Yup, someone in the Five office (we won't name names) printed their resume on discs!
Every time that I've applied for a job, an internship, or more school, I've realized how much time I spend in the ultimate world. Sound familiar? I'm no professional, but it's sad to think that some people omit their entire ultimate experience from their resume or decide not to mention it during an interview because "it's not relevant to the job" or "people think you're weird when you first tell them you play competitive ultimate."
Whatever your team role or level of play is, you've gained experience from playing ultimate that can transfer to the job market. You just have to tease out what that experience is and how you're going to talk about it.
After speaking with co-workers, friends, and other members of the ultimate community, I'm excited to share some of the creative ways that people in our community use their love for ultimate to land a job or internship (and no, you don't have to print your resume on a disc!). Hopefully these ideas will help you reflect on your own ultimate journey and what you've learned from it.
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how to include ultimate
First, let's start with the resume. Resumes are about skills and experience, so action verbs (e.g. created, researched, facilitated, presented, developed) are critical in demonstrating what you've done and the skills needed to do it. If you've ever played on an ultimate team, here are some of the action verbs that you are ready to use on your resume:
"Led": Ever held a leadership position on your team, ran a practice, or helped coach another team? That's valuable experience! Write it down.
"Managed": Whether it's managing team money or herding cats managing people, your employer should know you can do it.
"Planned": Have you ever helped organize travel, lodging, or transportation? That shows that you're detail oriented and can be trusted to coordinate big arrangements.
"Worked with": If you've ever collaborated with other teams in your program, or at other schools, you've gained communication skills.
"Organized": Did you ever help plan a tournament or organize a "social event" (read: huge rager) for your teammates? Whether you realize it or not, you learned how to bring people people together in one space, which is a pretty nifty skill to have.
"Taught": Did you ever spend time teaching a rookie how to throw a flick? That takes patience, and shows that you can communicate your ideas to others.
Check out these cut-outs from real people's resumes:
Job secured: Marketing Project Manager
Job secured: Vice President
Job secured: Account Manager
Job secured: Sales & Marketing Project Manager
What Not To Do
Don't trivialize your ultimate experience by putting it in your "Activities" or "Hobbies". Most employers probably aren't very interested in your activities. Instead, place it under "Leadership" or "Additional Experiences" so that it's clear that your ultimate experience is serious.
Don't use a ton of jargon. Plenty of muggles have heard of "ultimate frisbee" but most won't recognize it as only "ultimate" (not yet at least!).
Don't undersell your commitment and dedication to the sport. It's easy to write-off work you've done as busy tasks that anyone could do, but in actuality, these things set you apart. Have you helped plan a tournament or manage a team budget? Sell it!
For your interview, it's good practice to have four to five stories prepared for when the employer asks you questions about times that you demonstrated a certain skill (these are called competency questions).
Show off your skillz
Here's a list of skills that most employers are looking for, all of which you could easily showcase by talking about your ultimate experiences.
Don't go overboard with all ultimate-related stories, but here are some ideas to get the juices flowing so that you have one or two good ultimate stories on-hand:
You are adaptive - Ever taken feedback from a coach or captain and made a positive change?
You are honest - Ever made a mistake on or off the field that you owned up to and then fixed?
You persevere - Ever carried out an idea for a team event or a new practice drill through to fruition?
You're a problem solver - Ever had a snafu headed to a tournament or a tough situation at practice that you calmly found a solution to?
You have strong leadership skills - What's your leadership style within your team? Are you the person who takes charge of the gear order? Have you been elected to a team leadership position? Do you lead by example by showing up to every practice?
You are goal oriented - Did you ever set a team goal and achieve it? Or a personal goal on the field or in training?
You are motivated - Use ultimate to talk about what motivates you. Is it being on a team? Setting personal goals? Or just a love of the sport as a whole?
You are personable - A common interview question asks about what types of people you work well with or what your ideal boss would look like. Talk about co-captains, coaches, or teammates that you've worked with. What's worked for you?
You handle conflict well - Use Spirit of the Game to discuss how you've learned to play a sport without referees. It's a very unique aspect of our sport that you can use to set yourself apart.
You are fun - The people hiring you want to be assured that you're someone they want to spend a lot of time with and who will fit well into the office culture. If they ask, bring up an example that shows that you don't mind making fun of yourself by wearing a creative costume, putting an unnecessary amount of effort into a spirit prize, or choreographing a wacky dance for your team to perform at a tournament. #SOTG
Here's how some ultimate players I talked to said they've used their ultimate experience during an interview:
"I talked about being part of a team & collaborating to get things done, being dedicated and doing workouts out of practice etc. Then I also mentioned my experience with budgeting and fundraising."
Job secured: City Year Teacher
"Taking feedback! Learning how to receive feedback can be so difficult but so crucial to ultimate if you really want to grow as a player. And, taking constructive criticism in the workplace and learning to grow from it is really important."
Job secured: Android Developer
"Teamwork is going to be important wherever you apply."
Job secured: Vet Assistant
Tell a good story
I'm partial to the S-T-A-R interview method, as it has worked for me every time. Here's how it goes:
First describe the Situation, then clearly spell out the Task that you were presented with, next tell the story and the Action that you chose to take in order to fix the problem/improve the process/overcome the challenge, and lastly, finish by telling your interviewers what the Result was (pro-tip: they usually go googly eyed over figures and numbers that prove your action was successful).
Here's an example of the S-T-A-R method in action with an ultimate story:
Interviewer: Amelia, tell me about a time that you made a tough leadership decision.
Me: As you might've seen on my resume, I was the captain of my college ultimate frisbee team.
(Situation) In that roll, I was responsible for running practices, organizing tournament logistics, and managing a budget. My co-captains and I had organized and fundraised money for the team to attend a tournament in Boston, however, the tournament was canceled two days before we were scheduled to leave due to weather.
(Task) So, we had to decide whether or not we should still go.
(Action) I decided that we would go and reached out to high-level teams in the area that we could scrimmage against in order to make sure that the trip would still be worthwhile.
(Result) As a result, we still got to play 4 high-level ultimate teams that we wouldn't have seen before Nationals had we stayed home, and we also bonded as a team!
While it may sound corny to go through the Situation, Task, Action, and Result, it will help you give your interviewers enough information, while still answering the questions and keeping your story concise.
Other General tips
Be sure to do your research! Know what the employer is looking for with the job description, and look for ultimate examples that show why you'd be a good candidate for that specific role.
Also, if you're actively looking for a job, don't forget to ask around within the ultimate community! We're made up of very bright, fun, helpful individuals and asking never hurts.
Now that you know how to market your ultimate skills, go ahead and check out our career's page to see what open positions we have available right now!