Five Stages Of The Job Search Process

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Dennis and Janet are both searching for a job in the sports world.  Dennis is a basketball coach who is looking to advance in his career and Janet recently graduated with a master’s degree in Sports Management.  While Dennis is very focused on his career, Janet isn’t sure what she wants to do.

Dennis knows that he wants to advance in the coaching profession but is having a difficult time getting an interview.  Janet 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 Dennis’ 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 to make sure they are formatted correctly and written correctly.  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 Janet’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 understand which types of jobs best fit her personality, skills, and lifestyle.  The career coach went on to share that during the assessment stage, Janet 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 Dennis and Janet spend the majority of their attention, at this point, within their specific job search stage, but 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 of 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 or his new book Execute for Success at


Excel in Each Stage of the Job Search Process

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

Only $23.95 Click Here To Purchase 

“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




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