The Coffee House Mentor: An Overview of the Job Search Process

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Coffee-Shops-Amsterdam-Ban-e1321980515514The music obnoxiously blared as the alarm clock read 6:45am.  Unlike most days, Cece Davis popped out of bed and was excited for the day.  You see, Cece has been looking for a job for several months now, and today she was joining a careers mentoring group headed by Rob Taylor, a retired college athletic director.  Rob has become known as the Coffee House Mentor because the group meets every Tuesday morning at 10am at the Rose Street Coffee House, and every mentee he has mentored has gotten a job.

Rob Taylor had a 40-year career as a coach and athletic director, and he is now giving back to the community by mentoring five young people who are at various stages of their careers.  The group is limited to five people at a time because Rob believes he is most effective as a teacher in a small group setting such as this.

As Cece arrived at the coffee shop, Rob introduced her to the other four mentees.  There was Lizzie Sather who has been with the group for three and a half weeks after being downsized in the computer industry.  Next to her was Steve Huntley who is a senior at State University and is majoring in Finance.  Continuing to move around the room was Rick Edwards.  Rick was a teacher at the local high school and was considered to be a rising star as a basketball coach.  When a new athletic director was hired, Rick’s coaching contract was not renewed and the new AD appointed himself as the new coach.  As the introductions continued, Brian Graham was next in line.  While Brian is really talented in designing and operating websites, he is painfully quiet and shy.  He was the Vice President of Operations for a three person up-start website design company.  When the recession hit, people tightened their belts, and the company had to close its doors.

As a way of introducing Cece to the group, Rob asked the group to share with her an overview of the job search process.  They identified 10 elements that are necessary for conducting a successful job search campaign.  These elements are from the book “Getting Hired in College Sports”.  It’s a “how to” book for the job seeker and Rob requires each mentee to buy a copy so they can use the worksheets that are included.  As they began this week’s session, the group shared with Cece the following 10 elements that a job seeker must know, and must execute perfectly, in order to secure a job.  These elements include:

  • Properly Assessing Your Skills, Abilities, Strengths and Traits.
  • Completing The Career Planning Guide.
  • Establishing The Target Markets For Your Job Search Campaign.
  • Effectively Promoting Yourself Through a Cover Letter, Resume, References, and Networking Strategies.
  • Developing Your Personal Sales Pitch.
  • Completing Your Interview Preparation Form.
  • Preparing To Answer Interview Questions.
  • Organizing Your Job Search Campaign.
  • Using Proven Strategies For Your Job Interviews.
  • Being Strategic in Following-up After Your Interview.

In the next few weeks, the story of the Coffee House Mentor will continue to unfold in this blog as we discuss each of these 10 job search elements in much greater detail.  For more information about the job search process, please contact Howard Gauthier at or go to our website at

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



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