The 2015-2016 academic year is in the books! Many of you are likely experiencing a myriad of emotions. Those may include joy, excitement, and a sense of relief that another semester is in the books. Recent graduates may have a whole other set of emotions tugging at them including happiness and satisfaction or even uncertainty and anxiety. You may even experience a sense of loss or grief as you reflect on defining your identity outside of your role as a collegiate athlete. All of these are normal! In order to successfully move into your next step, it is important to reflect on the strengths and skill sets which have allowed you to achieve the goals you have accomplished so far. How can you replicate those characteristics and skill sets in order to transfer the magic you bring from the playing field/court into the office/workforce and define yourself as an employee?
You’ve probably heard many individuals throughout your time as a NCAA Division I Student-Athlete say that employers like to hire former student-athletes. Why is this the case? What is it about student-athletes that make them sought after by various companies? What can a former college athlete bring with them into an employment setting that allows them to succeed as an employee?
A survey of employers conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) indicated that the top 7 attributes employers seek on a candidate’s resume are: Leadership, Teamwork, Written Communication, Problem Solving, Verbal Communication, Strong Work Ethic and Initiative (http://www.naceweb.org/s11182015/employers-look-for-in-new-hires.aspx).
Now, I want you to reflect on your time as a student-athlete. 6 of the top 7 attributes named by employers in this survey can likely be developed through participation in competitive athletics. If we explore this list even further, you’ll notice additional attributes such as Flexibility, Interpersonal Skills, and Strategic Planning. By analyzing each aspect of your time as a student-athlete, I would be willing to bet you could think of a time you have used these skills in some capacity.
Take some time to reflect on your athletic experience, write down instances in which you utilized some of the attributes mentioned in the NACE article. These will become important as you draft your resume and go on job interviews. Your ability to articulate your student-athlete experience in terms of how you have successfully developed and utilized these skills to reach both team and individual goals can be pivotal as you embark on this next journey in your life.
Don’t forget, you can always set up an appointment for assistance! This can be done through your Handshake Account: utsa.joinhandshake.com Be sure to select the ‘Student-Athlete’ appointment option when scheduling!