Positioning Yourself For Your Next Job

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Periodically, I receive telephone calls or e-mails from people who are seeking advice about their job search. That was the case last March when “David” contacted me about the possibility of applying for a head soccer coaching position. David was an assistant soccer coach at a low-major Division I program on the East Coast and he was thinking about applying for a head coaching position at a mid-major Division I soccer program on the West Coast.

David knew that I was a former Division I athletic director and he wondered how a Division I AD would view his application. He wanted me to be honest with him, so I was. I asked if he knew anyone at the institution – he didn’t. I asked if he knew anyone, who knew anyone at the institution – he didn’t. I asked these questions because the best way to get a job (assuming that you’re qualified) is to have connections with people at the institution. If you don’t have these types of connections, you then need to have the skills and experiences that will make you a very attractive and qualified candidate.

Since David didn’t have any connections within the institution, he now became a bit of a long shot for landing the job. To complicate matters even more, David was trying to make the leap from being an assistant coach at a lower level to a head coach at a higher level. This is a difficult move to make.

So what type of candidate would an athletic director recruit to a position such as this? Typically, a head coaching position will be filled by either (a) someone who is an assistant coach at an equal or higher level of competition, or (b) someone who is a head coach at an equal or next lower level of competition. Of course, there are exceptions to these rules. But these strategies are pretty common hiring practices in both coaching and athletic administration.

For example, if a mid-major university such as Colorado State was looking to hire a coach, they would likely hire an assistant from a major program such as the Big 12 or Pac 12, or hire a head coach from an equal (or slightly lower) level of competition such as the Missouri Valley Conference or the Big Sky Conference. To further this example, take a look at the hiring of the last two Head Men’s Basketball Coaches at Colorado State. In 2007, Tim Miles was hired after leading North Dakota State to success as an independent (he was a head coach from the same Division but at a lower level of competition). Miles had success at CSU and was then hired by Nebraska for their head coaching position in 2012 (he was a head coach from the same Division but CSU is in a lower level conference than Nebraska). Colorado State responded to losing Miles by hiring Larry Eustachy from Southern Mississippi (he was a head coach from the same Division and Southern Mississippi is at the same level of competition).

These two hires are pretty typical for every sport at every level. Athletic Department’s either hire a head coach from an equal or slightly lower level of competition, or hire an assistant from a higher level of competition. The bottom line is, that in order to being hired you need to be qualified for the position, it helps to know the people doing the hiring, and you need to position yourself for the job. David’s desire to make the leap from a lower level assistant to a mid level head coach was unrealistic. And after our conversation, David reasoned that if the mid level is where he wants to be a head coach, he would either need to become a head coach at a lower-level Division I program or as an assistant at a higher-level Division I program. He now understands the importance of positioning.

 

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 or his new book Execute for Success at www.execute4success.com.

*******

#1 Sports Job Book

2nd edition Image

 

In Getting Hired In College Sports you will discover:

  • The types of jobs that exist in college sports
  • How to plan and navigate your career
  • How to create an effective job search campaign 
  • The proper way to create an effective resume, cover letter, and sales pitch
  • How to properly brand yourself
  • Techniques and strategies to prepare for your interview
  • How to properly prepare yourself for the five types of interview questions 
  • How to properly follow-up after the interview in order to influence the decision of the hiring manager

Click Here To Purchase Only $23.95

.
“This book is fantastic – it is very practical for people who want to get into (or advance) in the sports industry.”

 -Greg McDermott
Head Men’s Basketball Coach
Creighton University

 

 


Understanding The Job Search Process

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Mark and Sara are both searching for a job in the sports world.  Mark is a former college football coach whose contract was not renewed after five years and Sara is a recent graduate with a master’s degree in Sports Management.  Both are looking for a job in college sports, but each is at a different stage in their career – how should they proceed?

Mark knows that he wants to continue to coach but he is having a difficult time getting an interview.  Sara on the other hand is confused as to what type of job or career she wants.  They both seek the assistance of a career coach to help them with their search process.

The career coach shares that there are five stages to the job search process:

  1. Assessment Stage
  2. Preparation Stage
  3. Connection Stage
  4. Interviewing Stage
  5. Follow-up Stage

In Mark’s situation, the career coach suggests that since he knows what type of job he is interested in, the majority of his energies should be focused on the preparation and connection stages.  The preparation stage would have him review his cover letter, resume, references, and sales pitch.  He needs to make sure that his sales tools are excellent, and that they are effectively selling him.  The career coach continued by explaining that most jobs are secured through networking, and that the connection stage would help him to be active and effective in networking within the profession.

In Sara’s situation, the career coach suggested that she begin her job search process in the assessment stage.  She needs to understand the various types of jobs that exist in the sports industry, and to understand which type of job best fits her personality, skills, and lifestyle.  The career coach went on to share that during the assessment stage, Shannon will also discover her strengths, weaknesses, skills, and abilities.  These will help her as she identifies what type of career she wants to pursue, and in developing her promotional materials.

The career coach also recommended that both Mark and Sara spend the majority of their attention, at this point, within their specific job search stage, but the coach went on to suggest that they familiarize themselves with the other stages as well.  This is so they will be prepared to interview when the time comes, and to properly follow-up after an interview.

So where should you begin?  If you are lost and not knowing what type of job you want – you’ll start with the assessment stage.  If you know what type of job you want but aren’t getting interviews – you’ll need to assess your situation and focus on both the preparation and connection stages.  And if you are getting interviews but not the job offers – you’ll want to focus on both the interviewing and follow-up stages.  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 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 9 books. Check out his book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at www.sportscareersinstitute.com or his new book Execute for Success at www.execute4success.com.


*******

#1 Sports Job Book

2nd edition Image

 

In Getting Hired In College Sports you will discover:

  • The types of jobs that exist in college sports
  • How to plan and navigate your career
  • How to create an effective job search campaign 
  • The proper way to create an effective resume, cover letter, and sales pitch
  • How to properly brand yourself
  • Techniques and strategies to prepare for your interview
  • How to properly prepare yourself for the five types of interview questions 
  • How to properly follow-up after the interview in order to influence the decision of the hiring manager

Click Here To Purchase Only $23.95

.
“This book is fantastic – it is very practical for people who want to get into (or advance) in the sports industry.”

 -Greg McDermott
Head Men’s Basketball Coach
Creighton University

 

 


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 9 books. Check out his book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at www.sportscareersinstitute.com or his new book Execute for Success at www.execute4success.com.


*******

#1 Sports Job Book

2nd edition Image

 

In Getting Hired In College Sports you will discover:

  • The types of jobs that exist in college sports
  • How to plan and navigate your career
  • How to create an effective job search campaign 
  • The proper way to create an effective resume, cover letter, and sales pitch
  • How to properly brand yourself
  • Techniques and strategies to prepare for your interview
  • How to properly prepare yourself for the five types of interview questions 
  • How to properly follow-up after the interview in order to influence the decision of the hiring manager

Click Here To Purchase Only $23.95

.

“I have recommended this book to many aspiring sports administrators. A must read for anyone whom has a goal of working in athletic administration”


-Bill Fusco
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University

 


The Importance of a Cover Letter

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

I was having dinner a while back with a friend who is the president of a professional sports team. One of his major duties is to hire the administrative and sales staff. Since I had been an athletic director at the Division I level, and had written a book about the proper techniques people should use during the job search process, I wanted to compare notes between hiring at the major college level and at the professional sports level.

I was truly shocked when he shared with me that many of the resumes that he receives are submitted without a cover letter, and of the cover letters that he does receive, many are addressed with a generic salutation such as – “To Whom it May Concern” or “Dear Hiring Manager”. I really shouldn’t have been too surprised because I had received my share of those types of letters during the several hundred job searches I conducted.

As I was shaking my head in disbelief I asked him how he handles the applications that come in with the non-existent letter or with the generic written salutation. Quickly, without even a bit of hesitation, or a blink of an eye, he said that they automatically go into the rejection pile. This, too, is how I handled these types of applications at the collegiate level.

An application without a cover letter is almost always rejected. An application with a generic salutation such as “To Whom it May Concern” has a better chance than no letter, but still you’re fighting an uphill battle. The purpose of the cover letter is to show the search committee how you meet the qualifications, why you’d be a good fit for the job, and it allows you to sell yourself. If you don’t properly sell yourself in your cover letter, you are missing a huge opportunity and you’re putting yourself behind your competition. So next time you apply for a job, take the time to find out who to address the letter to and then sell yourself. Show the search committee how you’re qualified and why you’re a good fit. Remember, ultimately the job will go to the candidate who is best prepared and who effectively executes the basics of the job search 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 or his new book Execute for Success at www.execute4success.com.


*******

#1 Sports Job Book

2nd edition Image

 

In Getting Hired In College Sports you will discover:

  • The types of jobs that exist in college sports
  • How to plan and navigate your career
  • How to create an effective job search campaign 
  • The proper way to create an effective resume, cover letter, and sales pitch
  • How to properly brand yourself
  • Techniques and strategies to prepare for your interview
  • How to properly prepare yourself for the five types of interview questions 
  • How to properly follow-up after the interview in order to influence the decision of the hiring manager

Click Here To Purchase Only $23.95

.

“Your book and your jobs blog are great! I used the book to prepare for a job that was listed on your blog and got it!! Now we are doing well and employed, thanks for all you do Dr. G.”


-Sara Jones
Aquatics Manager
University of Washington


Strategies For Becoming a College Coach

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Travis was both excited and nervous as he sat in the lobby waiting for his appointment with Coach Smith. He was excited because in a couple of minutes he would be visiting with one of the top coaches in college sports. Travis had scheduled an informational interview so he could find out more about the coaching profession in hopes that he, too, could someday be a successful coach.

As Coach Smith entered the lobby he greeted Travis with a big smile and a firm handshake. From there they made their way back to his office and Travis was in awe as he saw all of the trophies, championship photos and awards Coach Smith had lining his office walls. The hospitable coach graciously said, “have a seat Travis, I’m glad we’re able to get together.” Travis was nervous as he asked his first round of informational questions.

The conversation truly gave Travis some insight into the profession, and he now knew he definitely wanted to be a college coach. Nearly a half-hour into their conversation Coach Smith shared a book with Travis entitled “Getting Hired in College Sports.” It was a book on career development and outlined the formula that many coaches and administrators have used when they were breaking into the industry. In short, the book suggested that there are three broad areas a person should focus on as they develop a strategy for becoming a coach.

  • Learn all that you can about your sport
  • Begin to network within the industry
  • Gain experience

Learn All That You Can

Beginning your career in college coaching is an exciting time. You will need to prepare yourself to eventually become an expert in your sport. Research shows that if a person wants to become an expert in a particular activity, they will need approximately 10,000 hours of experience. This experience will include learning all you can about your subject; such as reading all you can about your subject, listening to audio programs about your craft, watching videos by expert coaches, and attending coaching clinics. You will want to learn the proper skills and techniques for teaching and coaching your sport, and you will want to learn the strategies and schemes for effective performance. These are some of the suggestions that are outlined in the book “Execute for Success.”

Begin To Network

Networking is one of the most important elements for getting hired in any industry. This is because people want to hire employees who they know and trust. Networking is building friendships and relationships with others within your profession. These friends/colleagues should help one another with advice, strategy, and emotional support. Quite often, people will get to know each other through working in the same organization, by working sports camps and clinics, through attending games or tournaments, and through attending regional or national conventions.

Gain Experience

Keep in mind that having a successful career in any profession is a journey and not a race. Building a career takes time if done right. Be patient and work your way up. Prove yourself as a passionate and professional coach. The following are some of the types of jobs that people are able to secure in order to start their coaching career and gain experience – graduate assistant, volunteer assistant, director of operations, small college assistant, student assistant, student manager, high school coach, or junior high coach. There is not one single right way to begin your coaching career. The key is to work hard, learn all you can about your sport, network, and be patient as you work your way up within the profession.

It didn’t Travis long to break into college coaching. He used the advice Coach Smith provided, and the tips and strategies he uncovered in the job search book. Travis first became a student assistant, worked several summer camps and clinics, and he finally became a graduate assistant. Travis has a bright future as he is following his passion for coaching.
 

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 or his new book Execute for Success at www.execute4success.com.


*******

#1 Sports Job Book

2nd edition Image

 

In Getting Hired In College Sports you will discover:

  • The types of jobs that exist in college sports
  • How to plan and navigate your career
  • How to create an effective job search campaign 
  • The proper way to create an effective resume, cover letter, and sales pitch
  • How to properly brand yourself
  • Techniques and strategies to prepare for your interview
  • How to properly prepare yourself for the five types of interview questions 
  • How to properly follow-up after the interview in order to influence the decision of the hiring manager

Click Here To Purchase Only $23.95

.

“This book is fantastic – it is very practical for people who want to get into (or advance) in the sports industry.”
-Greg McDermott
Head Men’s Basketball Coach
Creighton University