Five Stages Of The Job Search Process

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

So you’re looking to break into, or advance within, the sports industry. But are you doing everything you can to conduct a successful job search? In my book “Getting Hired in College Sports”, I share a five-stage model that outlines the effective job search process. This model is based on research both within the sports industry and the best practices within the world of career development.

More specifically, the five segments of an effective job search include: (a) the self-assessment stage, (b) preparation stage, (c) connection stage, (d) interview stage, and (e) the follow-up stage. Mastering each of these components will help you to excel in the job search process and will help you to be competitive for the job you want. These five stages are explained in greater detail below

  • Self-Assessment Stage – In the self-assessment stage you will identify your strengths, weaknesses, skills and abilities. You will also understand what you like and dislike in a job, and what are your top personal traits. You will then create a plan that will lead you to achieving your dream job. Finally, you will systematically figure out which organizations you will want to contact in your job search.
  • Preparation Stage – During the preparation stage you will want to establish a target market contact list for the jobs you are seeking. You will also want to construct a professional resume, write a cover letter that can sell you, create a personal sales pitch, be strategic in which references you use, develop answers to the interview questions you are most likely to be asked, know how to research the organizations within your target market, and understand how to prepare for an interview.
  • Connection Stage – In the connection stage you will want to develop a job search campaign, understand how to network within the industry, and know how to promote yourself. You will also need to understand which promotional techniques you should use, how to create your brand, how to create a strategic marketing plan for yourself, and know how to control your job search.
  • Interview Stage – In the interview stage you will need to understand the proper approach for interviewing, the basic techniques you should use during an interview, and how to conduct yourself in a group interview. You will also want to understand what type of questions you should ask in the interview, what mistakes people make, and how to successfully close the interview.
  • Follow-up Stage – During this stage you will want to conduct a follow-up mini-campaign that includes thanking the members of the search committee and addressing any issues or concerns they may have about you as a candidate. You will also want to have an organized method for keeping track of each job you’ve applied for and the status of each of these searches.

These five stages are the major elements of the job search process. To land a job, you need to know, and be able to perform, each of the strategies and techniques that are within these five stages. To assist you in your job search, the book “Getting Hired in College Sports” is available as a resource. It identifies the techniques and strategies that are the best practices for all aspects of the job search process and it includes step-by-step worksheets that help you prepare for each stage of the job search. By performing these best practices you will be able to effectively execute the job search process. Best of luck on your upcoming job search!


Howard Gauthier is a 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 10 books and e-books. Check out his book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at or his new book The Positive Leader 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.  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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