As In Sports, Persistence Pays Off In Your Job Search

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

One of the lessons a person learns from participation on a successful sports team is the value of persistence.  In some games a team will be clicking on all cylinders and everything just seems to go right, but in others nothing seems to work.  The key to a successful season is picking yourself up after a defeat, dusting yourself off, and working extremely hard for the next game.  This same strategy can be used in a job search campaign.

If you are actively searching for a new job, you will want to be persistent in your search.  This means working hard to put your best foot forward with each application you submit to a potential employer, dusting yourself off when you receive a rejection letter, and working extremely hard on your next application.

Application Process

Applying for a job is more than just submitting a cover letter and resume; it’s being active and persistent in the process.  This means doing research on the organization and tailoring your cover letter to them.  It also means researching each person within the organization to see if there is a connection between any of them and any your contacts/colleagues.  If so, you will want your colleagues to help you in the process.  Your persistence in each job application could include submitting application materials that are completed in a professional manner, calling the hiring manager to find out more about the job (building a relationship), requesting your colleagues call and recommend you, preparing extremely well for an interview, and properly following up after the interview.

Job Search Process

While you are working hard (and smart) on each job application, you will also want to conduct this same process for several positions simultaneously.  In a full-blown active search, you will want to have dozens of applications in the works at the same time.  Each application will be at different stages of the process so it is key that you are organized and know exactly where you are with each application.  You should have a “job search status form” that identifies both the jobs you have already applied for and the jobs you intend to apply for.

For each of the jobs you have applied for, you will want to keep a list with the name of the organization, the position you applied for, and the status of the search.  This status might include the date the job closes, what information you submitted, and the date of your interview.  As you receive rejection letters, delete those positions from your status form, dust yourself off, and focus on the other applications.

For each job you intend to apply for, list on your status form the name of the organization, the date the position closes, the position, and the status of your application.  Persistence is a good quality in the job search process, but make sure that you are not being overbearing with the hiring manager and balance your persistence with patience.  Some jobs take longer to fill than others.  Understand this, stay active with the process, and persist in your job search.

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 9 books.  Check out his book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at www.SportsCareersInstitute.com.

The Top 10 Interview Questions In College Sports

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Phillip was extremely nervous as he prepared for his upcoming interview.  He’s been a marketing director for an NCAA Division II athletics department for the previous three years and now has an interview for the same position at a lower level Division I institution.  When he was invited for the interview, he began conducting research into the interview process.  In his research, Phillip found a list of the top 10 interview questions that are typically asked during an interview for a position within an athletics department.  He has listed these questions below.

  1. “Walk me through your resume” or “Tell me about yourself”.
  2. What are your strengths?  Weaknesses?
  3. What is your management style?
  4. Why do you want to leave your current position?
  5. What is it about our institution that interests you? (Why do you want to work for our institution?)
  6. What is the purpose of athletics on a college campus?
  7. What is your coaching philosophy (for a coaching position)?
  8. What are your career goals?
  9. What would your last supervisor say about you?
  10. Why should we hire you?

Phillip has always been very organized and prepared.  In his preparations for this upcoming interview, he has written out the answers to each of the interview questions above.  He has practiced reciting these answers and now feels confident that he can deliver the answers both clearly and with enthusiasm.  He has gone so far as to dress in his interview attire and practice rehearsing his answers.  He is extremely professional and wants to come across as such.  He knows that proper preparation is one of the keys to having a successful interview.  He remembers reading that 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 9 books.  Check out his new book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at www.SportsCareersInstitute.com.

The 80-20 Rule for Career Development

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Jon was interested in improving himself and he started reading several books and magazines on success and personal development.  In his readings he came across an article where Brian Tracy mentioned the 80-20 rule.  Tracy would refer to this concept in many situations, but in particular he spoke about 80 percent of the sales in any industry is accomplished by 20 percent to the sales force.  Intrigued by these statistics, Jon decided to further investigate this concept.

It turns out that this concept is attributed to Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto.  In 1906, Pareto used a mathematical formula to describe the distribution of wealth within Italy where 20% of the citizens secured 80% of the wealth.  This was originally known as Pareto’s Principle, but since this formula has become applicable to many other situations, it is now commonly referred to as the 80-20 Rule.

This concept can also be applied to job applicants in the world of college sports.  From my 25+ years of experience in hiring coaches and administrators in college sports, I have noticed that approximately 20 percent of the applicants were both qualified and had professional-looking promotional materials.  In contract, 80 percent of the applicants either did not meet the minimum qualifications for the position or their resume and cover letter was not professional in nature.

You can’t blame a person for applying for a job even if they don’t meet the minimum qualifications, but submitting a resume or cover letter that isn’t professional is inexcusable.  When applying for a job, a person will want to know the basic fundamental processes for the job search process.  This includes knowing your strengths and weaknesses, putting together a quality sales pitch, developing a simple and clear resume, and creating an outstanding cover letter.  These are the minimums, yet far too many people in the job search process either cut corners or they haven’t learned the proper techniques for securing a job.  Learn from Jon’s research and Brian Tracy’s suggestions – to get hired in this tough economy you must become one of the top 20%.  You will want to apply for jobs you’re qualified for, and apply for these jobs using a solid sales pitch, cover letter, and resume.

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 9 books.  Check out his book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at www.SportsCareersInstitute.com.