Your commitment to triathlon can make you a desirable job candidate—but only if you present it the right way.
Swim. Bike. Run. Day job. Oh, right. The painful reality is that the majority of us have to work a 9 to 5 to sustain our lifestyles. It may seem like your office life and triathlon have nothing in common, but that’s not totally true.
Two human resources and talent acquisition managers, who are also triathletes, weigh in on the best ways to graciously weave in swim, bike, and run during your next professional interview.
Location, Location, Location
We all know location is critical when considering a piece of real estate. It’s also paramount when deciding where to put triathlon on your resume.
“Triathlon falls under ‘hobbies/special interests,’” says Jenniferlyn Kryvicky, an HR talent management specialist for Continental Tires and also a triathlete. “If the athlete is a coach or ambassador for an organization, they can place that under ‘Hobbies,’ too.”
If you don’t already have a “hobby” or “miscellaneous” section on your resume, consider creating one at the bottom of the page. It’s a nice way to add some personal flair to an otherwise skill-heavy document.
Know Your Audience
We all need a paycheck to fund triathlon adventures, but think twice before making it the center of an interview.
Kimberly Glenn-Jemmott, the principal investigator at Lantana Consulting and an Ironman finisher, says that nothing ends an interview faster than prioritizing triathlon above the job’s duties.
Glenn-Jemmott remembers an interview where an applicant said they would like the position largely because it would make their training schedule more flexible. Needless to say, the applicant was not asked back.
Instead of framing the interview to surround how the position can make triathlon participation easier, Glenn-Jemmott advises interviewees to flip the scenario, speaking instead to how their involvement in triathlon makes them a dedicated, organized, and goal-oriented employee.
Choose Your Words Wisely
When adding triathlon to a resume, remember why you’re adding it—not to tout your PRs, but to portray yourself as the hardworking athlete and employee you are.
Both Kryvicky and Glenn-Jemmott recommend tying triathlon to the values and skills needed for the role.
Choose traits you have developed through the sport and also call upon in your professional life: adaptability, quick learner, fast-paced, ability to prioritize, community-oriented, calm under pressure.
Glenn-Jemmott gives bonus points if triathletes describe a way they’ve served through sport, like as an ambassador, mentor, or volunteer.
As interviews crop up both in college and beyond, know that triathlon is a unique activity that you should feel proud to include on a resume. So long as you keep the focus on the job at hand, enjoy educating recruiters about this impressive sport and how its lessons will allow you to succeed in the job for years to come.