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Steps to Take on Your Resume and During the Job Search Process if You Were Dismissed

Updated: Feb 8



Being dismissed can feel like a blow to your coaching career, but it doesn't have to derail your job search. Here are some steps a coach can take on their resume and during the job search after a dismissal:


On the Resume:


  • Be factual and professional: Briefly state the dates of your employment with the previous team, avoiding emotional language or negativity. Use action verbs and positive framing to highlight your accomplishments.

  • Focus on achievements: Showcase your positive contributions, emphasizing wins, player development, team spirit improvements, or any other measurable successes. If the reason for dismissal wasn't related to performance, mention that briefly and factually.

  • Emphasize other experiences: If you have previous coaching experience, highlight those successes. Include any relevant certifications, workshops, or volunteer work to demonstrate your dedication to the sport.

  • Quantify Achievements: Use quantifiable metrics and achievements to showcase the impact you've had on teams in the past. This could include win-loss records, player development statistics, or academic performance improvements.

  • Highlight Player Development: Emphasize your commitment to player development, not just in terms of on-field performance but also in terms of character building and academic achievements.


During the Job Search:


  • Reflect on the Previous Experience: Evaluate the circumstances that led to your dismissal and identify areas for personal and professional growth. Be prepared to discuss what you've learned and how you plan to apply those lessons in your next role.

  • Use Your Network: Leverage your professional network, including former colleagues, players, and mentors. Networking can open doors to new opportunities and provide valuable references. Attend coaching conferences, connect with colleagues online, and reach out to your professional network. Inform them of your job search and let them know what kind of coaching opportunities you're interested in.

  • Get references: Secure strong references from colleagues, former players, or mentors who can speak to your coaching abilities and professional character.

  • Apply Strategically: Apply for positions that align with your skills, experience, and coaching philosophy. Tailor your resume and cover letter for each application.

  • Prepare for Interviews: Anticipate questions about the dismissal and have thoughtful, positive responses ready. Focus on your coaching philosophy, achievements, and your commitment to continuous improvement.

  • Be transparent and upfront: During interviews, be honest about your dismissal but avoid dwelling on it. Briefly explain the situation and focus on your strengths and qualifications for the new position.

  • Turn negativity into a positive: Frame your dismissal as an opportunity for growth and learning. Highlight any new skills or insights you gained from the experience.


Additional Tips:


  • Consider consulting a career coach: A career coach can help you navigate the job search process after a dismissal. They can offer guidance on resume writing, interview preparation, and networking strategies.

  • Update your online presence: Ensure your LinkedIn profile and other online platforms are up-to-date and reflect your current career goals. Engage in discussions related to your sport to showcase your ongoing involvement and knowledge.

  • Demonstrate Continued Learning: Showcase any additional certifications, workshops, or courses you've completed since the dismissal. This demonstrates a commitment to staying current in coaching practices.

  • Don't give up: Finding a new coaching job after a dismissal can take time and effort. Stay positive and persistent in your job search.


Remember, being dismissed doesn't define you as a coach. Setbacks are a natural part of any career, and how you handle them can speak volumes about your character and professionalism. By presenting yourself professionally and emphasizing your strengths and accomplishments, you can overcome this challenge and land your next coaching opportunity.


If you need help with your coaching resume, your portfolio, or the interview process, be sure to sign up for one of our job prep packages at The Coaching Portfolio Guide! We provide services that assist with all aspects of the job search process for coaches. Click here to get started today!


Written By: Bill Vasko – CEO, XO Coach

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