Cleaning Up Your Social Media Act

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Misti was excited about the possibility of working for one of the most prestigious athletic departments in the country.  Two weeks ago the department’s football team cracked the top 10 in the national rankings and it appears the team will have a chance to play in a BCS bowl again at the end of this season.  The excitement, atmosphere, and buzz that engulfed the campus definitely sparked Misti’s desire to work for this larger-than-life organization.  Her enthusiasm and preparation came across as she interviewed for a position as an assistant in the compliance department.  In fact, her interview went so well that one of the search committee members told her that they were excited to have her as part of the department and couldn’t wait for her to start.

But – She didn’t get the job!!

You see, Misti was a fun loving person who was always the life of the party.  This was obvious when the committee did a background check on her social media, and found several questionable photos and discussions on her Facebook page.  A prestigious athletic department like this just couldn’t take the risk of hiring someone who could damage their reputation.  Misti was crushed, but she was also determined to change how people viewed her image.

The first thing Misti wanted to do was to find out what her social media sites showed, and then set a plan to clean it up.  One of her first findings was a research study that showed that 91% of employers use social media networking sites to screen prospective employees.  Of the sites that were searched, 76% were conducted on Facebook, 53% on Twitter, and 48% on LinkedIn.  But unlike Misti’s photos and discussions, the main reason for not hiring based on social media was due to finding discrepancies about a person’s qualifications.  Lying about their qualifications was the number one reason for a candidate having been rejected as an applicant.

Through further investigation, Misti found three ways to check her social networking sites.  The first is to enter a person’s name into a Google search and look at the images that come up.  If an image is displayed that doesn’t portray you in a positive manner, you need to delete the image or find out where the image is posted and have it removed.  A second method is to establish a profile through the “Me on the Web” site that is on Google’s dashboard.  Misti found that the third method for checking her social media is through the website Reppler.com.  Reppler is a company that helps you manage your online image by having you run a test on various social networking sites.  The test shows your information in four areas: (a) Your impression in social media, (b) your networks, (c) any inappropriate content that was found, and (d) shows you any privacy and security risks that you’re exposed to.  Misti has cleaned up her online presence and is now happily employed in athletic compliance.

Remember, ultimately the job will go to the candidate who is prepared and who effectively executes the basics of the job interview process. In all you do, you will want to EXECUTE FOR SUCCESS!

Howard Gauthier is an Associate Professor of Athletic Administration at Idaho State University.  He is a former collegiate athletic director and collegiate basketball coach.  He is also an author of 8 books.  Check out his book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at www.SportsCareersInstitute.com.

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The Resume, Your Marketing Tool

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Quite often when a job opens up within a college athletic department there will be more than 50 people who apply for the position.  In fact, sometimes there could be more than 100 or even 200 applicants.  With so many applicants, how do you get your resume noticed?

In the typical search, many of the applicants don’t meet the basic requirements of the position.  Still others will submit resumes that are hard to read.  Therefore, you need to be able to present a resume that is professional, clearly shows how you meet the qualifications of the position, and is easy to read.  In fact, your resume needs to sell you within 10-20 seconds.  This is the length of time that most search committee members will take to initially view a resume.  If the resume catches their attention, the members of the committee will spend more time reviewing your credentials.

Many people will tell you that a resume should be one to two pages in length at a maximum.  I somewhat disagree. A resume needs to be long enough to show your experiences and accomplishments, but short enough that a potential employer will read it.  As a person advances in their career, their resume will grow in length.  My personal resume is four pages long.  When I first graduated from college my resume was one or two pages, but as new experiences and accomplishments came along the resume grew.  I feel strongly that if I were to limit my resume to two pages, I would severely hinder my opportunity to sell myself to a perspective employer.

Your resume needs to effectively use fonts, bullets, bold, and underlining to get the search committee to see what you want them to see.  People naturally view written pages from the top of the page and down the left margin.  Therefore, these areas need to have your most important information.  Writing lengthy sentences and paragraphs are a sure-fire way to lose the interest of the reader, and they will usually stop reading your resume.  In other words, your resume needs to be viewed as a marketing tool that promotes you as a job applicant.  This marketing tool needs to be pleasing to view, and needs to easily show how you meet the qualifications of the position.  If you cannot show how you meet the qualifications of the job within 10-20 seconds, you won’t be a finalist for the position.  In essence, your resume is an important marketing tool used for showing your qualifications.  Your resume, along with the cover letter, form the basic marketing tools for effectively selling yourself to the search committee.  If either tool is not constructed properly, you most likely will not receive the opportunity to interview.  The key is that you know the basic fundamental skills that are associated with each stage of the job search process and that you effectively perform each of these skills.  In all you do, you will want to EXECUTE FOR SUCCESS!

Howard Gauthier is an Associate Professor of Athletic Administration at Idaho State University.  He is a former collegiate athletic director and collegiate basketball coach.  He is also an author of 8 books.  Check out his new book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at www.SportsCareersInstitute.com.

Preparing For Your Interview: Make Sure You Do Your Research

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Interviewing for a job is both an art and a science. Interviewing is a science in that there are definite techniques that a person can use that will give them an advantage in the job search process. It is an art, however, in how you present the techniques. Together, the use of these proper techniques, and how you execute these techniques, will determine how successful you will be in the interview process.

Take Keith for example.  He is a recent graduate from a sports management program and has a job interview scheduled for a position in sports marketing.  As he prepares for the interview, he decides to review the book his sports management class used for orienting the students to the job search process.  In particular, he wanted to know how to properly prepare for the interview.

Keith found a section in the book that suggests that a person should prepare for an interview by completing a form entitled “The Pre-Interview Research Form”.  This form is a worksheet and it is designed to help a person research and uncover important information about the position they are interviewing for, about the organization, and about the search committee.

In completing the worksheet, a person begins by identifying the hiring manager and their contact information. They continue by identifying the members of the search committee and their association with the athletic department.  Once this information is gathered, you will continue by answering, at a minimum, the following questions:

  • Who has influence with the hiring manager?
  • What are some of the issues facing the organization?
  • What are the strengths of the organization?
  • What are the weaknesses?
  • Who will make the hiring decision?
  • What are their concerns about you as a candidate?
  • Do you know anyone who knows people on the committee?
  • Who else are they interviewing?

This information is important in helping you to prepare your answers to the various questions that you will be asked during your interview process.  It will also help you to be able to ask probing questions when you meet with the search committee. The information you gather from these probing questions can then be used during the follow-up phase in an attempt to influence the committee’s hiring decision.

In the end, Keith was extremely organized, wowed the committee, and was offered the job.  He knew exactly what they were looking for in a candidate, and he was prepared to answer the interview questions in a way that showed that he truly understood the challenges that faced the organization.  He also knew when the other candidates were interviewing and adjusted his follow-up correspondence to have the maximum impact and influence.  In other words, Keith did his homework and was extremely organized in his approach.

Remember, ultimately the job will go to the candidate who is prepared and who effectively executes the basics of the job interview process. In all you do, you will want to EXECUTE FOR SUCCESS!

Howard Gauthier is an Associate Professor of Athletic Administration at Idaho State University.  He is a former collegiate athletic director and collegiate basketball coach.  He is also an author of 8 books.  Check out his book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at www.SportsCareersInstitute.com.