The Resume, Your Marketing Tool

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Quite often when a job opens up within a college athletic department there will be more than 50 people who apply for the position.  In fact, sometimes there could be more than 100 or even 200 applicants.  With so many applicants, how do you get your resume noticed?

In the typical search, many of the applicants don’t meet the basic requirements of the position.  Still others will submit resumes that are hard to read.  Therefore, you need to be able to present a resume that is professional, clearly shows how you meet the qualifications of the position, and is easy to read.  In fact, your resume needs to sell you within 10-15 seconds.  This is the length of time that most search committee members will take to initially view a resume.  If the resume catches their attention, the members of the committee will spend more time reviewing your credentials.

Many people will tell you that a resume should be one to two pages in length at a maximum.  I somewhat disagree. A resume needs to be long enough to show your experiences and accomplishments, but short enough that a potential employer will read it.  As a person advances in their career, their resume will grow in length.  My personal resume is four pages long.  When I first graduated from college my resume was one or two pages, but as I grew in the industry, working my way up to becoming an athletic director, my resume grew.  I feel strongly that if I were to limit my resume to two pages, I would severely hinder my opportunity to sell myself to a perspective employer.

Your resume needs to effectively use fonts, bullets, bold, and underlining to get the search committee to see what you want them to see.  People naturally view written pages from the top of the page and down the left margin.  Therefore, these areas need to have your most important information.  Writing lengthy sentences and paragraphs are a sure-fire way to lose the interest of the reader, and they will usually stop reading your resume.  In other words, your resume needs to be viewed as a marketing tool that promotes you as a job applicant.  This marketing tool needs to be pleasing to view, and needs to easily show how you meet the qualifications of the position.  If you cannot show how you meet the qualifications of the job within 10-15 seconds, you probably won’t be a finalist for the position.  In essence, your resume is an important marketing tool used to show your qualifications.  Your resume, along with the cover letter, form the basic marketing tools for effectively selling yourself to the search committee.  If either tool is not constructed properly, you most likely will not receive the opportunity to interview.  The key is that you know the basic fundamental skills that are associated with each stage of the job search process and that you effectively perform each of these skills.  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.

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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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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.

*******

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 just finished your book.  One of the things that helped me the most was the interview questions. Some of the examples of the questions (as well as some ways to answer those questions) were perfect.
-Jarred Neff
Sports Management Student
Pace University

 

 


Questions Not To Ask In An Interview

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Sometimes it’s not what you do or say in life, sometimes it’s what you don’t do or say. Take Jim for example. Jim has been searching for a job for a couple of months since graduating from college. He has struggled in his first couple of interviews so he decided to do some research into the proper techniques a person should use during an interview.

As he was reading through a book on career development, he ran across a section that discussed the types of questions a person should not ask during a job interview. The author reasoned that the goal of the interview is to build positive relationships during your meetings and that you need to show the hiring manager that you have done your research. By asking the following types of questions, it is clear to the search committee that you have not adequately prepared for the interview.

  • Avoid asking questions that are answered in the institution’s general information or on their website (e.g. number of sports offered, the record of last years team, etc). These types of questions will let the interviewer know that you did not do your homework. But by all means ask questions if some information is not clear to you.
  • Avoid asking about the salary or benefits in the first interview. This is a major mistake. Quite often, the salary can be found on the Internet or in a published article. The interviewer may choose to bring this information up, but you should not initiate the topic. By asking about the salary too early in the process, it will give the impression that you are more concerned with what is in it for you. In fact, the interviewer may give you the salary range up front to see if you are still interested in the position. If the salary is a bit low, do not acknowledge this; rather allow the process to take its course. If you are their choice, you can attempt to negotiate a better salary. However, do not think that you can get the hiring manager to increase the salary by 25-50 percent. This is a waste of time for both you and the hiring institution.
  • Avoid asking any personal questions or questions that will put the hiring manager on the defensive. These may include, but are not limited to: their age, race, religion, health, or marital status.
  • Avoid asking questions that have already been answered in the interview session. If some of the questions on your list have already been answered during the current interview, do not repeat them. However, feel free to ask the same question to a different group of people within the organization, especially if you are not comfortable with the answer you received.

These are some of the basic interviewing techniques that Jim uncovered in his research. Remember, ultimately 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.

*******

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

 

 


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 www.sportscareersinstitute.com or his new book The Positive Leader 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.  A must read for anyone whom has a goal of working in athletic administration”

-Bill Fusco
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University

 

 


To Succeed In Your Career, You Need To Develop Your Skills

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Today’s blog is the final article in a series of four blogs on “The competition for jobs in the sports industry is stiff, therefore you need to prepare accordingly.” The first article discussed the need for mentoring in order to advance your career, the second was on effective networking, and the third blog was on the importance of gaining experience. In this article I am sharing with you the importance of gaining and improving your skills.

To be successful in your career you need to know the basic fundamental skills of your profession, and you need to be able to perform these skills with great precision and accuracy. Whether it’s coaching or athletic administration, the first step toward effective skill development is for you to learn how to properly perform the tasks of your job.

So what are the basic fundamentals of your job? As a coach you need to know the skills, strategies, techniques, and schemes that you will teach to your players and team. You also need to understand human behavior, motivation, and recruiting. As an administrator, you need to understand the basics of your endeavor. For example if you are in marketing you need to know the skills associated with product development, pricing strategies, supply and demand theory, promotional techniques, customer service, techniques for effective selling, and social media.

But understanding these skills and tasks is just the beginning. It takes more than just learning a new concept at a coaches clinic or at a marketing seminar in order to be great at what you do. According to the book “Execute for Success”, researchers have identified three stages of skills acquisition – the cognitive stage, associative stage, and autonomous stage. To be the best in your industry, you need to develop your skills so they are automated. But how do you develop your knowledge and skills to the point of automation? How do you become outstanding in your profession? You first need to understand the difference between these three stages of skills development.

In the cognitive stage, you begin to learn a skill by memorizing the facts that are relevant for that particular skill. As you enhance your understanding of the skill, and improve upon your performance, you enter into the associative stage of skill development.

During the associative stage, you refine the performance of your skill, and the decisions you make, through practice and by learning from the errors you make and the successes you experience. The outcome attained is improved performance on a consistent basis. As you continue to practice and improve your skill, you will enter the autonomous stage. In this stage, your skills become more automated, rapid, and you make fewer mistakes. You are able to perform your skills automatically and without thought, and make quality decisions based upon your experience.

So I ask you again, what are the basic fundamentals of your job? You need to identify these tasks, learn how to properly perform these skills, practice them (or study the concepts), and become proficient in your industry. Somebody has to be the best in the industry, why shouldn’t this be you?

 

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

 

 


To Get a Job in Sports, You Need to Gain Experience

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

This is the third in a series of four blogs on “The competition for jobs in the sports industry is stiff, therefore you need to prepare accordingly.” The first blog discussed the need for mentoring in order to advance your career and the second was on effective networking. In this article I am sharing the importance of gaining experience in order to secure your next job in the sports world.

Remember that the reason that I am writing on this topic is a result of an article that Bill King wrote in Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal that shared that there are many more sports management graduates than there are job openings. Because of this factor, you will need to be very proactive in making your dreams come true about working in the sports industry. Now I’m not trying to scare you off, I’m trying to give you practical advice that will help you to be one of the people who becomes employed in sports and has a successful career.

In a recent article in Psychology Today, Katharine Brooks wrote that employers want proof of your job related skills. She shared that experience is imperative as employers are looking to hire job seekers.

Whether you’re a recent graduate from a sports management program, or looking to move up in the profession, experience is one of the main keys to getting the job. This need for experience was seen in a recent study by Millennial Branding, which showed that 91% of employers believe that “students should have between one and two internships before they graduate.” Of these employers, “87% of companies think that internships should last at least three months for students to gain enough experience.” But just because you’re completing an internship, don’t have false expectations that the organization you’re doing your internship with will hire you – most students aren’t hired on after their internship. Instead, focus on how you can gain experience, secure strong recommendations, and further your career.

And here’s one of the most disturbing elements of the study . . . for entry-level jobs, “42% of employers are turned off by how unprepared students are in interviews.” While I’m a bit shocked by this, I shouldn’t be. In my 25+ years working in college sports and 11 years as an athletic director, I’ve hired dozens (if not hundreds) of people and reviewed thousands of resumes. There are just too many people who don’t know the basic fundamentals of the job search process. You need to gain experience both within your chosen profession and on how to get a job.

The point I’m trying to make is that gaining experience is key to getting your next job. This experience might be securing a second internship. It might be volunteering your services to an organization where you’d like to work someday. Or it might be gaining greater knowledge and networking by attending conferences, conventions, or professional development activities. You either grow and gain experience, or you become one of those statistics from the Street and Smith article. There are just too many passionate people who want to succeed in this industry. You can too; you just need to have a plan and work hard to gain the appropriate experience and skills.

Good luck as you continue to grow and learn within the sports industry. Please let me know if I can help you in any way.

 

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.

*******

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

 

 


Seeking Advice From a Mentor is Just Plain Smart

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

In last week’s blog, The Competition For Jobs In The Sports Industry Is Stiff – Prepare Accordingly, I shared four strategies a person should use in order to get a job in the sports industry. Today, I am discussing the first of these four strategies, seeking out a mentor.

When I began my sports career in 1984 I began by seeking advice from one of the best athletic directors in all of college sports. Mike Lude was the Athletic Director at the University of Washington and I was working in Finance in downtown Seattle, having recently received my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. I had a great passion for sports and wanted to combine my formal education with this passion. My father-in-law suggested that I contact the athletic director at Washington and pick his brain. So I called Mike Lude and two days later I was sitting in his office asking several well thought-out questions. Mr. Lude gave me about two hours of his time that day. And it was his insights, advice, and recommendations, that gave me the foundational beginnings for a 25+ year career as a men’s basketball coach and Division I athletic director.

Throughout my career I stayed in touch with Mr. Lude and kept him updated on my progress. This type of mentorship is common, and has at least three main objectives – it provides you with the knowledge necessary to put you on the right career path, it also speeds up your career path, and finally it helps you to begin your networking. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to your career to elicit help and advice from someone you knows the correct career path and what mistakes to side step.

I’m not by far the only person who has used the guidance, advice, and motivation of someone within the profession. Take Jennifer Cohen for example. She is the current athletic director at the University of Washington. As youngster she sought the advice from the University of Washington football coach, Don James. Cohen was interested in becoming a football coach and Don James encouraged her to follow her passion for sports. You can see an interview with Cohen here, where she discusses the impact Coach James had on her life.

Working in sports is a great adventure. Whether you coach or are an administrator like Jennifer Cohen, you should follow your passion for sports and pursue a career in the sports world. But the competition for jobs in the sports world is keen. Don’t settle for trying to advance your career by yourself. Seek out and accept help from others. In other words talk to professionals and ask for their help and advice. Be a sponge and soak up the knowledge of others – the knowledge of the profession and the knowledge of how to get a job. If you want it bad enough, you can get the job of your dreams. Best of luck as you pursue your sports career!

 

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 www.sportscareersinstitute.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.  A must read for anyone whom has a goal of working in athletic administration”

-Bill Fusco
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University