The First Step To Getting A Job In Sports Is To Assess Your Strengths, Skills and Abilities

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

In my book “Getting Hired in College Sports”, I’ve outlined two phases to the job search process. The first phase, entitled the Discovery Phase, helps you identify your strengths, weaknesses, skills and abilities. It also helps you plan your career and identify whom to contact for your upcoming job search. The second phase, entitled the Search Phase, is where you prepare your marketing materials, apply for jobs, prepare for your interview, conduct the interview, and follow-up after the interview. The first phase helps you to be successful in the second phase. By knowing your strengths, skills and abilities you are better able to sell yourself in your resume, cover letters, during an interview, and in following up after your interview. In other words, the very first step you should take in order to conduct a successful job search is to know yourself; to know your strengths, skills and abilities.

To get to know your strengths, skills and abilities, you will want to conduct several self-assessments. Self-assessments will help you to:

  • Identify your occupational values – what you like and dislike in a job
  • Identify your top five skills and abilities
  • Identify your personal traits
  • Create a roadmap to achieving your dream job
  • Figure out which organizations to contact for your upcoming job search

Many people jump over the assessment stage of the job search process and right into writing their cover letters and resume. This is the wrong strategy. Typically you only have one opportunity to apply for the right job at the right institution. If you don’t write a great cover letter and sales pitch, you might miss this opportunity. You need to prepare yourself by understanding what you like and dislike in a job, what your top five skills are, and understand what personal traits you possess. You can access this information by conducting self-assessment questionnaires and worksheets. They will take you less than a day to complete.

There are several self-assessments that you can find on-line. However, the self-assessment worksheets I list in the book are specifically related to the sports industry. Regardless of which assessments you use, make sure you get to know yourself. Get to know the strengths, skills and abilities you bring to a sports organization. Then sell yourself in your cover letter, your sales pitch, in answering interview questions, and in following up after the 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 or his new book Execute for Success at  


The #1 Careers Book in Sports

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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