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From our experience, the type of flexibility required by the student/athlete is available within existing university policy documents and frameworks. However, the availability of these support systems is not widely known and not generally applied to the athlete population.
The following tips are designed to assist in the recognition of an “athlete-friendly” university.
Athlete support through a nominated university staff contact
Some universities have sport-related contact people within their staff. A staff contact person can assist in many areas and help you to understand the university’s support networks.
Flexible study options
As an elite athlete you may not be able to commit to a traditional study programme. Many universities now have a range of study options.
With your schedule of training, travel and competition, you may require flexibility related to your assessment dates and times.
Many universities will take into consideration your sporting achievements when considering your enrolment.
Recognise that academic standards must and will be rigorously applied
Many universities want to assist elite athletes by offering flexibility in a number of different areas, but always remember that, like sports competition, there must be a standard that is to be achieved.
Employers will formulate their first impressions from the information you provide.
Be brief and concise
Ensure that the résumé is easy to read. Remember, employers are probably going to have to go through a pile of these and won't be attracted by long, cluttered résumés that take up a lot of their time. If your résumé is one of the successful ones, you can expand on all your great qualities in the interview. Include lots of white space on the page. This makes it easier to read. Choose a simple, easy-to-read font at a size that will not strain the reader's eyes (12 point is a good choice).
Make sure the information is accurate
Don't exaggerate or misrepresent yourself. The employers will check! On the other hand, don't sell yourself short either.