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 or go to our website at  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 or his new book Execute for Success at


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




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