how do you get something like this? ASK! Ask your intern coordinator, maybe even write something for them and see if they approve it and allow you to use it. Come at them nicely like and ask -- I think there is a low chance they say no.

And if you don’t want to ask someone at the company you are currently at, for fear they’ll know you are looking, well...just step back to the previous role. Or ask someone who is a peer rather than a supervisor. “Becky is someone I’ve come to rely on as an on-job performer and a trusted confidant”

I believe these moments are powerful.

If you want to work in community relations, focus the quote that direction -- if you want to work in analytics focus it toward how you manipulate data. The quote should emphasize your purpose, and how you fit this role!

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And the Work in Sports podcast is brought to you by -- the #1 job board for the sports industry.

Get this 12,976 active sports jobs on our site right now and another 609 internships - that is a crazy amount of opportunity. And I tell you, I’ve been working in this industry for 20 years and every day I see an organization or a job title I had either never heard of or had forgotten.

That’s the thing - I have people say to me, ah I’ll just search for gigs on Google. Yeah but if you don’t know who or what to search for you’ll never find it.

I’m looking at a Manager of Marketing and Communication for a National Lacrosse League team - Social Media Coordinator for a minor league baseball team  - director of communication and PR for a chain of fitness clubs - digital creative specialist for learfield sports who is connected to college athletics.

There are so many opportunities out there people -- but you only need one. Find your one at, because everyone deserves a job they love.

By Brian Clapp | June 10, 2019
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