Strategies For Your Current Job Search

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Tracy and Ron are both searching for a job in the sports world.  Tracy is a soccer coach who is looking to advance in her career and Ron recently graduated with a master’s degree in Sports Management.  While Tracy is very focused on her career, Ron isn’t sure what he wants to do.

Tracy knows that she wants to advance in the coaching profession but is having a difficult time getting an interview.  Ron on the other hand is confused as to what type of job or career he 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:

Assessment Stage – In this stage of the job search process you will identify your strengths, skills, abilities and traits. You will also familiarize yourself with the various types of jobs within the sports industry and plan out your career.

Preparation Stage – During the preparation stage you will write your resume, cover letter, sales pitch, and reference list. You will also prepare yourself for an interview by developing strategies and answers to the most popular interview questions.

Connection Stage – In the connection stage you will develop your plan for how you will network and promote yourself to the organizations where you’d like to work. You will begin to brand yourself and create a marketing plan for your career.

Interview Stage – During this stage you will prepare yourself for every aspect of a job interview. You will learn the basics of the interviewing process, understand how to interview, know what types of mistakes people make, what types of questions to ask during the interview, and how to successfully close the interview.

Follow-up Stage – During the follow-up stage you will create a very detailed strategy about how you will influence the hiring decision of the search committee. This includes what strategies to use during your follow-up, addressing possible issues or concerns the committee might have with you, and knowing how to negotiate your salary.

In Tracy’s situation, the career coach suggested that since she knows what type of job she wants, the majority of her energies should be focused on the preparation and connection stages.  The preparation stage would have her review her cover letter, resume, references, and sales pitch to make sure they are formatted correctly and written correctly.  She needs to make sure that her sales tools are excellent, and that they are effectively selling her.  The career coach continued by explaining that most jobs are secured through networking, and that the connection stage would help her to be active and effective in networking within the profession.

In Ron’s situation, the career coach suggested that he begin his job search process in the assessment stage.  He needs to understand the various types of jobs that exist in the sports industry, and understand what type of job best fits his personality, skills, and lifestyle.  The career coach went on to share that during the assessment stage, Ron will also discover his strengths, weaknesses, skills, and abilities.  These will help him as he identifies what type of career he wants to pursue, and in developing his resume, cover letter and sales pitch.

So where are you in your current job search?

  • 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.
  • If you are getting interviews but not job offers, you’ll want to focus on both the interview and follow-up stages.

It is critical to your job search that you know which stage of the job search process you’re in.  Once you know which stage you’re in, you can place your focus and energies into becoming proficient in the basic fundamental skills within that stage. Good luck with 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 or his new book Execute for Success at


The #1 Careers Book 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.  This is a must read for anyone who has a goal of working in athletic administration”

-Bill Fusco
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University




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