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How to Improve Your Football CV

In the highly competitive football job market, your CV can make or break your chances of securing interviews and progressing past the first stage in your search for a role. If you’ve been applying for jobs but haven’t been successful in landing interviews, you might be wondering why. 

Many times, it comes down to your football CV. Piero Carrino, Managing Director of Football Careers, explains:


“We see hundreds of CVs each week from managing recruitment campaigns and from people applying for roles through our job board. The football world is full of qualified candidates with a lot to offer, but sometimes their CV doesn’t do them justice.


“To succeed, you need an eye-catching CV that tells recruiters why they should be interested in you.”

Over the years, our team has supported thousands of football professionals in their careers, reviewing thousands of CVs in the process. 

Here, Piero Carrino discusses what to avoid in your football CV and shares advice on how to improve it.


Introduce yourself — and be specific!


Football recruiters often find themselves with a high volume of CVs to address when they advertise a job. Piero says:


“If someone’s looking at your CV, they’re going to look at it quickly — in maybe 30 seconds, you’ve got to really sell yourself. Rather than going straight into your qualifications and experience, include a personal profile.


“This is a short biography that introduces you to recruiters, explaining your background and what makes you special as a candidate. This goes at the top of your CV and will be the first thing employers read.”

What to avoid in your personal profile


Your personal profile is a place to encapsulate what makes you stand out — so it’s important to be specific. Avoid:

❌ Being vague: this is your chance to put your unique traits in the spotlight

❌ Lengthy content: a personal profile should help recruiters quickly understand your background, so keep it short and sharp

Piero elaborates: “A lot of candidates take a general approach and list qualities like honesty, trustworthiness, and so on. While that may be true of you, general descriptors like that appear quite often in football CVs, so they don’t necessarily help you stand out.”

What to include in your personal profile


Think about your experience, qualifications, and achievements. What sets you apart? What do you specialise in? Do you hold a highly sought-after qualification? In your personal profile:

Include two to three bullet points that tell employers why they should be interested in you
Sell your strengths: this is the first thing employers will read, so use the opportunity to make a memorable first impression

Piero offers an example: “It may be that you’ve been successful in developing young players to help them progress to a first-team environment. That could be an important point you want to get across right away. Key achievements, like guiding a team to promotion, and particularly relevant qualifications (like a football degree) are also good to include.”

Bespoke CVs from Football Careers
Pay attention to your CV’s structure

In addition to helping you present your qualifications, experience, and achievements in a professional manner, a well-structured CV allows recruiters to quickly learn about you and what makes you a valuable candidate.

Common mistakes in CV structure

One of the most common mistakes our team sees in CV structure is placing important information in a section where it isn’t immediately obvious.

Piero explains: “Sometimes a candidate has great coaching qualifications, but they’re buried at the bottom of their CV. Make sure your football CV is structured in a way that gets all the key information across at the top. Then think about the content you’ll include in the body of the CV: your education and qualifications, your experience, and so on.”

Advice for structuring your CV

CV structure can differ from candidate to candidate. One factor is the candidate’s experience: a person with a longer or more complex career history would likely choose a different CV structure and format from what a recent graduate may use.

The area of football you work in also influences your CV structure. For example, a football coach’s CV typically prioritises coaching experience and qualifications, while a performance analyst seeking roles in their field will want to draw attention to their expertise in performance analysis — even if they also have coaching experience.

Piero advises: “Focus on the type of role you’re seeking. Say you’re applying for a youth development position: you want to ensure your youth development experience comes across immediately. In your coaching experience section, you can detail the role’s responsibilities and any key achievements associated with it. You might also include a written endorsement from someone you’ve worked with in youth development.”

Keep your CV an appropriate length

A CV that is too long or too short may not impress a potential employer. Piero comments:

“We see CVs that are several pages long when they could be a lot shorter. Recruiters and clubs don’t always have time to read a lengthy document when they’re filtering CVs. On the other hand, a CV that’s too short might not give a recruiter enough information to want to engage with the candidate further.”

Recommended CV length

Piero offers this advice on CV length: “Candidates with extensive career histories or varied qualifications and experience sometimes need a longer CV. When we’re working with such a client, we usually recommend a graphic brochure CV, which is split into sections to allow space for all the different facets or periods of their career. But for most candidates, we recommend keeping to a two-page CV.”

What to do if your CV is too long

If you’re trying to shorten a long CV, consider the career history information you’ve included. Piero notes:

Focus on your most recent and relevant positions and outline your responsibilities and achievements in those. You can still talk about roles from your early career in a summary format but if you’ve got a lot of experience, going into detail about positions you held many years ago adds unnecessary length to your CV. This structure also helps to highlight your career progression over the years.”

What to do if your CV is too short

A CV that is too short or lacking in detail may not give recruiters enough insight into you as a candidate. Piero explains:

“If a CV only has basic information about the roles you’ve held, recruiters don’t know what responsibilities or successes you’ve had within your positions. Adding written endorsements from people you’ve worked with helps to highlight your qualities and brings a lot of value.”

A good football CV gives potential employers a clear picture of you as a candidate. When writing your CV, plot the structure beforehand. Think about the types of roles you’re seeking and plan your CV content accordingly. Don’t be hesitant to draw attention to what makes you special as a candidate — your CV is one of the most important resources in your toolkit in the football job market.

This content is a continuation of advice originally shared on an episode of the Modern Soccer Coach podcast, featuring host Gary Curneen and Piero Carrino. Listen to the podcast episode in full here.

Interested in elevating your football CV? Find out more about our bespoke, professionally designed CVs or contact us to learn more.

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    Since utilising my CV I have had interviews at a number of English Premier League and SPFL clubs before accepting a role in the USA. It is definitely a service which I will continue to use.

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