3. How to Write a Football CV: Vital Statistics
Your Vital Statistics highlight your physical player statistics, cups or trophies you have won and any tournaments you have played in.
Your vital statistics include:
- Footed (left/right/both)
- Gender (male/female)
- Languages spoken
- Trophies / Awards
- Biggest Record
Your physical information such as your height, weight or preferred foot (right or left) are important since often coaches and managers know what they are looking for and physical statistics give a vital indication of a players suitability. So if you can play equally well with both feet, then say so. Not only will it improve your chances of getting signed, it also demonstrates your flexibility as a player.
Often coaches and managers only have certain vacancies at any one time, so if for example they find an amazing striker, but have four already, they will not scout them, since they have no place for them.
A selection panel will look for different characteristics depending on the position they are looking to fill. For example:
- Goalkeepers need to ideally be tall with high jump reaches for catching the ball in the air
- Defensive players need to ideally be tall with high jump reaches for heading the ball
- Wing backs need to be quick and with high cardio-vascular levels
- Left backs need to have good agility skills
Your playing foot indicates the side of the pitch in which you will play best, and if you are strong on both feet, this can make you appear more versatile, which radically improves your chances of being selected, since you are more flexible as a player.
Trophies, Awards & Tournaments
Whether you have taken part in competitions or even won them, if you have participated in tournaments, or even own individual awards like 'player of the season', 'player of the match' or 'highest goalscorer' etc this is the time to shout about it.
When listing the cups / tournaments that you have played in, put the most recent at the top and keep the list to 5 at a maximum. Listing over 5 looses interest and so this strict rule forces you to list your most important, highest profile or most successful tournaments across your career. If you have played many times in the same tournament put the years for each time you played in it. For example:
Cheshire Schools Football League Cup (2011, 2014, 2015)
Winning awards or recognition as a team or as an individual is a great selling point to list. Examples of awards or recognitions might include:
- Captain for the season
- Player of the match
- Recognised most valuable player in your league or team
- Winners/Runners up in a cup or tournament
- Player of the Season 2 times running
- Player of the match 8 times in 1 season
- First team starter for all games
- County League representative
In football (particularly if your native tongue isn't English/American) it's important to list the languages you speak. This is a powerful indication to a coach or manager of cultural similarities they may be looking for, and if you are from another country, the coaches will want to know if you can speak their language in order for them to provide effective training, and that you can communicate with the other team members, since an essential part of all successful teams is good communication amongst the squad and coaches. Listing your language skills can also help coaches and managers to evaluate your adaptability.
If you speak multiple languages (more than 2) it is recommended that you list the level that you consider yourself in this language. For example: native, fluent, intermediate, novice. If you have passed a qualification for a particular language, again list it, as it acts as powerful evidence to support your claims.
Each club has a limited amount of places they can offer to foreign players, so it is important that you can highlight your adaptability. The challenge as a foreign player is that the recruiting scout will opt for a smooth transition therefore a home grown player with the same level of skill may be an easier option. So your CV will need to demonstrates a higher level of competency than others in your age group from the same country.
4. How to Write a Football CV: Current Season Statistics
Your current season stats give your prospective recruiter a snapshot of your abilities regardless of your team and opportunities to date. They mirror the stats collected in professional clubs to carry out Player Performance Analysis, so a professional club will be pleased to see your awareness of what matters in your performance as a player. They include:
- Games played
- Goals scored
- Assists created
- Yellow cards received (Career to date)
- Red cards received (Career to date)
5. How to Write a Football CV: YouTube Videos
Linking from the top of your CV with contact information and again after your 'vital statistics', it is advisable that you paste a link that goes through to YouTube with a clip of you in action.
For an entire explanation of how to make a video for your football CV follow our dedicated guide. If you have already prepared your clip and hosted it on YouTube, list the link as below explaining what the prospective coach will see:
Watch me taking free kicks: http://www.youtube.com/jermaineloughton [your you tube address]
6. How to Write a Football CV: Key Skills
Consider this a summary of your best qualities, strengths and sporting achievements. Just think, how often do you hear football statistics used in the media to describe a players abilities? It's the norm and a great way to showcase your own abilities since facts don't lie and are hard to argue with.
Under Key skills list all of the attributes that you offer as a football player, and back them up with stats. This enables the coach or manager to assess how you might fit into their team. A coach will look for different qualities depending on their current playing squad, highlighting any gaps they need to fill. Therefore, be honest about your skills as you will get found out at trials if not. Play on your strengths as a footballer and highlight skills you think the team need that you possess, showing the selection panel how amazing you are.
A good tip to help the coach to benchmark this information is for you to use statistics to help confirm that the key skills you have listed are true. For example, instead of listing 'agility', 'high jump height', 'fast sprinter'as your key skills without comment, try listing it like this:
- 18.1 seconds in the Illinois Agility Test
- 85% success rate on 1v1 situations
- Vertical Jump Test height 2.4m
- Average 7.1km travelled per game this season
- Recorded 100 meter in 13.4 seconds
- Strong upper body with a bench press one rep max of 95kg
You can also list unquantifiable information if it shows good versatility:
- Comfortable dribbling with both feet
- First choice penalty taker with 7 out of 7 scored over the past two seasons
- Ability to shoot first time off both feet
7. How to Write a Football CV: Playing History
Within the playing history section of your football CV, list the teams / football clubs you have played for with the most recent at the top, including the dates when you played in each team. This gives coaches an indication of whether you prefer little change, or are happy to move teams. A potential recruiter will be looking to see continual football development, not just 1 year of record breaking achievements.
The playing history must include the teams you played for at school or college (although you do not need to list other subjects i.e. maths & physics). For each team you have played for it's important to list the position/positions that you played in, and the responsibilities you had in this team, such as any leadership responsibilities.
If you had records at this team, then list them. For example: your goal scoring record, number of assists and number of first team appearances.
If you played in multiple positions, then this is a very big advantage as it shows versatility, so list them. Your abilities to play in different positions mean you are a universal player, which improves your chances of success. However, naming every single position on the pitch is probably not a good idea!
If you don't currently play for a team, give a reason for your break, or join a lower level team so that you can show you are playing regularly. Scouts and coaches care about seeing a regular commitment to playing and training, so it will help you to secure positions in better teams to play regularly than not play at all.
8. How to Write a Football CV: Football Experience
If you learnt football at school or college then this will be listed under football experience. This is also the place to list any football specific courses, clubs or summer camps you attended. Scouts are looking to see that you love the game and extra curricular activities communicate just that!
9. How to Write a Football CV: Educational Qualifications
It's important to show your educational qualifications on your football CV since having consistent grades with your footballing abilities tells a different story to having few educational qualifications but excelling in football. Neither is more impressive, it's just a demonstration of your choices, and what you have chosen to commit to.
Prospective coaches and scouts can tell a lot about a player from their qualifications, and so missing them from your CV can put you at a disadvantage. List all your education, but keep it short since this is a football CV, not an academic one. For example:
Distinction, BTEC ND Sports Science (Filton Sports College, Bristol, 2014)
6 x GCSE's (St Anne Secondary School, Hertfordshire, 2013)
For children too young to have passed any qualifications it's important to list the schools that they go to, since local coaches and scouts will know about the quality of the sporting education offered at that school, and also that you are near to the club, as lengthy travel can be tiring.
10. How to Write a Football CV: Nutrition, Fitness & Agility Training
This section is overlooked by many hopeful footballers, but it is an important way to demonstrate on your football CV, that you take playing football seriously and give your mind and body the optimum opportunity to succeed and perform. Consuming the right nutrition, looking after your body to prevent injury and improving on pitch performance by doing regular agility training are signs of commitment and attitude.
In this section list anything you do in bullet points relating to:
- Your nutritional routine and diet
- Your fitness training routine
- Your agility training and records to date. (So you can be compared to other footballers of your age)
11. How to Write a Football CV: Interests
By listing your hobbies and interests on your football CV you are able to communicate your personality to the coach or manager. Remember that they help to frame your personality, so you want to list things that will help the coach to see that you would be an asset to the team. Keep it to one line too, since you don't want your personal life to take up too much valuable space.
Examples of this might be: including others sports you play, or activities you enjoy like kayaking, running, listening to music etc
12. How to Write a Football CV: Referees
It is not essential to add referral contacts to your football CV. However if you choose to, list 2 at a maximum. They should both be people that know you in a football capacity. For example team mates you have played with, captains you have played for, your current football coach, any former coaches/academy trainers etc.
The advantage of using Referees on your CV is that football is a small industry, and it is very possible that your prospective coach already knows your contact, and whether or not they have a good reputation for coaching. If they do, this can already communicate to the selection panel of the level you have achieved under their leadership. You could even add a testimonial quote from a coach or manager directly onto your CV describing the type of player you are.
13. How to Write a Football CV: Photo
It helps a great deal if you add a recent head shot or full length photograph to your CV. For this the photo needs to be in a football situation, and not of you at home, in a suit or in your home clothes. Examples of a good football CV photo would be:
- A head and shoulder close up of you in your playing kit with a pitch background
- A full length shot of you in action with the ball during game play or on a training pitch.
How to write a Football CV for your child
If you are a parent writing a football CV on behalf of your child it is advisable that you discuss each section, sentence and word with your child so that the language feels relatable to them. If a coach asks your child any questions about the content of their CV they need to be able to answer consistently and knowledgeably.
Coaches and managers are aware that often a child needs a parents help to articulate their skills, and often accept that of course parents will assist in helping their child to create their football CV. However, if it is too polished they will question the truth of what is written on paper, and it could go against your child.
There is nothing more off putting than a pushy parent, so don't push so hard that you ruin your child's chances, as they might be special.
Top 5 Tips for writing a football CV for your child:
- Ask you child what they think their best skills are. Their immediate instincts are often the truth so these answers will help shape their CV in a voice that shows your child has had input
- Make sure whatever you are writing is believable. Don't over sell your child's ability. For example if they are 8 years old, it is unlikely that they are doing a 100m sprint in 9.8 seconds, or have the jump height of 2.4m!
- Try not to make a football CV so polished that it appears to be written by an expert. Coaches and managers will see through this and question the truth behind the content
- Ensure you child is happy with all the content you have written
- Be prepared that coaches and managers will talk to your child asking them questions about their experience demonstrated on their CV, so its important that your child's answer is consistent with their CV
The Ultimate Football CV...