Ten Elements of an Effective Job Search Campaign

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Mark awoke before his I-phone’s alarm was set to go off at 6:45am.  He had a restless nights sleep because of his excitement for his informational interview with Thomas Griffin. Tom, as his friends referred to him, is a retired college athletic director who mentors young people in their search for a career in the sports industry.  Mark’s uncle had played college basketball with Tom in the late 1960’s and referred Mark to him.

Tom Griffin had a 40-year career as a college coach and athletic director, and he is now giving back to the community by mentoring young people who are interested in careers in college sports.  The two would meet at a local coffee shop where Tom does most of mentoring.

As Mark arrived at the coffee shop, Tom welcomed him with a bright smile and a firm handshake. After about 15 minutes of small talk and introductions, the two began to talk about working in college sports. Tom first described how college athletic departments are structured and then shared the different types of jobs that exist in an athletic department. As they continued with their discussions, Tom got into more detail about how to get a job in college sports. He identified 10 elements that are necessary for conducting a successful job search campaign.  He told Mark that these elements are from the book “Getting Hired in College Sports”.  He went on to say that it’s a “how to” book for the job seeker and Tom asks that each of his mentees get a copy so they can use the worksheets that are included.  As they continued with their conversation, Tom gave Mark a handout that listed these 10 job search elements. These elements are a necessity for job seekers to know in order to secure a job.  The following are the 10 elements that Tom shared with Mark:

  1. You must properly assess your skills, abilities, strengths and traits
  2. You need to properly plan your career
  3. You need to establish a target market for your job search campaign
  4. You need to effectively promote yourself with a well-written cover letter and resume
  5. You need to create a compelling Personal Sales Pitch
  6. You need to complete an Interview Preparation Form
  7. You need to prepare to answer interview questions
  8. You need to organize your job search campaign
  9. You need to know the proven strategies for executing a successful job interview
  10. You need to be strategic in following-up after your interview

The two continued to talk for over two hours and in the end they agreed to continue to work together so Mark can develop all 10 elements of the job search process. This will help him to position himself for an outstanding career in the world of college sports. For more information on the job search process, or the book “Getting Hired in College Sports”, feel free to contact Howard Gauthier at howard@sportscareersinstitute.com or go to his website at www.SportsCareersInstitute.com.

 

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.ThePositiveLeader.org.  

*******

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 wants to work in college athletics”

-Bill Fusco
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University

 

 


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Getting The Job Through Proper Follow-up

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Effectively following up after your interview is one of the keys to getting the job. Your follow-up is more than just a courtesy thank you to the hiring manager. Your follow up should also be viewed as an opportunity to influence the hiring committee.

After your interview, you have a tremendous opportunity to convince the search committee that you are the right person for the job. This is usually done through a typed letter, handwritten note, or an email. Below are a few strategies you can use to help influence the search committee when you follow-up after your interview.

The first and most important follow-up strategy you should concern yourself with is in asking the right questions during your interview. Most search committees are looking to hire someone who can solve the problems of their department or organization. If you ask the correct questions during your interview, you will be able to uncover what challenges the organization is currently facing, and you can then devise a plan to solve these problems. This plan can be strategically communicated as you follow-up after your interview.

A second strategy is in building relationships with the members of the search committee. As you continue to ask questions during your interview, try to uncover what concerns each search committee member has about you as a candidate? You will need to address each of these concerns in a personalized thank you letter. Since you don’t know which committee member has the greatest influence on the committee, you will want to try to influence each committee member into believing you are the right candidate for the position.

A third strategy is for you to properly time your follow-up correspondence. For example, if you are the first of four candidates to interview, you will want your letter of influence (thank you letter) to arrive the day before the final candidate interviews. The strategy is that you want the committee members thinking of how great you are while they are interviewing the final person. If your letter arrives too early, you lose impact due to the passing of time. If your letter arrives too late, the organization might have already offered the job.

However, if you are the fourth of four to interview, you will need to send notes of influence very quickly. In this situation, you might need to send an email instead of a letter. Regardless of when you interview, you will need to develop a letter of influence, addressing their concerns, and solving their problems. And this letter needs to be properly timed.

A final strategy for following up is to understand that quite often the person who gets the job is the candidate who outlasted the other candidates. In other words, they didn’t allow their ego to convince them to withdraw from the search. Sometimes other candidates are offered the job and they turn down the offer. Outlast your competition and be ready for the offer when they turn to you as a candidate.

 

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.

*******

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

 

 


Three Strategies For Writing A Great Cover Letter

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Writing a great cover letter is both an art and a science. It’s an art in that good writing takes time and practice, and it’s a science in that you need to know the proper elements for writing a quality letter. When applying for a job, you will want to craft a cover letter that will sell you to the search committee with the hope that they are intrigued with you and your application. This in turn will prompt them to spend more time reviewing your resume.

However, too many people place their complete focus on writing a great resume without paying enough attention on their cover letter. Don’t get me wrong, having a top-notch resume is extremely important, but so is having a quality cover letter. One without the other is like having a team without a leader, you typically won’t be as successful as you would like.

In order for your cover letter to be effective, you will want to be strategic in how you write the letter.  There are three strategies you should follow in order to write your cover letter. These strategies include (a) understanding the purpose of your cover letter, (b) writing the letter so it is specific to the organization and the position, and (c) making 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.

 

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.ThePositiveLeader.org.  

*******

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 wants to work in college athletics”

-Bill Fusco
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University