Here's what job seekers can learn from Tom Brady's post-college résumé
- Before winning seven Super Bowls Tom Brady needed a back-up plan — a corporate résumé .
- We talked to experts about Brady’s résumé and how it could be improved
- Expectations for résumés are higher than they’ve ever been before, according to TopResume expert.
- Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.
After seven Super Bowl wins, Tom Brady doesn’t need a résumé to showcase his professional accomplishments — but over two decades ago, he almost did.
Before the quarterback was drafted in 2000, he wasn’t so sure he’d have a future in football, so he created a résumé.
In 2014, Brady shared a photo of his post-college résumé with his 2.4 million Facebook fans. The caption read: “Found my old resume! Really thought I was going to need this after the 5th round. #tbt.”
The University of Michigan grad was ultimately selected in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft and went on to become an NFL superstar.
Insider asked résumé-writing experts to weigh in on Brady’s résumé. Experts said Brady did some things well on the document, but other areas could use some improvement.
“The bones of Tom’s resume — previous employers, dates of employment, contact information, education — are good,” Tina Nicolai, Executive Resume Writer/Career Coach and Founder of Résumé Writers’ Ink told Insider. “One area Tom could expand on is adding metrics showcasing his achievements. Competing in today’s job market requires measurement in telling success stories.”
Amanda Augustine, a career expert at TopResume, agrees that the core content “isn’t bad.” However, she says he’s missing some specific sections, including a “core competencies and technical skills” section.
Job applicants need to emphasize the skills they learned
The TopResume expert said that, in a post-pandemic world, employers are looking for specific skills, in particular flexibility, problem solving, and teamwork — characteristics Brady demonstrated as a quarterback.
“If Brady was graduating today and preparing for a job search, I’d urge him to look for opportunities to demonstrate these skills throughout his résumé: in his professional summary, work experience, and when detailing his accomplishments on the football team,” Augustine told Insider.
Brady could also add more relevant information and avoid overwhelming the reader by formatting the résumé as a two-pager, according to Augustine.
“Gone are the days when entry-level candidates had to stick to a one-page résumé,” Augustine said. “In fact, a 2018 study found recruiters are 2.3 times as likely to prefer two-page résumés over one-page résumés — regardless of a candidate’s job level.”
Both experts also agree Brady needs to simplify the document’s header. Nicolai says by eliminating the address lines, you could save up to four lines.
“résumé ‘real estate’ is at a premium particularly in the opening,” Nicolai said.
A proper résumé has become increasingly more important
Brady’s name at the top of the résumé could also use some flare, according to Nicolai. She suggests he adds some color or a different font to help his name stand out more to recruiters.
“Who we are and how we show up on paper, starting with our name, is the beginning of making a baseline connection,” Nicolai told Insider. “If Tom were to redo his résumé today, I’d suggest re-branding and customizing his ‘personal brand,'”
Both experts agree that as the job market has become increasingly competitive, résumé standards have risen since Brady made his corporate résumé.
“This résumé style was very popular in the 1990s when jobs were plentiful and recruiters and hiring leaders had more manpower and time to read through résumés,” Nicolai says. “But if this were used today, in 2021, Tom would most likely end with his résumé at the bottom of the pile.”
If Brady were graduating today, Augustine said he should look to emphasize his experience and adaptability when it comes to working remotely, as well.
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