In practice


Case study: Hurdler

Sarah Quinn is an U23 Irish International Sprint Hurdler and MSc in Accountancy Student at NUI Galway. As part of the NUI Galway Sport Scholarship Dual Career support, Sarah is seeking to develop her professional brand as she pursues a dual career as an athlete and an accountant.

The High Performance Lead of NUI Galway has referred Sarah to the Career Development Advisor (CDA) for Athletes in the university. The aim is to design a CV and a LinkedIn profile which demonstrates her skills, education, experience and ambitions to potential employers. The tool Athlete CV supports Sarah in planning and developing an effective graduate CV and a professional LinkedIn Profile.

Step 1

The CDA meets Sarah to explore her vision and purpose of her CV as an athlete-student in anticipation of her transition from university. Although, athletics is her primary focus for the foreseeable future, she is conscious of the need to have other career opportunities for life after sport. As an MSc student in Accounting, she will be seeking an accountancy traineeship in the near future.

Using the CV for Athletes Checklist (pdf) and her old CV, they review and identify any potential areas for improvement. Sarah applies this advice to her CV focusing on the importance of key words and showcasing her transversal skills throughout all sections. Below is an example of Sarah’s professional profile on her CV which outlines her skills, achievements and her career goal.

Step 2

After updating her CV, the CDA and Sarah begin to develop her LinkedIn profile. The LinkedIn for Athletes Checklist (pdf) and her new CV support this process. They start by reviewing both and discussing how her profile would represent her vision and brand. The LinkedIn profile can be more informal and adding photos can lead to her profile being 7 times more likely to be viewed. The CDA outlines that it was essential to use key words that display her skills and are relevant to the accountancy and sporting sectors she wanted to target.  Below is a sample of Sarah’s LinkedIn profile introduction.

Step 3

The CDA and Sarah identify the differences between the CV and the LinkedIn profile to ensure Sarah was aware how to use both to develop and demonstrate her professional brand. Some of the comparisons for each section are outlined below.

Introduction and Format

  • CV length = 2 pages max., Resume= 1 page. LinkedIn profile= the more relevant content the better for the algorithm search.
  • CV does not require a picture, but it is optional whereas LinkedIn a profile picture is highly recommended.
  • LinkedIn’s “About me” section is more informal, longer and targeting a general sector and skill required. The CV “profile” is directed specifically at one job description and should be altered for every application. Additionally, with less space on the CV the profile is shorter and it is suggested to remove the personal pronoun.


  • Content can be very similar. However, as the athlete becomes experienced in their industry, they can reduce the educational details such as module information on their CV.
  • The education section can be moved on the CV to after the work experience as the athlete become older and more experienced in their industry.
  • Educational institution can be tagged on the athletes LinkedIn profile.

Work Experience

  • The companies the athlete has been employed with can be tagged on LinkedIn enabling users to search the company to gain more understanding of the role.


  • The skills are listed on LinkedIn but cannot be expanded on therefore is it advised to add information on how their relevant skills are developed to the “About me” section on LinkedIn.
  • On LinkedIn, people can endorse your skills.
  • On the CV, how the skills are developed can be outlined and technical skills can be listed, see the example below.


  • References are not listed on LinkedIn.
  • On a CV, “References available on request” can be added.
The athlete has given permission to use her real name in this case study.