I’ve been an Athletic Director here in Southern California for six years, and have been a Head Football Coach for eight. I’ve seen thousands of resumes while in these two roles.
More than that, I’ve been consulting coaches at the collegiate and high school level since 2012 via my company Eight Laces Consulting. As a consultant, I estimate that I’ve seen roughly 1,500 resumes during the course of the last three years as I help coaches create a custom athletic resume, and do a free resume consultation.
These are ACTUAL MISTAKES I’ve seen over the years. I’m not making this stuff up!
Here you go: 49 Mistakes That Coaches Makes On Their Resumes
1. Fail to sell yourself.
2. Simply list your job duties – the same ones every coach in America have.
3. You haven’t told me enough about the experiences you’ve had, and how those will help our program.
4. The objective that you wrote is useless. I KNOW why you’re sending me your resume.
5. And now, your objective that you spent so much time trying to craft just the right way, isn’t what I’m looking for.
6. Misspelled words.
7. Make outlandish claims without supporting them. “Made a drastic culture change.”
8. List players who went to college; like you created that kid in a laboratory and destined them for college?
9. “Created the most competitive football program in the region.” Prove it!
10. Saying that you “can coach any position on the field,” but your resume doesn’t show that you have done it.
11. Writing paragraphs on your resume. Do you think I’m going to read all that? I don’t have time.
12. Repeating a bullet point.
13. Repeating a bullet point. (Lack of attention to detail)
14. Writing “Nationally ranked defense” without showing what you were ranked
15. You put your record every year, but you have losing seasons. How will my Booster Club President react to losing seasons?
16. “Quarterback threw for 3,473 yards.” Who cares?! What does this even mean?
17. “As the OL coach I helped develop and install different run and pass techniques in the spread no huddle offense.” Big deal! Just about every Offensive Line Coach in America will write this bullet point.
18. “I aided in developing game plans, scouting, and other on field duties.” See above. You need to be ORIGINAL Coach. These kind of bullet points are absolutely useless.
19. The resume “reads slow.”
20. The resume is ugly. Doesn’t appeal to my visual stimulation. I don’t want to keep reading it.
21. The resume is 6 pages long; you’ve coached for 4 years.
22. The resume is 1 page long; you’ve coached for 30 years.
23. You bold and CAPITALIZE the school you were at, but the POSITION you held is more important to me.
24. “Proficient in email and Microsoft office.” Are you serious? This is a waste of space.
25. “Areas of Knowledge” section lists every facet of the sport you coach, all 55 facets of the game. Totally unnecessary.
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26. The “Profile” section which tells me that: you’ve been married for 12 years, have 3 kids named Joey, Joseph and Josephine aged 13, 11, and 2, and that you like to play the guitar while fishing, and goes on to tell me who your influences were, what your favorite books are, who your favorite professor was and why, the reason you are a coach, and how you don’t care about money, and will work as many hours as you need to in order to win is WAY TOO MUCH INFORMATION. Take this “Profile” section off your resume. It doesn’t belong here.
27. “Prepared and implemented all phases of the football program” – You did this as an Assistant Coach? All phases? Are you sure? If you really did this, you should’ve been the Head Football Coach. Makes me think that you are exaggerating.
28. “Coordinated the defensive unit and assisted in coordinating offense and special teams” Hmmm, are a jack of all trades, master of none?
29. “Ensured a positive, supportive, and up-tempo practice atmosphere.” I certainly hope that you did! Again, I hope I’m driving this point home Coach, EVERY coach in America will put this on their resume. Does this make me want to put your resume in to the yes pile?
30. The teaching section, and coaching section are all separated, and totally hard for me to understand. Why did you coach at some schools you taught, but not at others? That’s confusing to me.
31. You have just one bullet point under a place where you spent 5 years. That’s all you can tell me?
32. The “Coaching Skills” area on your resume is unnecessary. I’ll read these skills under each position you’ve had.
33. You forgot to list what your teaching credential is in. I need to hire a teacher. Can I hire you as a teacher? Hey look, another 100 resumes to read, I’m sure one of these guys is a hire able teacher.
34. You must have a Bachelor’s degree for this position; you don’t have your education listed. I’m not sure if you have one, I don’t have the time to contact you to ask.
35. I don’t see one lick of success spelled out on your resume at any of your stops. Have you had success?
36. Why are you listing your references from that job, right there on the resume, right there under the job title? References should go on a whole separate sheet/form.
37. Listen, I like to see a few bullets about your high school/college career. But I really do NOT need to know how many carries and rushing yards YOU had in high school. Totally irrelevant.
38. I know you are a walk on coach (meaning you have a job outside of the building), but I have no idea what you do because you didn’t tell me on your resume. Have a separate part, “Professional Experience.”
39. You’re using your school email address. Hmmmm. Does this mean you’re going to be job hunting at MY school if I hire you?
40. You sent me the email in a format I have never seen, and can’t even open. It’s really easy. Send a PDF please.
41. “Engaged students daily.” I’m not even going to address this worthless bullet point.
42. “Successfully implemented a strength and conditioning program.” Prove it. How was it successful?
43. Your resume shows that you’re a passing guru. You’re applying for a job as the Offensive Coordinator. I’m the Head Coach, and have ran the Wing T for 10 years. Why are you applying for this OC job to work in a Wing T program if you’re a passing guru? We will throw maybe 5 times a game!
44. I’m hiring a coach. I appreciate that you’ve gotten so many degrees, and certifications, and been to so many training courses and conferences. Did you have to list all of those before one thing about coaching? I’m bored.
45. Stick to one font for the every job. Don’t trade fonts every job. It doesn’t appeal to my eyes, I don’t want to keep reading.
46. Way too many grammatical errors. I can see that you can’t write well. Makes me wonder if you can speak well, if you can teach well.
47. You fail to highlight your accomplishments.
48. You don’t have the right contact information for your references. That makes me curious about said references. Are they really good references, or are you just listing people you worked with? That’s lazy.
49. It’s not chronological – your first job is listed first, your current job is listed last. I’m confused.
If your resume needs help, if you doubt that your resume is going to get in to that YES, INTERVIEW THIS COACH pile, you need to hire someone!
I suggest hiring someone who has hired coaches, someone who has been an Athletic Director. I suggest you spend no more than $99 on this process! Check out the testimonials of my clients, they speak for themselves!
Coach Fore is the author of several books and manuals that have helped coaches in building their programs, and the job search process: Building Championship Caliber Football Programs, Outside The Lines Manual For Football Coaches, Outside The Lines Manual for Athletic Directors, the Shield Punt E Clinic, and An Insider’s Guide To Scoring Your Next Coaching Job. You can find each of these items at EightLaces.
Fore has written articles for two national magazines: NIAAA and Coach/Athletic Director, and has been featured in articles on some of football’s best websites: Football Scoop, X and O Labs, Coach XO, My CoachBook and more. He has been a guest on High School Football America’s radio show, as well as Fox Sports AM 570 Los Angeles, and has also appeared multiple times on FootballCoachingPodcast.com.