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.

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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

 

 


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

 

 


Strategies For Breaking Into The Sports Industry

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Now that Memorial Day has passed, many recent graduates will set their sights on securing their first job in the sports industry. Whether you are pursuing a job in college coaching or sports administration, the first step is to have a vision for what you want to do for your career.

It really doesn’t matter if you know exactly what you want to do, but you should have a general idea. For example, if you want to coach, which sport do you want to coach? This will determine your initial career path. The same holds true for administration. If you want to work in athletic administration, what area best fits your strengths and interests? Your strategies and career path will be different if you want to pursue a position in compliance versus a career in marketing.

But what happens if you don’t know exactly what you want to do? You just know that you want to work in sports. In this case, you need to gain insight into both yourself and into the sports industry. You will want to get to know your strengths, interests, skills and abilities. You will also want to discover more about the various types of positions that exist in the sports world. Once you have a better feel for the industry, you can determine which area best fits your strengths and interests. To gain this insight, and to break into the sports industry, you should consider the following suggestions:

Conduct an Informational Interview – Gain Insight into the industry by interviewing somebody who already works in the sports industry. I got my start in college sports by interviewing the athletic director at the University of Washington.   His great advice allowed me to develop a plan for my career. This plan included going back to school to study for my master’s degree in sports administration and I also gained experience as a student worker in the ticket office.

Get Your Master’s Degree – Most full-time coaches and sports managers will eventually need their master’s degree in order to advance in the industry. If you don’t currently have your master’s degree, consider going back to college and pursue a degree in sports management. To see a list of schools that offer sports management degree programs, go to the “Sports Management Programs” page on the website http://www.SportsCareersInstitute.com.

Gain Experience – Whether you’re just starting out in the industry, or you’re looking to advance in the sports field, you need to gain experience and make yourself a valuable commodity. You can gain experience through volunteering within an athletic department, securing an internship, working in an entry-level job, or by becoming active in your professional association (NACDA, NABC, CoSIDA, etc.). If you are interested in coaching, look to begin by working summer camps and being a volunteer assistant (or a graduate assistant). If you are interested in administration, find out if the local college athletic department needs help selling tickets at their sporting events.

Network into a Job – Networking within the industry is ultimately the key to getting a job. Utilize the above suggestions to get to know people within the industry. Stay in touch with the people you meet and build friendships.

Position Yourself – As you gain experience, you will want to work toward positioning yourself as an expert within the industry. To properly position yourself as an expert, you will want to work hard in your current position and do quality work. You will also want to build a strong network within the industry and be active within your professional association. In time, these qualities will brand you in a very positive light within the industry. As an expert, you will have opportunities to advance both within your current organization and within other organizations in the sports industry.

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!  If you need to learn the fundamental skills of the job search process, check out the book “Getting Hired in College Sports”. It is used by many sports management programs to help provide their students with the job search skills that are necessary for them to compete in the highly competitive sports industry.

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.

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Helping You Prepare For Every Aspect Of Your Up Coming Job Search

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 

 

This is a must have for those looking to get into College Athletics. Great job Howard.

-Michael Volpone
Sports Writer at Nationalsportsjournal.com

 

 

 


What’s The Best Way To Get A Job In College Sports?

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

As a professor in Sports Management, having been a college athletics director, and having written a book about getting a job in college sports, I’m asked all of the time, “What’s the best way to get a job in college sports?” The formula is relatively simple. Whether you’re a veteran in the industry, or just starting out, the process for getting a job in college sports is to follow your passion, develop your skills, gain experience, and build a strong network.

Follow Your Passion – When you follow your passion, you tend to work hard because you enjoy what you do. Your work is not a job; it is an enjoyable pursuit. In a recent article about finding your passion, John Maxwell suggests that you need to listen to yourself in order to find your true passion. He asks the questions, what excites you? What do you dream about? What do you want in life? Once you can truthfully answer these questions, you can begin your journey toward meshing your passion of sports with your work life.

Develop Your Skills – Maxwell went on to share that passion is important, but if you don’t have the proper skills, you won’t be able to turn your passion into a career. Therefore, you need to develop the skills of your trade, so an employer will want to hire you.

Gain Experience – Whether you are currently pursuing your degree in sports management, or you are already working in the profession, gaining experience is a key toward securing your next job. If you are currently a student, you need to gain experience in the profession (while going to school) so you can list it on your resume. If you’re already in the industry, you need to enhance your experiences, strengthen your skills, and build a strong personal brand. Regardless of your current situation, enhancing your experiences will take time and sacrifice. Because of this time and sacrifice, I recommend that you begin to develop a plan for personal develop today. You can’t afford to put your experiences off for the future. The sooner you gain experience and develop your skills, the sooner you’ll be in a position to secure your next job in college sports.

Build a Strong Network – People want to hire people they know, or someone a trusted friend knows. This is because, when the hiring manager knows the person, he/she knows that the person is a hard worker, skilled at their craft, loyal, and a good fit for the organization. And one of the only ways to assure that the employee possesses these qualities is to hire someone you know and trust. Therefore, the larger and stronger your network is, the more likely you’ll have an “in” with an athletics department, and the more likely it is that you will get hired for the job you want.

So, “what’s the best way to get a job in college sports? It is a relatively simple process, you just have to follow your passion, develop your skills, gain experience, and build a strong network. Life is a journey that needs to be enjoyed along the way. Follow your passion, work hard, and enjoy your journey!

 

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.

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Helping You Get A Job 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

 

 


Networking: The Best Way To Get A Job In Sports

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Michael is in his first semester of his master’s degree in Sports Management. One of the classes he is taking is a course that provides an introduction to the sports industry. In addition to their textbook, the class is using the book “Getting Hired in College Sports” as a supplement. It provides the students with the techniques and strategies they need to successfully become employed in the sports industry.

Michael was excited about today’s lecture because it was on a topic he knew was important to his future, but knew little about. Today’s lecture was on the need to network within the sports profession.

The professor began the class session by encouraging each of the students to begin networking and making contacts with professionals in the industry. Intrigued by this comment, Michael asked “what do you mean by networking and how do you do it?” The professor responded by sharing that “networking is the act of building personal relationships with colleagues within your profession.  It usually starts when you meet someone within the profession, and as time passes, your relationship with them grows stronger and develops into a professional relationship.”

He continued by saying that networking is the most effective way of getting a job.  In fact, it is estimated that 65-70% of all jobs are found through personal referrals or networking connections.  This is because when you know the person who is doing the hiring, or you know somebody who knows the person doing the hiring, you are at an advantage over the other applicants.  However, networking is much more than just meeting people so you can get a job.  It is a planned process where you interact with people and build alliances.

There are several strategies you can use to build a strong professional network.  These include, but are not limited to:

  • Being active in meeting other colleagues by attending professional activities such as regional conferences, national conventions, and league meetings.
  • Being active in social gatherings.
  • Having informational interviews where you seek guidance and insights into the profession.
  • Meeting opposing coaches and athletic administrators at your team’s sporting events.
  • Seeking the guidance of a mentor.

As you attend these events and activities, you will meet potential colleagues.  And when you meet these people you will want to introduce yourself, show interest in them, ask them if they have a business card, and stay in contact with them on a regular basis.  The key is that you cultivate these connections and build alliances.

And as you build these alliances, you will meet their friends and expand your network. As your network grows, you enhance your chances of getting hired. This is because people want to hire people they know.

Creating a strong network takes time and effort, and the sooner you begin, the sooner you will get hired.  Therefore, don’t put off networking because you think its payoff is too far into the future.  Instead, be smart about your career and begin the networking process right away.

 

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 Sports Jobs Book

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 Holiday Season is a Good Time For Your Job Search

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Roger was attending the office Christmas party but his mind was somewhere else.  He has been looking for another job for about two or three months with little success.  Roger decided to take a break from the job search process during the holiday season.  He reasoned that nobody was hiring so he would just take a month or so off and pick the search back up after the first of the year.  His mind, however, wouldn’t let it go.

As he was filling his cup at the punch bowl, Sara, a co-worker and friend, asked how the search was going. Roger explained that he was taking some time off and will pick it back up in a month.  Sara looked puzzled as she questioned his reasoning.

Sara went on to explain that Roger is falling into the same trap that many people fall into.  This “taking some time off” logic is the exact reason he should stay active in the job search process.  You see, when so many people take time away from being active in the job search process, there is less competition for each job, which makes it easier to get the position.  Couple this with the networking opportunities available during this time of year, and the holidays become a real good time for you to be active in the job market.

When looking for a job during the holiday season, keep these tips in mind:

  • The Holiday Season offers Networking Opportunities – This is because of the large number of parties, gatherings, and functions.  Take advantage of these opportunities but do it gracefully so you don’t appear to be using these events as your mini-job search campaign. 
  • Don’t Overdo the Punch – Have fun at the parties but don’t over do it.  Your brand and reputation are on the line.
  • Be Intentional in Building Relationships – One of your main focuses needs to be on building positive relationships with colleagues.  You will want to be purposeful in developing these relationships, yet be sincere in wanting to get to know them.  This means you should be very outgoing and friendly during the events, but don’t continue to look over their shoulder for the next person you can talk to.  Stay in the moment and build a relationship.
  • Your Image Counts – Look professional and don’t come dressed as Santa.  It’s great to have fun during these events, but whether you like it or not, you’re being judged.  People draw conclusions about you based on how you look, what you say, and what you do.  This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have fun; it just means that you shouldn’t take crazy pictures and post them to Facebook or grab the mic and make a fool out of yourself. 
  • Stay Active in the Job Search Process – Remember that the competition for each job is significantly reduced during this time of year.  Be the exception and continue to work your job search campaign.
  •  Know the Job Search Process – A job search goal that is easy for you to accomplish during this time of year is to brush up on your job search skills.  Know what your skills and abilities are.  Have your sales pitch written out, practiced, and down pat. Perfect your resume and cover letter.  Write out and practice your answers to interview questions.  Practice telling stories. In other words, read and prepare for all five stages of the job search process.  When asked what you’d like for Christmas, you might want to consider a new suit, new dress shoes, or a book on the elements that are associated with the job search process.

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 http://www.SportsCareersInsitute.com or his newest book Execute for Success at www.Execute4Success.com.

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Networking and Its Relationship To Getting a Job

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Jessica is in her final semester of studying for her master’s degree in Sports Management.  Last week she asked her advisor how she should go about getting a job in the sports industry.  To her surprise, the advisor suggested that Jessica should start networking and making contacts with professionals within the industry.

This response was not what Jessica had anticipated, but it sparked an interesting question that she and the advisor would discuss for the remainder of their meeting.  Intrigued by the thought of networking, Jessica asked “what do you mean by networking and how do you do it?”

Her advisor responded by sharing that “networking is the act of building personal relationships with colleagues within your profession.  It usually starts when you meet someone within the profession, and as time passes, the relationship grows stronger and develops into a professional relationship.”

He continued by saying “networking is the most effective way of getting a job.  In fact, it is estimated that 65-70% of all jobs are found through personal referrals or networking connections.  This is because when you know the person who is doing the hiring, or you know somebody who knows the person doing the hiring, you are at an advantage over the other applicants.  However, networking is much more than just meeting people so you can get a job.  It is a planned process where you interact with people and build alliances.

There are several strategies you can use to build a strong professional network.  These include, but are not limited to:

  • Being active in meeting other colleagues by attending professional activities such as regional conferences, national conventions, and league meetings.
  • Being active in social gatherings.
  • Having informational interviews where you seek guidance and insights into the profession.
  • Meeting opposing coaches and athletic administrators at your team’s sporting events.
  • Seeking the guidance of a mentor.

As you attend these events and activities, you will meet potential colleagues.  And when you meet these people you will want to introduce yourself, show interest in them, ask them if they have a business card, and stay in contact with them on a regular basis.  The key is that you cultivate these connections and build alliances.

As you build these alliances, quite often you will become friends with these colleagues.  And in time your colleagues will slowly move up the ladder within the profession (and so will you).   As time passes, your group will eventually be the leaders within the profession, and be in a position to hire.  This is how networking works. 

You need to view networking as a long-term process.  You need to view the purpose of a networking meeting as an opportunity to build a relationship and gain insight into the industry, not to get a job.  Getting a job from the assistance of your contacts will happen, it just takes time.

Therefore, don’t put off networking because its payoff is too far into the future.  Be smart about your career and begin the networking process right away.  Remember, ultimately the job will go to the candidate who is prepared and who effectively executes the basics of the job search 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.

 

Managing The Gaps In Your Resume

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

 Coach Johnson was both excited and relieved as he just completed his first season as the new baseball coach at West Coast State College.  His team made great progress in their initial season.  Two year’s ago, Coach Johnson’s contract was not renewed after leading a small college baseball team for the previous 11 years.

With his experience, he thought he would land another job quite quickly.  After several months of searching for a new position he finally decided to volunteer his services with a baseball program near his hometown. His strategy was to stay in the industry and minimize the gap in his employment.  After one year as a volunteer assistant, Coach Johnson was able to become a head coach again, this time at West Coast State College.

Whether you’re a veteran in the sports industry like Coach Johnson or just completing your internship, this strategy of staying active in the industry is just one approach you can use to remain in the profession.  By staying active in the profession you are effectively managing potential gaps in your employment.  The following are six strategies you can use to manage employment gaps in your resume:

Stay Active In The Industry – One of the most important strategies for minimizing gaps in your resume is to stay active in the industry.  This might be as a volunteer coach or administrator in a high school or college athletic department, taking a role in an organization that is closely related to your profession, or even being a consultant in the industry.  As a consultant you might not make much money (if any) but you might be able to help a friend or a colleague with a project, which in turn keeps you active in the industry.

Use Your Contacts – Quite often when a person loses their job, they retreat into a shell.  You can’t do this.  You need to let your friends and colleagues know that you are actively looking for a job.  Be up front with them and let them know that you are actively searching for a job and ask them if they know of any job openings.

Properly Format Your Resume – If you are unemployed for any length of time, you can minimize the gap in your resume by listing your employment in years instead of months.  This could eliminate any noticeable gaps in your resume and might eliminate any red flags in your employment history.

Be Prepared To Explain Your Gap – If you have a gap in your resume, be prepared to explain why you weren’t employed for this period of time.  You don’t want to be untruthful, or speak negatively about your previous employer, but have a good reason for your employment coming to an end.  This could be that your contract wasn’t renewed when a new president was hired, or that your internship came to an end.  Whatever the reason, make sure you have a well-rehearsed explanation that turns a negative into a positive.  This could include an answer like “my contract wasn’t renewed when a new athletic director was hired, but I see this as an opportunity for me to bring my expertise to another school.”  Then continue the answer by explaining your strengths, abilities and unique skills, and how these attributes will help their athletic department.  You need to get the interviewers excited about the possibilities you bring to their institution.

Gain More Training – If you aren’t able to stay employed in the profession, you will need to stay active in the industry.  This could be by taking a class that will help to further your skills and abilities.  This strategy could also assist you in how you are able to answer the questions about your employment gap.  Additional education and training could include taking a course in social media if you are pursuing jobs in sports information or marketing, or could include a course in NCAA compliance if your area of expertise is compliance.

Get Outstanding Recommendations – It is vitally important that you have 3-5 people in the industry who will provide you with an outstanding recommendation.  If you can’t trust what a former employer will say about you, don’t use them.  A person doesn’t always need a former employer as a reference.  The key is that you have 3-5 great references.

These are six strategies you can use to help manage the gap in your employment.  Being unemployed is an extremely stressful life event.  By implementing sound strategies in your job search process, you can reduce both the stress from your job search and also the length of your employment gap.  Remember, ultimately the job will go to the candidate who is prepared and who effectively executes the basics of the job search 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.

Five Strategies for Effective Networking In College Sports

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Networking is the most effective way for getting a job in nearly every industry.  Most industries are relatively small and people get to know one-another through various work-related activities.  This holds true for the world of college sports.  It is estimated that 65-70% of all jobs are secured through networking and personal recommendations.  But networking in the sports profession is a bit different than networking in many other industries.  This is due to the nature of the sports profession.

As a coach, we build relationships just by the very nature of the job.  A coach will meet other coaches when they are competing against them in a sporting event.  They will also meet coaches through recruiting, scouting, working camps, and attending clinics and conferences.  Athletic administrators also have these types of networking opportunities but to a lesser extent.  Administrators will have an opportunity to meet coaches and other administrators during home athletic contests, conference meetings, and regional/national conventions.  But effective networking takes effort.  Below are five principles you can use to effectively network in college sports.

  • Be Intentional in Building Relationships – One of your main focuses needs to be on building positive relationships with other coaches and administrators.  You will want to be purposeful in developing these relationships.  This means treating the opposing coaches and administrators with grace and having positive interactions prior to, and after, sporting events.  While we all want to win the upcoming contest, the outcome of the event is fleeting, but the relationships you make will last throughout your career.   It also means being very outgoing and friendly during the various events and activities where you have the opportunity to meet other professionals within the industry.  Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to other sport professionals while attending the various conferences and conventions.
  • Be Active in The Profession – In order to meet people within the industry, you will want to be very active within your profession.  This means being a member of your professional association and being active in the activities of the association. It also means attending clinics, conferences, seminars, and conventions.
  • Your Image Counts – People want to support and surround themselves with people who are the best within their industry.  This is no different in college sports.  If you have a poor reputation within the industry, other coaches and administrators will not respect you and will shy away from including you in their network.  Therefore, you need to have a positive and professional brand image so others will want to include you in their network.
  • Create a Plan – Who do you want to meet within the profession?  Who do you want to be associated with?  These are the people you need to meet and actively engage into your network.  Create a list of the people you want to network with and then create a plan of how you intend to meet them.  Once you meet the people you are strategically targeting for your network, how will you maintain and strengthen these relationships?  This needs to become a part of your strategic plan for networking within the profession.
  • Nurture Your Relationships – Meeting people within the industry is critically important, but nurturing and strengthening these relationships is also important.  This means having regular contact and interaction with them.  Is there a project you can work on together?  The more engaged you are with a person, the stronger your relationship will be.

To increase your chances of getting hired in the sports profession, you need to develop a strong and supportive network.  You do this by being active and engaged in the profession.  Networking is more than a “what’s in it for me” mentality.  To effectively network, you need to embrace the thought of trying to build friendships and strengthen relationships.  Remember, effective networking takes effort.  This includes being intentional in meeting people, being active in the profession, creating a strong brand image, creating a strong networking plan, and nurturing your relationships.

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.SportsCareersInsitute.com.