Your CV should illustrate your interests, experiences, skills and achievements

When you’re looking to start a post-sport career, a good resume or curriculum vitae (CV) can be the key to securing your dream job.

And while an athlete may have a slightly different career background from other candidates, a strong CV can help demonstrate why the skills and experience you have gained on the field of play can be just as valuable to an employer as traditional work experience.

Your CV should be just like a trailer for the latest Hollywood blockbuster – highlighting all of your best bits and making potential employers want to see more! So to make sure yours is a smash hit, here are our top tips to consider when writing your CV…



Sport and children, Athletics Meeting of Zurich, 1983 - The American athlete Carl LEWIS (USA) gives lessons to children.

Carl Lewis turned his poise and presence from the athletics world into marketable business skills.

Highlight your relevant skills

You might find it hard to believe, but everything you’ve achieved within sport can be translated into a working environment. After all, being a successful athlete requires perseverance, drive and positive attitude – all qualities that any company would love to see in their employees. So make sure you highlight your accomplishments and describe the attributes that you displayed to achieve them. By focusing a potential employer’s attention on your relevant skills, you place the emphasis on your potential, rather than your experience, which is perfect if you’re new to the workforce.

Sometimes, less is more

There’s no definite answer as to how long a CV should be, but if you’re new to the job market then one or two pages should be enough. Remember, a CV isn’t your autobiography, but it should include important information, such as who you are and where you went to school, as well as anything else that is relevant to the position you’re applying for.



Not only should your CV be informative, it should be professional, compelling and well-written. Grammar mistakes are a sure fire way to negatively stand out from the crowd.

Consistency is key

Just as you might strive for consistency in your sporting performances, you should make sure that your CV is consistent from the beginning to the end. A standard font is fine – don’t use fancy or gimmicky ones and make sure that the size is consistent throughout. The language you use should be formal and clear, so avoid too much jargon or abbreviations. Check the format and line spacing to ensure that everything is consistent, and don’t try to cram too much on to a page.

Errors can be costly

Just as one slip or mistake can be the difference between finishing first and second on the field of play, any errors on your CV could mean you’ve cost yourself a chance at landing that dream job. Your CV is often the first impression that potential employers will get of you, so make sure there are no spelling mistakes or other errors. It may help to ask someone else to proofread it for you too. And don’t be tempted to lie on your CV to make yourself sound better or more experienced. You’ll always get found out.

Get some feedback

As an athlete, you rely on the feedback of your coach, so you’re clearly not afraid to seek someone else’s opinion to help you achieve your best. You should have the same attitude with your CV. If you know someone who has experience in the type of job you’re applying for, share your CV with them and ask for their honest feedback.


A good looking CV is much more likely to be read than one that says nothing, or has shabby layout. Remember, a CV is a marketing document in which you are marketing something: you!

Want to know find out more how to build your business savvy and market your professional strengths better ? Check out the IOC Athlete Career Programme’s resources on Education, Life Skills and Employment at:

The IOC Athlete Career Programme is delivered in cooperation with the Adecco Group, the world’s leading provider of workforce solutions.