Optimism and Your Job Search

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Last year Daniel was “downsized” when his contract was not renewed after five years as the athletic director at a small college in the Northeast. The college had hired a new president and the president wanted his own person in this position. At first Daniel was confident he would get another job relatively quickly since he has the reputation of being a hard worker and being a quality administrator. But the new job never came.

Daniel had interviewed for several other jobs, but the outcome was always the same – he didn’t get the job. After six months of unemployment his attitude became negative and he started becoming depressed. It was at this point that he sought the advice from a well-respected colleague. In their discussion, the colleague recommended that Daniel research the best methods for developing his job search skills, and search for strategies that would help him to have a more positive attitude.

Daniel purchased a book on career development in college sports, and as he read about the proper techniques he should be using during the interview process, he was surprised at how much he needed to learn in order to be competitive in the job search process.  He then found a blog on the Internet by Brian Tracy that discussed the need for being an optimist.  In his blog, entitled “Be an Optimist at All Times”, Tracy discussed the need for mental fitness so you can feel good about yourself and your situation.  Tracy outlined seven items a person should focus on in order to develop a positive attitude.  These seven items are listed below and include the lessons Daniel took away from each item.

  • Control Your Reactions and Responses – You need to be aware of how you react and respond to your situation.  People like to be around positive people, and your attitude will affect your relationship with the members of the search committee. Therefore, you need to have a positive and optimistic attitude.
  • Isolate the Incident – Stay positive and know that each interview is an isolated event. In other words, your next interview is disconnected from your previous interviews and you need to be optimistic that your next interview will lead to a job offer.
  • See Setbacks as Temporary Events – Know that you won’t get every job you interview for and that you need to be persistent in your job search. This is just a part of the job search process.
  • Don’t Take Failure Personally – Quite often a person doesn’t get the job because the position isn’t the right fit for you, or someone else had an “in” with the organization. Understand this, don’t take it personally, and move on with the process.
  • Remain Calm and Objective – The job search process can be frustrating. You need to accept this, learn along the way, and stay positive.
  • Take the Long View – Refuse to take the rejection letter personally, and know that it’s a numbers game.  The more interviews you have, the more likely you are to be hired.  It all takes time.
  • Action Exercises – Continually provide yourself with positive self-talk and remind yourself that your situation is temporary. Stay strong and look at each job interview as not being connected with the previous interview, but recognize when things go wrong. You will want to analyze your performance from each interview and improve your performance for your next interview.

It took Daniel another two months to land a job as an athletic director at another small college. He credits his success in securing the job to learning the proper job search skills, and from the teachings of optimism by Brian Tracy. Daniel is now a big believer in the power of positive thinking.

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

 

 


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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

 

 


Preparing For Your Upcoming Skype Interview

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Todd was both excited and nervous as he hung up the telephone.  Four weeks ago he submitted his resume and cover letter for a marketing position at a Mid-level Division I institution in New York. Today, Todd was asked to interview with the search committee via a Skype interview.

He was excited because this is a job that he really wants, but Todd is also nervous because his initial interview is via Skype. Todd has never used Skype before and he knows that if he is going to make a great first impression, he needs to be prepared. The first thing he did was to contact a friend who regularly uses Skype and asked for some help and advice.

As Todd was preparing for his interview and learning more about the Skype process, he concluded that in order to have an effective Skype interview, he needed to concern himself with four broad areas:

  • Computer related issues
  • The physical setting
  • Practice and preparation
  • The interview

Todd knows that in order to have a quality interview, he needs to have the proper computer equipment and software.  This includes having a relatively new computer (within the last five years) with a webcam, a microphone, and speakers.  The interviewee would also need access to an Internet connection and have a Skype account.

Todd found that when setting the location and atmosphere for the interview, you should select a place where you won’t be interrupted or distracted.  Quite often, a home office is best because it has a professional look and feel.  If added lighting is needed, a person will want to set up a table lamp about four feet behind the computer.  And to make sure that the setting looks professional, both the desk and surrounding background must be clutter free.

Once the computer equipment and software are coordinated, and the interview setting has been established, you will now need to practice using Skype and all of the computer settings.  Prior to the actual interview, you will want to practice calling and receiving Skype calls, and practice answering interview questions.  To make sure you look good on the video, you will want to sit back a little further from the computer and make sure that your face and shoulders appear in the video screen.

During the actual interview, a person will want to have their cell phone close by and ready in case the Internet connection is lost.  Make sure you have the cell number of the interviewers in case this happens.  But also make sure that your cell phone is turned off during the interview. You don’t want your phone ringing during this session. Other items you will want to consider during the interview session is to have your computer plugged into an electrical outlet so the battery doesn’t die, dress in a professional manner, keep other computer programs closed so the computer doesn’t slow down, and as you interact with the search committee look into the camera and not at the computer screen.

As you prepare the room for your interview, you might want to display your resume, sales pitch, and the answers to interview questions behind the computer so you can glance and refer to this information without looking awkward to those who are interviewing you (similar to a television news anchor using a teleprompter).  In the end, Todd was very well prepared for his Skype interview, he performed well, and was invited for an on-campus interview.  

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 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.  This is a must read for anyone who wants to work in college athletics”

-Bill Fusco
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State 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