How to Effectively Use Your Rank On Your Resume
Whether you're a teenager looking for your first job, or a more experienced job hunter, there are a variety of ways you can use your achievements in martial arts to stand out in a very crowded job market.
I've used my achievements as a martial artist on my resume for everything from scholarship applications to post-graduate job applications. In fact, my rank has come up on every single interview I've ever had.
Whether I was more memorable because of my black belt, or whether it has given me a point of common interest with my interviewer, I've always benefited from listing my martial arts experience on my resume. I've walked into interviews and had my interviewer sit down and say, "ah, so you're the black belt!" That being said, here are my tips for effectively displaying your rank on your resume.
1. If you're a first time job seeker with limited experience AND you're a black belt, don't be afraid to list your rank prominently. While you might not think your of your martial arts as anything other than a hobby, building a strong resume is all about creating a well rounded picture of yourself as an ideal candidate. Listing your rank, your years of study, the school you study with, as well as your teaching experience, is a great way to turn your rank into applicable job experience in the eyes of your future employer.
2. If you've already accumulated work experience, you can still incorporate your rank in a way that ensures you stand out to potential employers. If your career doesn't relate to martial arts in any way shape or form, don't go into extensive detail about your teaching experience and years of study, rather you might list your rank under "Additional Skills/Experience". You'll stand out a little bit more, and it could be a good ice breaker during an interview.
3. How you describe your rank and experience can be the difference between an employer seeing it as a mere hobby versus a skill set that would be an asset in the position you're applying for. Before you send in your resume, read carefully what the job description is looking for and highlight what skills your martial arts training has taught you that are applicable. For example If they're asking for leadership skills, mention that you teach and the age ranges you work with. I usually make sure that I include my work with ages three to 60+ to demonstrate that I have the patience and experience to work with a broad range of people. Transferrable skills are important to highlight on a resume and oftentimes the skills you learn through martial arts are ones that will come in handy in a workplace.
4. While your rank can be helpful to you during the job search process, make sure you don't forget the most important part of why your rank is a valuable asset; Your rank is what's going to get an employers attention but it is what your rank signifies that makes you a good candidate and that is the piece that is most vital to communicate. Make sure your rank is the attention getter that enables you to communicate what it represents; your perseverance, flexibility, focus, and your ability to surmount obstacles that might thwart other candidates.
Below you'll find two different ways I've listed my martial arts experience on resumes. This should give you an idea of how to incorporate your rank on your resume professionally.
Happy job hunting!
By: Juliana Rose,
2nd Dan Black Belt
Head Instructor, Evolution Martial Arts