By Dr. Howard Gauthier
As a Graduate Assistant in the Marketing Department at a mid-major Division I athletic department, Josh was attending the NACDA Convention last June. He was studying for his master’s degree in Athletic Administration and his career goal was to become an athletic director. As he left his hotel room on the 10th floor, he entered the elevator and became face-to-face with the athletic director he’s wanted to meet. Josh was prepared for this moment. Earlier in the year he attended a careers seminar that featured a career development specialist.
As the doors of the elevator closed, Josh reached out his hand and said, “Hello Mr. Smith, my name is Josh Roberts.” This begun a 20 second conversation where Josh was able to introduce himself and Mr. Smith suggested that Josh contact him after the conference.
This type of introduction happens at every convention. The majority of these encounters, however, aren’t as smooth. Most of the time, the intern or GA bumbles around for something to say, and says nothing. But Josh had practiced his sales pitch and was prepared for this moment.
The careers development program that Josh attended introduced him to all aspects of the job search process, including how to develop a strong personal sales pitch. The seminar leader shared that a quality sales pitch needs to be developed so that you can sell yourself in a moments notice. It might be in a chance encounter at a convention such as this, or it might be in an interview when a member of the search committee asks “so tell me about yourself.” In either case, you need to be prepared to sell yourself.
After the convention, Josh followed up and contacted Mr. Smith. This was one of his first networking encounters that truly helped him to further his career. This networking opportunity probably wouldn’t have happened if Josh hadn’t learned the importance of a personal sales pitch, and how to construct his pitch. More specifically, he learned that the sales pitch includes the following three sections.
- An overview of your education, experience, and achievements; or basically a summary of your resume
- A list of your skills, abilities and traits
- A description of your current situation
Regardless if you are networking or entering an interview, by properly preparing your personal sales pitch, you will be prepared to sell yourself. With these three sections, depending upon the question you are being asked in a job interview, you could answer it using the entire pitch, or just one of the three subsections. For example, if you are asked the question “What is your experience in working in this industry”, you could answer this by reciting your first section, the summary of your resume. If you were asked the questions “What are your strengths” or “How would your colleagues describe you”, you could answer this by using your second section, a listing of your skills, abilities and traits. If you are asked the question “Why are you looking to leave your current position”, you could answer this by reciting your third section, your current situation. However, if you are asked the question, “So tell me about yourself”, you’d answer using the entire pitch – all three sections.
The personal sales pitch is one of the most important tools within the job search process. It is every bit as important as your resume or your interactions during an interview. In fact, you will use your sales pitch in all of your correspondence including your cover letter, your interview, and your follow-up after the interview. Take the time to create a strong and effective sales pitch. Remember that the job will go to the candidate who is best 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 Prepare For Every Aspect Of Your Up Coming Job Search
In Getting Hired In College Sports you will discover:
- The types of jobs that exist in college sports
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- 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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This is a must have for those looking to get into College Athletics. Great job Howard.
Sports Writer at Nationalsportsjournal.com