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Should a High School or College student list their athletic experiences, paid or not, for the school or not, under the category of Experience?

This could be a resumé or a school application.

Aren't learning experiences from sports just as meaningful as from non-sports experiences?

  • Related academia.stackexchange.com/a/131790/58537 – Pere Jun 14 at 19:36
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    Should a High School or College student list their athletic experiences, paid or not, for the school or not, under the category of Experience? - No. – joeqwerty Jun 14 at 20:00
  • Wow. Another downvote for a perfectly good question. – Randy Zeitman Jun 14 at 20:25
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    A team sport isn't really a work experience...unless you're an athlete or tangentially related field like sports broadcasting. I may consider work experience if you're paid athlete (it's a paid job) versus a club/school sport. A team sport is definitely an extracurricular experience that you could list on your college application. – jcmack Jun 14 at 20:27
  • @JoeStrazzere Right. "Starting Point Guard" • Developed time and priority management skills to accommodate academic and athletic obligations. (For example.) Time and time again I hear professional athletes speak to sports as a means to learn life skills. So why can't those be "experiences" just as any other skill learning on the job. – Randy Zeitman Jun 14 at 20:32
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If you are submitting the resume to Sports related fields, then yes. If not, then no. Save your experiences as team capt. or team work in general for the interview.

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    Why would it matter? If the person can distinguish life skills learned through athletics why isn't that an experience? Does it become a good idea if the student was on a scholarship as then it would be a Professional experience? – Randy Zeitman Jun 14 at 20:34
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No

I'm of the opinion that the "Experience" section of a resume should be reserved for employment history. I might be OK with something else being included here but I would need a very compelling reason for doing so and I've yet to come across one.

Most of the time, extra-curricular activities will go in their own section. Even if the activity is directly related to the type of job I'm applying for, I would still put it here to keep it separate from my employment history.

If you don't have much (or any) employment history, I'd say don't worry about it. High school/college graduates aren't really expected to have any relevant job experience anyway, which is pretty much the same as having no experience at all. Employers know this and accept it.

If you've never had any jobs before, you can still include the Experience section and just have a short sentence or two explaining why you've never pursued employment (chose to focus on studies, etc) so that it's there (prospective employers will look for it) and not just empty white space. Then feel free to pad up the other sections with all the cool stuff you've done.

  • It is employment. It's a barter. Point Guard is a work experience as it's done on behalf of someone else. The Point Guard creates revenue for the school in exchange for the very experience I noted. Working for yourself isn't employment so, as someone said above, Gardner, for yourself, isn't a list-worthy experience. Is managing the creation of 50 cakes for a PTA meeting experience? Absolutely. How about volunteering? – Randy Zeitman Jun 15 at 14:36
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    @RandyZeitman Those are all things that absolutely should go on a resume but unless you're getting paid to do them, I believe they belong in a different section. The "Experience" section should be reserved for employment history (and probably also renamed to something more reflective of that, such as "Employment History"). – aleppke Jun 17 at 15:18
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I'll take the dissenting opinion.

Yes, athletic roles are fine to list on a resume for someone in HS/College - As long as that job in some way demonstrates a quality that a hiring manager would think important.

For instance, if I was looking to hire a Junior Dev, and got an application from a recent grad that said:

Athletic Experiences: Captain of HS Floobyball Team, Assistant Captain of College Floobyball Team

... it would tell me: this person is someone that:

  • Likely gets along with others reasonably well
  • Likely can function in a leadership role

I mean, yeah, it's not as impressive as if you were the leader of your college's [RelevantAcademicClub], but to say that it wouldn't matter at all is a bit much.

Again, this isn't to simply say, "List any athletic experience you have". It has to demonstrate a quality that would be important to the hiring manager. But if your experience does that (regardless of what that experience is) you should list it. It's why I would always recommend to list military service - because being able to work well with others, follow directives, etc is always a useful skill set.

  • Finally a voice of reason. I don't know what the others were thinking. This is for a high school or a college student. Obviously, it's very different for those guys/gals. – Stephan Branczyk Jun 14 at 22:05
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    @StephanBranczyk Why is so hard to understand? (And I don't have a single positive vote on this.) If I sell tennis lessons, by myself and for myself, it's professional experience but if I volunteer those same lessons for an organization it's not? e.g. "Starting Point Guard • Transformed from lazy and directionless individual to focused and goal-oriented by developing time and priority management skills to accommodate academic and athletic obligations." Is that a bad thing to say? – Randy Zeitman Jun 15 at 14:44
  • "It has to demonstrate a quality that would be important to the hiring manager." – Randy Zeitman Jun 15 at 14:45
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    @RandyZeitman and Kevin, plz look at aleppke's answer if you wonder what the reasoning of us others is. The question is about which category to list this under, not whether they should omit it altogether. Employment is employment, other demonstrated skills are other demonstrated skills. – Helen Jun 15 at 19:24
  • @Helen That's right. That's why it belongs as experience and not employment. Do you think a volunteer who manages a team is a demonstrated skill, employment, or experience? If I sell tennis lessons, by myself and for myself, is it employment (self) or experience? ... but if I volunteer those same lessons for an organization it's a demonstrated skill? (hardly - they're all experiences). – Randy Zeitman Jun 15 at 19:43
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Content-wise, they should be listed if they support some of the statements in the resume.

I.e. it tingles my nose when I read in a resume that someone presents themselves as "strong team player" and then list, among the hobbies, "tennis player" or "chess player", since in those sports there is few to null team aspect.

If they instead list sports such as "basketball", "volleyball", "cricket" or whatever team sport it can be, it is a confirmation of their statement. Even more if they had a more specific role, like captain or manager.

Whether to list them under hobbies/other or experiences, I am more inclined to prefer seeing them under hobbies/other, unless they are really professional experience.

  • Are they specifically relating the team player to those hobbies? – Randy Zeitman Jun 15 at 14:38
  • @RandyZeitman, no. But it triggers my skepticism, when a self proclaimed team player does solitary activities. – L.Dutch Jun 15 at 14:54
  • Very fair. (assuming there's no other examples of team member, such as through employment). – Randy Zeitman Jun 15 at 19:39
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    Playing basketball, volleyball, cricket etc. in a team doesn't mean you are a "team player". – gnasher729 Jun 16 at 14:14
  • @gnasher729, it means that at least one can pursue a common goal interacting with other humans. I have seen individuals struggling just to make a simple CAD design with 2 other students for a university assignment. – L.Dutch Jun 16 at 17:42
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paid or not

If it was paid, yes.

If it was not, then definitely no.

  • so, if one has got one dollar for participating in their village checkers competition, they include it into their resume? Because they were paid – gnat Jun 15 at 6:51
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    Winning money isn't getting paid. How about if I volunteer to tutor checker and chess to young kids to gain critical thinking skills and it turns many of them around from bad kids to college kids, etc. Is that a real job experience without being paid? Of course it is ... why should being paid have to do with anything. You're telling me if I sell tennis lessons, by myself and for myself, it's professional experience but if I volunteer those same lessons for an organization it's not? – Randy Zeitman Jun 15 at 14:42
  • @RandyZeitman I understand that it can be more complicated and that probably more info is needed. But if someone has worked professionally on something, most of the time they are entitled to have it among their "experience". – Helen Jun 15 at 19:19
  • @gnat I assumed that the OP means "paid" as "I received salary for my work in a professional position". See also comment above. – Helen Jun 15 at 19:20
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    Unpaid work can demonstrate untapped leadership potential. It can also demonstrate a willingness to help others, which is a huge plus in a workplace. I helped teach bicycle repair to clients of a charity. Since I'm late-career and "mentoring other software engineers" is a big part of what I want to do, I listed it. Yes, I helped other people fix bicycles, didn't get paid, and I landed a very well paying job with that on my resume. – Julie in Austin Jun 15 at 20:43

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