Four Promotional Tools Needed For Your Job Search

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.


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Prepare Yourself For a Job in Sports

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

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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”
-Bill Fusco
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University

 

Targeting The Job You Want

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Some people know exactly what type of job they want, and at which organization. However, most people only know what type of industry they prefer to work in, such as working in sports. If you’re one of the lucky ones who knows exactly what type of job you want, and where it’s located, you have an advantage in the job search process. You have a clear career goal, and you can begin to network your way into that organization.

However, for the vast majority of job seekers, they need to identify where they want to be and in what capacity. If you are one of the job seekers that fall into this second category, I will outline the process you need to go through in order to target the job you want. In my book, Getting Hired in College Sports, I present three worksheets that the reader is asked to complete that will help you to narrow your focus on the type of job you want and the organization where you want to work. Once you know this information, you can begin to network your way into that organization.

The first worksheet I present is entitled “Establishing Your Target Market”. It asks you to identify the type of position you want (i.e. coaching or administration), and then identify the organizations you want to pursue. You identify these organizations by answering five questions about what criteria you prefer in an institution. You are first asked about the type of sports organization where you want to work. This could include a college athletics department, a conference office, a recreation department, or any other type of organization. You are then asked to identify if your ideal organization is a private institution, a public institution, a 2-year college, or a 4-year university. The third question has you identifying the level of competition (NCAA Division I, NAIA, etc.), and the fourth question asks about the geographic location. Finally, the fifth question asks if you prefer to work and live in a rural setting, a metropolitan setting, or somewhere in between. Once you have identified this information, you will move on to the second worksheet, which is entitled “Institutions Within Your Target Market.”

This second worksheet has you identify each organization that meets the criteria from your first worksheet.  For example, if you are interested in working at an NCAA Division I institution within the state of Washington, your target market will include Eastern Washington University, Gonzaga University, Seattle University, University of Washington, and Washington State University.  If your criteria also includes that you want to coach football, then you have just narrowed your list to Eastern, UW, and WSU.  Once you have listed every institution that meets your criteria, you have just created your target market. You will then want to move on to the third worksheet, entitled “Target Market Contact List.”

This third worksheet has you select one of the organizations within your target market, and identify the name of the contact person you will want to network with as you strive to make in-roads into that organization. Once you have identified the individual, you will then want to list their name, title and contact information on your worksheet. You will complete a contact sheet for every organization within your target market. Once you have completed all three worksheets, you will then want to get creative and develop a strategy of how you will network with these people. This process will help you to build relationships with the people working in the colleges where you want to work. And knowing the people within the organization is the key to getting the job.

This process sounds simple, but it will take some real introspection on your part to understand what you really want for your career. It will also take some homework on your part, and it will take a creative strategy for you to build your network to where you have an advantage in the job search process when your ideal job opens up.

For more information about the job search process, please contact Howard Gauthier at howard@sportscareersinstitute.com or go to our website at www.SportsCareersInstitute.com.  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 or his new book Execute for Success at www.execute4success.com.


*******

Best Selling Sports Careers 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

 

 


Four Steps in Planning Your Sports Career

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Jennifer and Rob are in their final semester of their master’s degree program in Sports Management. They are meeting regularly in an attempt to prepare themselves for their upcoming job searches. This will be their second meeting as they met earlier in the week and completed several questionnaires and inventories that helped them to understand their personal strengths, weaknesses, traits, and abilities.

In today’s meeting they are focusing on gaining a clear understanding of how they should plan for their sports careers. In preparation for today’s meeting, they assigned themselves the task of interviewing someone who’s currently working in the type of job they ultimately desire for their own career. Jennifer can see herself as an athletic director at the Division II level and Rob would like to become a Division I head men’s basketball coach. Therefore, Jennifer interviewed the AD at her school to find out how she should pursue a career in athletic administration and Rob interviewed the head men’s basketball coach.

As Jennifer and Rob shared the findings from their informational interviews, a common theme began to surface. What they both discovered was that you need to be very strategic and intentional in your career planning. The first step is that you need to identify your dream job. This includes defining the type of position you want, at what level, and in what part of the country. These parameters could change as you gain experience, but for now these criteria are a good starting place.

Once you have a fairly clear vision of what you ultimately want as a career, the second step is for you to determine how you are going to attain this goal. What type of education, experiences, and skills will you need in order to be hired for this position? You will want to prepare yourself by seeking these experiences and skills.

The third step to attaining your dream job is to properly position yourself along the way. Working backwards from your ultimate goal, you will want to identify the type of job(s) that will lead to your dream job.  For Rob, in order to be a Division I head coach, he will need to be a Division I assistant coach. For Jennifer to be a Division II athletic director, she will either need to be a Division I assistant athletic director or a Division II associate athletic director. These jobs would be their “One-Position Removed” jobs.

Based on this concept of working backwards, what type of job would lead to your one-position-removed job? For Rob, he needs to work as an entry level Division I assistant or a head coach at a lower level. He needs to gain experience recruiting and needs to network his way into that one-position-removed job. For Jennifer, since she wants to be an athletic director, and her one-position-removed job is as an assistant or associate AD, she will want to work in a position that can elevate her to one of these positions.

You will want to continue to work backwards in this manner until you reach your current position or situation. Once you reach your current position, you now have a clear path for your career. So what’s your next career move? This will be the fourth step in the career path process. What steps do you need to take to position yourself for that next job in your career plan? Do you need to gain additional formal education? Do you need to reposition yourself in the industry? Or maybe you need to get an entry-level job, a graduate assistantship, or even a volunteer position?   What skills do you need to develop? How is your networking going? You must have a networking plan that will help lead to your next job, and ultimately to your dream job. This four-step career-planning concept is one of the many strategies I outline in my book “Getting Hired in College Sports.” If you need help with your career, do what Jennifer and Rob did, schedule an informational interview and ask questions. Please let me know if I can help you in any way.

 

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.


*******

Best Selling Sports Careers 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

 

 


Why You Need To Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

The butterflies are swirling around in your stomach as you enter the interview room. The search committee looks daunting, but you are prepared, so not to worry. After the introductions and some pleasantries, the committee starts firing questions at you – “Why do you want to work for us?, What are your experiences in sports marketing (or whatever position you are interviewing for)?”, “What are your strengths?”, and “What are your weaknesses?” The questions just keep on coming.

Wait a minute! Let’s back up. What are your strengths and what are your weaknesses? Sounds easy right? You better be prepared. These questions quite often trip people up. You do not want to hesitate and make the committee think you are not prepared. You also do not want to list the wrong strengths. But, you definitely do not want to blurt out the wrong weakness. This can kill the interview. If you say that you do not have any weaknesses, the committee will know you are not telling the truth. If you fib in your interview, what else will you lie about once you are working for them? This is as much a character question as it is a fit question. What skills and abilities do you bring to the company? This is an opportunity for you to really sell yourself.

During your interview you need to be prepared to share your top five skills and abilities. Maybe you are a hard worker or maybe you are extremely skilled in marketing through social media. Whatever your strengths are, be prepared to sell them when the timing is right. As for your weakness, be prepared to share a weakness that will not hurt your chances of getting the job. If you do not have a lot of experience, do not answer the weakness question by stating that you lack experience in the industry. This shows that you might not be capable of doing the job. Rather, state something a bit more benign. This should be something that will not reflect poorly on the quality of your work, or your fit within the organization. Instead, try to turn this question into a positive. Maybe you can state something like “my networking isn’t as strong as I’d like it to be. The good thing is, I’ve recognized this and about six months ago I started working hard to improve my network.“ This answer will not get you the job, but it also will not eliminate you from consideration. The committee is looking to see if you are prepared.

Knowing your strengths is important in almost everything you do related to your job search. By knowing your strengths you can better target the type of job you are suited for. In addition, you will want to include your strengths, skills, and abilities in your sales pitch so you can use it in your cover letters, to answer interview questions, and in your follow-up correspondence.

The only way to truly understand and know your strengths, weaknesses, skills, and abilities is by completing self-assessment inventories.  These assessments become the foundation for everything you do in the job search process.  In reality, you should not begin to apply for jobs until you have completed the assessment stage of the job search process. These assessments can be found both online and in the book “Getting Hired in College Sports.” Best of luck 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 or his new book Execute for Success at www.execute4success.com.


*******

Best Selling Sports Careers 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