Aspiring Athletic Directors Guide to Preparing your Résumé or Curriculum Vitae… Do you Shine Bright?

Dec 28, 2022

Searching for an Athletic Director position can be challenging these days. Many schools may spend as little as ten seconds screening each curriculum vitae or résumé. Here are some suggestions that can help you shine bright from the crowd and ensure that you get called in for an interview.

Content for Your Resume or Curriculum Vitae

1. Include an overview of your interest in the athletic director position and how your skills could benefit the athletic programs. Another key to getting school administrators to take a deeper look into your qualifications is to include your athletic leadership philosophy.


I am interested in serving as the Director of Athletics with your educational institution to advance your academic and athletic programs with my expertise in leadership development, fund- raising, sports marketing and athletic administration. My goal as an athletic administrator is to serve students, coaches, & administration in the pursuit of excellence through continual improvement. I look forward to working for your institution by providing leadership through serving students, coaches, parents, and administration. My simple philosophy is to build positive relationships, promote and adhere to academic excellence, and provide and promote leadership through service to others.

2. What makes you stand out?  Include any articles or publications you may have written, or any honors or awards you have received. Also include any presentations you have made in the field of athletic leadership, and any key accomplishments in athletic administration.

3. As an athletic administrator it is important to have an entrepreneurial spirit.  Make sure you list an athletic development & fundraising experience you may have or any innovative ideas you can bring to the athletic department as an athletic leader. This could include grant writing, corporate partnerships, sponsorship opportunities, in and around game marketing strategies, & alumni campaigns.

4. Have you completed any academic research into the athletic administration industry?  Make sure you highlight any relevant research you have conducted as an athletic leader to better serve your school community.  This shows your strength as an academic leader as well as an athletic leader.  Leaders are readers and are always looking for innovation strategies to improve the student experience.

5. Are you a member of any athletic leadership organizations?  Take time to highlight your membership in any organization that promotes education based athletics.  This can prompt the school administrator to take a deeper look into your skills and it shows you are interested in continuing to learn and grow in your role as an athletic leader.

6. Have you had the opportunity manage any large events?  As an athletic administrator you will have many duties, one is managing games and events.  It is important to show you have experience working and managing events.  So if you have the opportunity to intern or job shadow this is an area many future athletic administrators do not always think about.  Managing and leading event requires event promotion, officials, scoreboard operators, time keepers, scorebook recorder, statistic keepers, security officers, concessions, medical providers, police and ambulance, online ticketing, ticket takers, online streaming platform and so much more.

Here are some additional items to reflect upon in preparing your curriculum vitae or resume.

  • What is your why?  Why do you want to serve student-athletes and coaches?
  • Have your Philosophy or Purpose Statement prepared to highlight your leadership.
  • How do you enhance the educational experience in your role as an athletic administrator?
  • What is your experience with providing professional development to your coaching staff?
  • How do you teach your students 21st century skills through athletics & activities.
  • Do you provide leadership programming for student-athletes & coaches?
  • How do your provide mentoring programs for students & coaches?
  • Be prepared to address Program Safety & Risk Management strategies and plans.
  • Do you have an Athletic Development & Fundraising plan for your role as an athletic leader?
  • How do you plan to evaluate your coaching staff & assess program success?
  • How will you utilize technology?
  • How will you implement innovative and creative strategies to improve your student experience?

Formatting Your Résumé

1. Hit the highlights first. Put your most important data up on top right after your name and contact information. A brief and compelling summary of your qualifications and skills will get the reviewer’s attention and display what you can do for the company on the basis of your credentials and accomplishments.

2. Err on the conservative side. Take it easy on the formatting tricks. Use bold and italics sparingly so that the text is easy to read. A clean and professional appearance is usually the safest approach.

3. Be consistent. Make your document easy to scan. Use a consistent layout that makes your résumé easy to follow and find all the important information at a glance like company names, dates, job titles and accomplishments.

4. Leave lots of white space. Many experts believe It’s good to keep your résumé to one page, I tend to disagree. Make sure you maintain normal margins and 11 point fonts. Use bullets and leave some space between lines to make your résumé look more inviting.

5. Consider a combination format. You may hear some experts advising that you use a functional format in which you stress skills rather than your work history. Surveys show that many employers still want to see the conventional reverse chronology so try using both, in two different sections, to cover all your bases.

6. Take the multimedia route. Consider supplementing your traditional paper résumé with a video or other digital content. Give people a link to your professional website or blog or use your LinkedIn Profile.

Writing Your Résumé

1. Emphasize keywords. Read the job posting carefully and integrate the keywords into your résumé. If your résumé gets screened by an automatic tracking system, this will help it rank higher.

2. Customize your résumé for each athletic director opening. These days, the competitive job market favors personalizing your résumé as much as possible. Try to adapt your language to what you know about the school’s culture and the kind of candidate they’re seeking, while still being authentic about your true identity. Be sure to look up the school’s mission, vision, and core values to adapt your resume to fit what the school is looking for in an athletic leader.

3. Quantify your accomplishments. The contribution you made in previous jobs is likely to be the most important factor in helping you get your next job. Focus on how you improved procedures, cut costs, won awards, earned promotions or brought in new business.

4. Use action words. As you’re describing your accomplishments, try to start each bullet with a verb. This makes you sound more dynamic and makes your résumé more interesting to read.

5. Be concise. Try to pack lots of information into as few words as possible. Avoid any repetition or empty jargon. Keep your sentences short.

6. Proofread everything. Print out a copy of your résumé to proofread. Read it backwards word by word. Give it to at least one friend or family member because a fresh pair of eyes may spot typos that have become invisible to you.

The athletic director job market is tough, but a résumé that looks good and quickly demonstrates your skill set could help you rise to the top of the stack. Give yourself the best chance to succeed by crafting a résumé or curriculum vitae that will make your prospective school administrator want to learn more about you. I am cheering for you!!!!

If you’d like to schedule a time to speak with me directly please feel free to reach out.  Here is my calendar link to schedule an initial google meet.



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