To Succeed In Your Career, You Need To Develop Your Skills

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

To be successful in your career you need to know the basic fundamental skills of your profession, and be able to perform these skills with great precision and accuracy. Whether it’s coaching or athletic administration, the first step toward effective skill development is for you to learn how to properly perform the tasks of your job.

So what are the basic fundamentals of your job? As a coach you need to know the skills, strategies, techniques, and schemes that you will teach to your players and team. You also need to understand human behavior, motivation, and recruiting. As an administrator, you need to understand the basics of your endeavor. For example if you are in marketing you need to know the skills associated with product development, pricing strategies, supply and demand theory, promotional techniques, customer service, techniques for effective selling, and social media.

But understanding these skills and tasks is just the beginning. It takes more than just learning a new concept at a coaches clinic or at a marketing seminar in order to be great at what you do. According to the book “Execute for Success”, researchers have identified three stages of skills acquisition – the cognitive stage, associative stage, and autonomous stage. To be the best in your industry, you need to develop your skills so they are automated. But how do you develop your knowledge and skills to the point of automation? How do you become outstanding in your profession? You first need to understand the difference between these three stages of skills development.

In the cognitive stage, you begin to learn a skill by memorizing the facts that are relevant for that particular skill. As you enhance your understanding of the skill, and improve upon your performance, you enter into the associative stage of skill development.

During the associative stage, you refine the performance of your skill, and the decisions you make, through practice and by learning from the errors you make and the successes you experience. The outcome attained is improved performance on a consistent basis. As you continue to practice and improve your skill, you will enter the autonomous stage. In this stage, your skills become more automated, rapid, and you make fewer mistakes. You are able to perform your skills automatically and without thought, and make quality decisions based upon your experience.

So I ask you again, what are the basic fundamentals of your job? Identify these tasks, learn how to properly perform them, practice them (or study the concepts), and become proficient in your industry. Somebody has to be the best in the industry, why not you?

 

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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Helping You Get 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

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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Branding Yourself In The Sports Industry

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Ben is a graduate assistant in the marketing office of a mid-major Division I athletic department on the East Coast. His career goal is to work in college sports. He could see himself being a Division I athletic director someday. Ben’s advisor and professor, within his sports management master’s degree program, is a former college athletic director.

In tonight’s sports marketing class, Dr. Thomas (Dr. T) is discussing the issue of branding. While the lecture is geared toward the branding of a sports organization, the conversation turned towards the branding of an individual as the students are beginning to search for a job.

During the class discussion, Dr. T suggested that the students think deeply about their personal brand. He went on to mention that each student should have a personal branding strategy. Hungry to be the best he can be, Ben asked, “what is a brand, a personal branding strategy, and where can I find information on personal branding strategies in sports?”

A brand describes who you are and how you differentiate yourself from others in the industry. Your brand image is the perception of how people view you. Dr. T went on to say that specialization is probably the most important strategy you can have when trying to create your personal brand. By specializing in a particular area, you become an expert in that part of the industry.

Over time, specializing within a particular niche within the industry is the key to creating your brand. In other words, what will you be known for? What area within the industry are you an expert? Becoming an expert takes time, but you can begin to learn about a particular niche right away. Below are three steps you can take to begin branding yourself within your industry.

Join A Professional Association – One of the key elements to becoming known in any industry is to get to know the people within the profession. With this in mind, your next step in developing your personal brand is to identify and join the associations for your profession. By joining a professional association, you will have an opportunity to learn about the profession, have an opportunity to meet other colleagues within the profession, and be able to stay connected with these colleagues.

Be Aware Of Your Image – Your image is the perception that others have of you. It is a reflection of your activities, actions, and behaviors. Make sure that your lifestyle is congruent with the image you want for your brand. This holds true for both your personal and professional life. At some point your personal and professional life will become intertwined and become one in the same.

Develop Your Skills and Knowledge – According to the book Execute for Success, one of the key elements for achieving success in your career is to know the basic fundamental skills of your activity and to be able to perform these skills with great precision and accuracy.   So what are the skills that are associated with your industry? Indentify these skills and create a development plan for how you will become an expert in these areas.

In the end, Dr. T recommended that if the students are serious about working in the sports industry, they should brand themselves as experts in their area of specialization. He also answered Ben’s question about where he could find information about branding himself within the sports world. Dr. T. recommended the book “Getting Hired in College Sports.”

 

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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Helping You Get 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

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

 

 


How To Write A Quality Cover Letter

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Most people tend to place a considerable amount of attention on producing a quality resume, but what about your cover letter? A resume is a relatively static document that only changes when you receive more education or gain additional experiences. The cover letter, however, needs to be adjusted with every new job application.

This constant need to update your cover letter makes this a dynamic document that must be changed, tweaked, adjusted and personalized for every new job application you submit.  In order for your cover letter to be effective, you will want to be strategic in how you write the letter.  In particular, you will want to understand the purpose of your cover letter, write the letter so it is specific to the organization and the position, and make sure you follow the IBS format for creating a strategic cover letter (introduction, body and summary).

Purpose

Your cover letter and resume are the marketing materials for your job search.  They should be used to sell you to the search committee. In particular, the purpose of your cover letter is to sell you and prompt the search committee to take a closer look at your resume.  A quality cover letter can catapult you forward in the job search process.  Conversely, a poorly written cover letter can eliminate you from consideration.

Specific

Your cover letter needs to be personalized to the person who is in charge of hiring the position. This could be the hiring manager or the search committee.  Do not address your letter to “To Whom it May Concern.”  If the job announcement doesn’t specifically identify whom the hiring person is, or the chair of the search committee, you will need to do your homework so you can find out who the best person is for you to address your cover letter.  This could include addressing your application materials to the athletic director (or the person who the position reports to), the HR manager, or even the search committee – but never “to whom it may concern.”

Your cover letter should be written in a way that introduces you and your resume to the hiring manager or the search committee.  It should tell them who you are, how you are qualified for the position, any applicable accomplishments you have, and why you are a good fit for the position.  More specifically, you will want to make sure you address how you meet each of the qualifications listed in the job description.

Format

Your cover letter should not be any longer than 1 1/3 pages of 12-point font.  Preferably, you should try to limit your cover letter to one page if at all possible.  But don’t try to squeeze your letter on to one page by using 10-point font.  This font is too small and most people won’t continue to read your letter.  If they stop reading your materials, you have just been eliminated from the candidate pool.

Make sure you follow the IBS format for writing a cover letter.  This includes having a minimum of three paragraphs and a maximum of five.  The first paragraph is considered an introduction and it tells the search committee which job you are applying for and what actions you are taking to apply for the job.

Following the introduction is the body of the letter.  The body will range between one and three paragraphs in length.  It is designed to show the search committee how you meet the qualifications for the position (education and experience); what strengths, abilities, and traits you possess; and what accomplishments you have achieved in similar positions.  The final paragraph is a summary of your interest in the job and it should explain why you are a good fit for the position.

A well-crafted cover letter will help you to sell yourself as a well-qualified applicant.  If properly prepared, the cover letter will prompt the search committee to want to take a closer look at your resume and will get you one step closer to an interview.  Therefore, in order to move your candidacy from the application process to the interview stage, it is extremely important that you have a properly formatted resume and a strategically written cover letter.  These are essential elements that are necessary for receiving an interview.

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.

*******

Helping You Get 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

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

 

 


How To Recover From a Botched Interview Answer

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

An interview is often quite similar to a theatrical play. While an actor has to know their lines within the play, you too need to know your lines during a job interview. The lines in an interview are your answers to interview questions. But what happens when you either forget your lines or you begin to answer the question incorrectly?

If your mind goes blank or you find yourself rambling in your answer, you should (a) catch yourself rambling or searching for an answer, (b) take a deep breath, (c) compose yourself, and (d) consider using your Personal Sales Pitch to answer the question. Many answers to interview questions can be answered by reciting your Personal Sales Pitch. Your sales pitch is composed of three sections – a summary of your resume, your strengths and abilities, and your current situation. These three sections are described in greater detail below.

A Summary of Your Resume – This is the first section of your Personal Sales Pitch and is a summary of your professional life, your education, your experiences, and accomplishments. It is used to answer questions such as “What is your experience working in this industry”, “What is your greatest work accomplishment”, or “What are your qualifications.”

Your Strengths, Skills and Abilities – This is the second section of your pitch. You will want to identify your five or six greatest strengthens, skills, abilities and/or traits and create a pitch that best describes you and your values. This section will be used to answer questions such as “What are your strengths” or “How would your colleagues describe you.”

Your Current Situation – Your third section of the Personal Sales Pitch should describe your current situation and how you would fit into their organization. It should be used to answer questions such as “What is your current job and why are your looking to leave this position.”

Depending upon the question being asked, approximately half of all questions can be answered by sharing your pitch in its entirety, or by reciting one of its three subsections. You would use the pitch in its entirety (all three sections combined) to answer a question such as “Tell me about yourself.”

Like an actor in a play, you need to practice your lines so your answers flow naturally and your communication is easily understood. But if something were to go wrong while you’re answering an interview question, take a deep breath, collect yourself and consider using your sales pitch as a back up. It’s a situation such as this that I strongly recommend that you write out the potential interview questions that you might be asked and then write out the corresponding answers to these questions. Once you have these questions and answers prepared you will want to practice, practice and practice reciting your answers. Good luck in your interview!

 

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.

*******

Helping You Get 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

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