Black belt on your resume?

Haakon

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There was a similar thread a couple of years ago from a business point of view, but I was thinking about it from a different angle. I don't have a martial arts business but I was thinking it might be appropriate to put any/all black belt ranks/styles in the education portion of a resume alongside any college degrees or certifications. Many view a black belt as comparable to a undergrad degree, with higher ranks similar to masters or graduate degrees. Many styles require various readings and papers to be written as part of rank advancement as well, so including it under education doesn't seem like a huge stretch.

As competitive as the job market is today I'd think it might help one stand out from the crowd as well. It might help, it might hurt, overall I think it would be a positive though. Any thoughts?
 

IcemanSK

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The problem, as I see it, with putting in MA rank into one's resume is that non-MA folks have no appreciation or understanding of it. There's little they can connect it to except their own hobbies. It says, "I've spent 12 years in this hobby of mine...& I'm good at it," and that's about all. Knitting, bowling, MA...it's all the same to non- MA employers.

In my time in MA I've worked in both blue collar & white collar settings. I've been the grunt & I've been the boss. My MA experiences never impressed a single HR person nor any boss I've ever had. Unless one owns a school, & it's germane to the job applying for, MA is better left off your resume.
 

Bruno@MT

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+1 to that unless the job is a teaching position or something where that experience can come in handy.

At best they don't care. Really, MA is no different from knitting or collecting stamps in that regard. Worst case they'll think your a brawler / troublemaker and decide not to ask you in. This would be like me putting my straight razor hobby on my resume. At best they'll just say it is odd, worst case I'll be labeled a weirdo with an obsession for sharp knives.

The only case where 'd mention it is if I were applying for something where I'd be put in charge of a community (because I am admin for that forum which is roughly the size of MT) or if it was related to the job I applied for (system administrator for the Dovo razor factory)
 

ratman

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I am going to say yes. It shows discipline, commitment, etc. If I were an employer, these are qualities I would look for in an individual. I would list it along with your education.
 

Carol

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I'm not a black belt, but I listed my MA experience in with my hobbies.

I know for a fact that it helped me get my current engineering job.

I'd never list it under education though, and would recommend that others don't as well, unless martial arts is a specific qualification for a job. I've seen a lot of resumes with a lot of crap under "education" by people whose academic credentials are lacking. I don't think very highly of the practice and I know many others don't either. YMMV though.
 

mook jong man

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If your lucky the potential boss might be a martial artist and think its great.
But usually they aren't and will just think your some type of weirdo health nut with no friends.
 

K-man

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I'm not a black belt, but I listed my MA experience in with my hobbies.

I know for a fact that it helped me get my current engineering job.

I'd never list it under education though, and would recommend that others don't as well, unless martial arts is a specific qualification for a job. I've seen a lot of resumes with a lot of crap under "education" by people whose academic credentials are lacking. I don't think very highly of the practice and I know many others don't either. YMMV though.

I agree with Carol. Sports and hobbies go here and you could list your ranking. If the potential employer is interested in MAs it will have meaning, if he is not interested in MAs then there is nothing lost but is does show a life away from work.
Listing a MA rank under education is not appropriate unless the job is in a field where having an understanding of MAs could be seen as integral to the position.
 

jks9199

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Generally... Leave it off the resume today, unless there's a specific reason to include it. Even hobbies don't generally belong on a resume without a good reason for them to be relevant to the job. Remember, the goal of a resume is to get you into an interview, not to land the job.
 

ratman

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Just my thoughts..... most hobbies do not receive certification from a governing body. I.E. quilting, fishing, paintball, remote control cars/planes, softball, flag football, etc. If I received a B.A. in political science and was applying for a job at the post office, would that mean I should list that degree under hobbies since it doesn't apply to the job? I guess I just view MA as more than a hobby. I personally don't look at my B.A. any differently than my martial arts experience. It's taken more commitment, focus and discipline than college ever did.
 

Carol

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Just my thoughts..... most hobbies do not receive certification from a governing body. I.E. quilting, fishing, paintball, remote control cars/planes, softball, flag football, etc. If I received a B.A. in political science and was applying for a job at the post office, would that mean I should list that degree under hobbies since it doesn't apply to the job? I guess I just view MA as more than a hobby. I personally don't look at my B.A. any differently than my martial arts experience. It's taken more commitment, focus and discipline than college ever did.

You can do whatever you like - its your resume. Present it how you like.

Whether your presentation is taken seriously is a different matter. Choose wisely. :)
 

ratman

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You can do whatever you like - its your resume. Present it how you like.

Whether your presentation is taken seriously is a different matter. Choose wisely. :)

Have had the same job for 14 years and it's pretty recession proof so hopefully I don't have too.
 

Tez3

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It can also depend on whether you are male or female. A female putting down she's a black belt will be perceived differently from a man with the same qualification, expecially by non martial artists. If it's going on your CV though definitely under hobbies, sports etc though.

Ratman, what's flag football?
 

ratman

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Ratman, what's flag football?

It's recreational. Non tackle American football. You ususally wear a belt with a flag and if you snatch the flag from your opponent, it's considered a tackle.
 

MBuzzy

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I'd say that it depends on that job and whether you have enough to fill your resume or not. Take a resume writing class if you haven't yet. The most powerful resumes are one page and are filled with hard hitting experience. To some, adding something like a black belt just says that you don't have enough OTHER important things to fill out the resume. If it is a teaching job or something where you think that it may come in handy or say something about your character, go for it. It is certainly a great space filler for any job, because it isn't bad no matter how you slice it, but you have to rack and stack ALL of the things that go on your resume and only include the very best.

Example, if I'm applying for a job, I wouldn't say that I worked for a company as a janitor between the ages of 14-18. But my black belts would rate higher than that. But that is because of the kind of job that I'd be applying for. I could fill enough of the resume with other important things, and to a professional engineering firm, my time as a janitor when I was a teenager means nothing.
 

jks9199

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It's important to remember that, while your black belt (or equivalent) means a lot to you, it doesn't necessarily mean as much to others. Especially since some of the belt mills hand 'em out after 18 months or maybe 2 years to kids who can barely stand up on their own. Obviously, it's relevant if you're applying for a job with a martial arts school. It might be relevant as teaching ability, or to show leadership potential/service especially in younger people. but you don't want to just be throwing "stuff" on your resume to fill lines...

Your resume is your tool to get in the door to sell yourself. In the interview, if asked about activities or hobbies, you might mention the black belt. Or if you notice that the interviewer has a picture from their own training or their kids, as a way to connect. But the black belt just doesn't generally belong on a resume unless it's serving a specific purpose. NOTHING belongs on your resume without a specific purpose! (And, today, especially with the ease of using word processors, you should be pretty much tailoring your resume to each job application.)
 

Grenadier

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How relevant are martial arts to the position that you seek? I wouldn't put it as an actual educational listing, but when it comes to relevant skills, there are certainly times that this is appropriate.

If, for example, you're looking to be hired on as a security guard, or are applying to get into police academy, then by all means, I would certainly list your martial arts experience under the "appropriate skills" listings.

Or, if you were applying for the position of a physical trainer, then martial arts experience could certainly be listed under a similar category. Martial arts almost always have a physical fitness aspect to it, and having the experience can show that you may have more insight in this area than someone who lacks such skills.

If, on the other hand, the martial arts aren't relevant to what you would be doing,
then I wouldn't bother listing it as a relevant skill. Maybe as a hobby, but with CV's and resumes getting longer and longer these days, some might look at it as being fluff.

When I had applied for a postdoctoral position back in 2000, I didn't list my martial arts anywhere on my CV. The same held true when I applied for my current research position in 2002.
 

tempus

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I work in IT and recently update my resume due to outsourcing rumors. Under hobbies I listed out my Black Belt and Personal Training Certification. One day I will use that certification...one day.

Example of what I did. Be curious to see how others listed theirs.
Other Experiences \ Interest
Achieved the rank of Black Belt (Sensei) Nihon Goshin Aikido
National Council on Strength and Fitness
Certified Personal Trainer
Orange County Community College
Fitness Instructor Certification

-Gary
 

Carol

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=== HOBBIES ===

* Computer Literacy Teacher, English as a Foreign Language Teacher - (Charity Name, City, State)

* Kenpo Karate (School Name, City, State)


Copy/paste from my .txt resume at the time. I don't know if I would do the same thing now. I hope and pray that I don't have to find out!
 
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