USA TODAY High School Sports has a weekly column on the recruiting process. This isn’t about where just the top five-star athletes are headed but rather a guide to the process and the pitfalls for student-athletes nationwide from Fred Bastie, the owner and founder of Playced.com. Playced.com is an industry leader in college recruiting. Their technology-based recruiting software identifies the right colleges for potential recruits to pursue and their recruiting advisers provide a recruiting experience that is trusted by college coaches and backed by a money-back guarantee.
Having an athletic/academic resume for college coaches to review makes the college recruiting process much easier than if you don’t have one. Think about it this way, if you were looking for a job, the first thing you would do is prepare a resume detailing your qualifications for the specific position you are pursuing. You should take the same approach with college recruiting. Take the time to prepare a recruiting resume detailing your qualifications for a spot on a college roster. It will pay big dividends.
Your recruiting resume should include all the academic and athletic facts a college coach needs to easily determine whether or not you might be a “fit” for their program. Like a traditional resume, your recruiting resume should start with some personal information about yourself including your name, contact information, email address, telephone number and your primary position.
Many recruiting resumes also include a simple profile picture, which (probably) can’t hurt. Then organize your statistics and qualifications into separate sections to make it easy for a coach to review, but most importantly your resume has to include four critical components to have any shot at being helpful. Here are those four components along with some suggestions to make each one appealing to college coaches.
Providing your athletic information in a short, concise, effective manner is a little tricky. Every college coach in the country evaluates players a little differently and the important metrics and statistics are different for every position in every sport. For example, a pitcher is evaluated completely different than a positional player and a point guard is graded differently than a small forward.
Your resume should include the statistics that are relevant to your sport and position. If you aren’t sure about which statistics are important for your position, do some homework. Ask your current coach for help, do some online research and look at the recruiting questionnaires for your sport on a few college websites. If you take the time to include the proper information, it simplifies the evaluation process for the college coaches. Be careful not to overdo it. Make sure your athletic information can be reviewed quickly. Too much information could put a coach to sleep. They aren’t interested in things like your shoe size or your batting average against left-handed knuckleballers.
A few years ago, I was talking with a college coach at a showcase event when he made a very telling comment. He told me, “I wish every recruit at this camp had his GPA on the front of his jersey and his standardized test score on the back of his jersey.”
That statement alone should tell you how important college coaches feel academics are when it comes to evaluating potential recruits. Don’t fool yourself, college coaches look at academics when evaluating every recruit. If you don’t qualify academically for a particular college then you aren’t going to play for that college. It’s really that simple.
With the above facts in mind, you need to be sure your resume accurately reflects your academic accomplishments and achievements. Your academic information should include high school name, graduation date, cumulative GPA, NCAA Core Course GPA, desired major (if you have one) and your SAT and/or ACT score. By clearly summarizing your academic information, it allows coaches to quickly determine if you are a good fit academically for their institution. Remember, you have to get into the school to play for the school.
In a job search, a good reference from a previous employer or college professor can go a long way in securing employment. The same holds true in college recruiting. If your coach is willing to vouch for your character, work ethic, and abilities, a college coach is much more likely to be interested in you for his or her program. If your high school or summer team coach isn’t willing to endorse you, your recruiting process is going to be much more difficult. For that reason, if your current coach is in your corner, you should include his or her contact information on your resume.
Talk with your current coach to be sure he or she agrees that the colleges you are considering are realistic based on your abilities. If your coach doesn’t agree that the schools are realistic, a recommendation may not happen at all, or it will be half-hearted.
The final critical component of an effective recruiting resume is a link to your recruiting video. Video provides an objective way for college coaches to quickly decide if they are interested in talking with you. Having a recruiting video for college coaches to view can connect an athlete in Casper, Wyoming, with a coach in Buffalo, New York, without incurring the cost of a recruiting trip.
Additionally, one of the reasons video has become so important in the college recruiting process is because there are two absolutes with respect to video:
- Video doesn’t lie and
- Video does not have an opinion.
Most college coaches can watch a video for 45 seconds and decide if they are interested in an athlete.
Here’s the deal
A recruiting resume can be extremely helpful in your recruiting journey. Your resume can be online or on paper, just make sure it includes the components described above and can be easily sent to a college coach.