By Dr. Howard Gauthier
Brian was beginning to look for another job. He asked his friend Joyce, who works in the career center at a university, if she would review his resume and cover letter. She agreed to analyze his documents and told Brian she would provide him with honest and professional feedback.
Brian worked on his resume and cover letter late into the night and dropped them by Joyce’s office the next morning. Later that day Joyce contacted Brian and stated “I like how your resume is simple, clear and easy to read.” “These are the key elements to writing an effective resume.” “You know, most employers will only spend between 15-20 seconds reviewing a resume.” Joyce is correct. Your resume must convey to the hiring manager or the search committee, within 15-20 seconds, how you meet the qualifications for the position.
Joyce went on to discuss Brian’s cover letter. She shared that the cover letter, like your resume, should be viewed as a marketing tool. Its purpose is to sell you, provide insight into you as a person, and show how you are a good fit for the position. They continued to discuss the proper formatting of the cover letter and how the letter needs to be individually tailored to each position you apply for.
She then asked Brian if he had a list of references and a personal sales pitch. Your reference list usually includes the name, title, and contact information of people who will provide positive and outstanding comments about you to the hiring manager. Your references should be able to really sell you. Many people think they have to list their current boss (or former boss) as a reference. If you and your boss don’t see eye-to-eye on things, don’t list them. You can’t afford to have a negative reference. List only three people (unless they request more), and preferably people who can influence the hiring decision.
Your personal sales pitch should include three sections that can be used individually or collectively to answer interview questions. These three sections include (a) your strengths, traits, skills, and abilities, (b) a summary of your resume, and (c) your current situation.
Joyce wrapped up their conversation by reiterating to Brian that there are four main items that you should use to promote yourself: (a) your resume, (b) your cover letter, (c) having the proper references, and (d) having a sales pitch that is organized and really sells you. Having these four marketing tools are essential for getting an interview, and being successful in your interview.
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.
Prepare Yourself For a Job in Sports
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
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“I have recommended this book to many aspiring sports administrators. A must read for anyone whom has a goal of working in athletic administration”
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University