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

 

 


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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

 

 


The Competition For Jobs In The Sports Industry Is Stiff, Prepare Accordingly

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Competition for jobs in the sports industry is stiff, therefore you need to prepare accordingly. In a recent article by Bill King, published in the Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal, he shared that there are roughly 24,000 undergraduate students and another 6,000 graduate students who are studying Sports Management within the United States. When these students graduate, they join approximately 8,000 students who graduated the previous year and are still looking for jobs. I share these statistics not to scare you, but to share the realities of the job market within the sports industry.

There is good news however. You can use a four-prong strategic approach that will give you a leg up on your competition. In other words, this strategy will give you, or your students, an advantage in the sports job market. This four-prong strategy will help you to become employable so you are able to beat out your competition. Each of the four individual prongs will provide you with a best practices strategy. And by utilizing all four strategies, you are almost assured a job. These four prongs include:

  • Seeking Out a Mentor
  • Beginning To Network
  • Gaining Experience
  • Gaining The Correct Job Search Skills and Strategies

Over the course of the next month or so, I will write my blog so that I address each of these prongs. But in the meantime, you should consider researching the skills and strategies that you need in order to have a successful job search within the sports industry. One of the best reference tools for gaining these skills and strategies is the book Getting Hired in College Sports. This book is being used in many of the sports management programs throughout the country, and it has helped hundreds of people to get a job in the sports world. Whether you decide to use this reference book or not, you need to understand and begin to practice the proper job search skills and strategies. Please let me know if I can help you in your job search

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

-Bill Fusco
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University

 

 


Five Common Resume Mistakes

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Steve was discouraged because he hadn’t received any interviews from the dozens of applications he had submitted. To help him in the job search process, a colleague in the athletics department suggested two books Steve should read to brush up on his job search skills and techniques. As Steve was reading through these materials, he saw a topic that caught his eye entitled “Five Common Resume Mistakes.” The article suggested that many of the errors people make on their resume includes one of the following five broad mistakes:

Not using the proper format – A resume is read from top of the page down the left margin. Information you want the reader to see needs to be included in this area. A resume needs plenty of white space so the information jumps out at the reader. Be strategic on the use of bold, underlining, and italicized words. Don’t use too much of these specialized formatting techniques or they will lose their effect and your resume will look awful. The font type and size needs to be legible – too many people use fonts sizes that are too small. Also, keep in mind that bulleted information is much easier to read than information written in paragraph form. Finally, remember that your resume is a sales tool. The reader will initially scan a resume in 10-15 seconds and the format is critical in order to show off your skills and accomplishments.

Inappropriate length – Too many people suggest that job hunters should limit their resume to one page. I disagree with this advice. Instead, a resume should be long enough to sell you. It should effectively highlight your skills and accomplishments. A resume that is limited to one page makes you appear too inexperienced and that you don’t have anything to offer the employer. However, don’t make stuff up just so you can extend the length of your resume. Conversely, don’t make your resume too long. Try to limit your resume to no more than 3-4 pages. Don’t confuse your resume with a curriculum vita. A CV is used when you apply for a faculty position at a college or university. It is not appropriate to use a CV when applying for non-faculty positions.

Contact Information – Make sure you use an e-mail address or phone number that you check on a regular basis. Don’t use contact information that you don’t check on a daily basis or consistently when you’re out of the office or on vacation.

Sending a resume in the wrong format – While it is important to apply for jobs in a timely manner, it’s not a race. The first resume to arrive doesn’t win the job. Therefore, take your time and make sure your resume is perfect before sending it to the employer. In most cases it is best to mail the resume to the employer. This is so you can control the way it appears when the employer receives it. In other words you can control the way it looks and you can control the type of paper it is printed on. If you’re sending it electronically, it is best to send it in a pdf file if you can. This is because a pdf file is a picture and it prints out the way it appeared when you saved the document. Too many times a document will change from how it looks on your computer and how it appears on somebody else’s computer. You can’t take chances on the way your resume looks and you need to be able to control its appearance as much as possible.

Misspelled words – Again, take your time and produce an error-free resume. It might not be important to be the first applicant, but it is important that your resume is perfect. Most resumes that include a typo or misspelled words will be eliminated immediately. Competition for jobs is just too keen and employers have too many applicants who present themselves in a professional manner

Quite often when a job opens up within a college athletic department there will be more than 100 or even 200 applicants. With so many applicants, you need to make sure your resume is perfect and error-free. The key to getting the job is knowing the basic fundamental skills that are associated with each stage of the job search process and that you effectively perform each of these skills to the best of your ability. 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 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.  A must read for anyone whom has a goal of working in athletic administration”

-Bill Fusco
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University

 

 


There Are Over 100 Applicants – Why Should They Hire You?

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

There are over 100 applicants for a particular job, so why should they hire you? This is a question you will probably be asked during your interview.  So I ask you, why should they hire you? Are you more qualified than the other applicants? Do you have the experience or the skills to do the job? Are you a good fit with the organization? When writing your cover letter, you should write the letter with this question in mind. To answer this question, you will want to use your Personal Sales Pitch.

Your Personal Sales Pitch is the foundation for selling yourself in letters and interviews. It should include three sections – a summary of your resume; your skills, abilities and traits; and your current situation. When answering the question, “why should we hire you”, you will want to blend these three sections together so they flow smoothly.

In developing your Personal Sales Pitch, the first section should be a brief overview of your experiences, education, and any accomplishments you have achieved. The second section should outline your top skills, traits, and abilities. And the final part of your sales pitch should explain your current position, your short-term career goals, and it should address why you are looking to leave your current position.

The key to separating yourself from other applicants is to effectively communicate why you are the best candidate for the job. This is accomplished by writing your Personal Sales Pitch, and practice reciting it so you can communicate it with confidence and enthusiasm. Examples of this technique and strategy are outlined in my book Getting Hired in College Sports. Good luck in your job search.

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

-Bill Fusco
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University

 

 


Get Organized For Your Upcoming Job Interview

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Recently I was visiting with a colleague and he shared a story about a time when he had a horrible interview. He wasn’t prepared for the interview and it just didn’t go well. Getting a job in the sports industry takes great preparation and organization. To help you with your organization, I have created a worksheet I call an Interview Preparation Form. It is a worksheet that’s designed to help you prepare for your job interview.

The Interview Preparation Form is a “cheat sheet” you can use to outline your answers to possible interview questions. It also outlines your personal sales pitch, provides bullet points to the stories you want to share when answering questions, provides a list of questions you want to ask the search committee, and it provides an organized method for effectively closing the interview. The Interview Preparation Form consists of the following five sections:

Section OneYour answers to potential interview questions. In this section you will list the questions you believe might be asked in an interview and then provide your corresponding answers.

Section TwoYour personal sales pitch. Your Personal Sales Pitch is the foundation for selling yourself during the interview. Your pitch should include three sections – a summary of your resume; your skills, abilities and traits; and your current situation. Depending on the question you are asked, you can use the pitch in its entirety or just one of the three sections.

Section ThreeOutline five stories you can share with the search committee. People like to hear stories. This section helps you prepare for sharing examples of your experiences through the use of stories.

Section FourQuestions you should ask. You need to be prepared to ask questions that will help you to better understand the job, the organization, the strengths and needs of the organization, and what the search committee is looking for in their new hire. This information will be used during the follow-up stage.

Section FiveClosing the interview. This section is an organized method for concluding the interview. It allows you to sell yourself to the search committee and it lets them know that you are interested in the job.

Once you have written your Interview Preparation Form, you will want to type it out in a Word document and practice answering these questions so they flow easily during the interview. In fact, when interviewing over the telephone, you might want to spread your cheat sheet out on a desk or table so you can glance down and remind yourself of the answer to a particular question. But don’t read directly from your form. The interviewers can tell if you’re reading a script. Instead, just refer to the bullet points of your stories, to the answers of potential interview questions, and to the questions you want to ask the committee. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to practice answering questions and reciting your personal sales pitch. This practice will allow you to come across fluid and confident in your communications.

I hope this information is helpful. You can read more about the Interview Preparation Form and the entire job search process in my book Getting Hired in College Sports. Remember that it is critical that you are properly prepared for your job search, because ultimately, the job will go to the candidate who is prepared and who effectively executes the basics of the job interview process.

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

 

 


Creating a Strong Sales Pitch

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Having a quality personal sales pitch is a necessity for every job seeker. Your personal sales pitch should be used in all of your correspondence, including your cover letter. It should be used when communicating with potenital employers and in answering interview questions.

The sales pitch needs to be geared towards the type of organization you are interviewing with and the type of position you are seeking. As you communicate with potential employers you will want to share your pitch with clarity and enthusiasm. It is vitally important that you practice reciting your pitch, and parts of your pitch, so it comes across in a natural manner. Practicing your pitch will allow you to control your message and help you to eliminate poorly phrased responses and long uncomfortable pauses.

The personal sales pitch is composed of three sections – a summary of your resume; a listing of your skills, abilities and traits; and a description of your current situation. A person should be able to recite the entire pitch in less than two minutes. The entire pitch will be used for answering questions such as “Tell me about yourself” or “Why should we hire you”.

Depending upon the question you are being asked in a job interview, you could answer it with the entire pitch, or one of the three subsections. For example, if you were asked the question “What is your experience in working in this industry”, you would answer this question by reciting your first section, the summary of your resume. If you were asked the questions “What are your strengths” or “How would your colleagues describe you”, you would answer this question by using your second section, a listing of your skills, abilities and traits. Finally, if you are asked the questions “Why are you looking to leave your current position”, you would answer this by reciting your third section, your current situation.

As you create your personal sales pitch, always be positive in your response. If you are currently unemployed, do not say that you are unemployed because your previous boss didn’t like you. Instead, be prepared for this question and develop an answer that sounds plausible in a neutral tone, and then transition into selling yourself using either your experiences in the industry or your skills and strengths. In other words, share your strengths and why they should hire you. 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 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.  A must read for anyone whom has a goal of working in athletic administration”

-Bill Fusco
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University