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The ONE detail on 68% of the best résumés

Lucy Dean
·2-min read
Business man review his resume application on desk, laptop computer, job seeker
Is your CV missing this detail? Image: Getty

When it comes to job hunting, your résumé is the gateway to your application.

And while we know that keeping the résumé to the point, and including details like your name and email address are critical, new research has suggested there’s one other thing that can help you make your mark on a recruiter or hiring manager.

A survey of 200 companies’ recent hires from retailer Golfsupport.com found 68 per cent of successful candidates mentioned that they played a sport on their résumé.

The same study found that tennis (21 per cent) was the most likely to guarantee success, followed by golf, boxing and rugby.

That was followed by netball, basketball, football, cricket and hockey.

Last on the list was squash with 1 per cent of successful applicants listing the sport.

Why is sport so important for success?

High angle view of unrecognizable male crew  Washington
High angle view of unrecognizable male crew Washington

The trend is unsurprising: a study from the Journal of Leadership and Organisational Studies found that sports players often developed stronger leadership skills, team-working abilities, confidence and time management.

Additionally, 95 per cent of Fortune 500 CEOs played high school athletics, while 80 per cent of Female Fortune 500 CEOs played sport at a competitive level.

And this could be why: a Cornell University study from 2014 found that those who played competitive sport during high school had stronger leadership skills in their careers.

Employers expected those employees to “display significantly more leadership, self-confidence, and self-respect than those who were active outside of sports”.

Yet another study published in Human Kinetics in 2017 found that student-athletes performed stronger than non-athletes in transformational leadership, especially when it came to motivating coworkers and managing their own attitudes towards themself.

“Participation in sport built confidence and character in high-pressure situations. Student-athletes needed to manage change and failure on a continuous competitive basis,” the study authors wrote.

“They needed to encourage and influence team members to pursue team goals rather than individual praises.

“Relatively, non-student-athletes have less of an opportunity to put these concepts to practice in real-life scenarios.”

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