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

 

 


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

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Howard Gauthier is an Associate Professor of Athletic Administration at Idaho State University. He is a former collegiate athletic director and collegiate basketball coach. He is also an author of 9 books. Check out his book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at www.sportscareersinstitute.com.

*******

The #1 Careers Book in Sports

2nd edition Image

In Getting Hired In College Sports you will discover:

  • The types of jobs that exist in college sports
  • How to plan and navigate your career
  • How to create an effective job search campaign 
  • The proper way to create an effective resume, cover letter, and sales pitch
  • How to properly brand yourself
  • Techniques and strategies to prepare for your interview
  • How to properly prepare yourself for the five types of interview questions 
  • How to properly follow-up after the interview in order to influence the decision of the hiring manager

Only $23.95 Click Here To Purchase 

.
“I have recommended this book to many aspiring sports administrators.  A must read for anyone whom has a goal of working in athletic administration”

-Bill Fusco
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University

 

 


Seeking Advice From a Mentor is Just Plain Smart

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

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

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

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

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

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

 

Remember, ultimately the job will go to the candidate who is prepared and who effectively executes the basics of the job interview process. In all you do, you will want to EXECUTE FOR SUCCESS! 

Howard Gauthier is an Associate Professor of Athletic Administration at Idaho State University. He is a former collegiate athletic director and collegiate basketball coach. He is also an author of 9 books. Check out his book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at www.sportscareersinstitute.com.

*******

The #1 Careers Book in Sports

2nd edition Image

In Getting Hired In College Sports you will discover:

  • The types of jobs that exist in college sports
  • How to plan and navigate your career
  • How to create an effective job search campaign 
  • The proper way to create an effective resume, cover letter, and sales pitch
  • How to properly brand yourself
  • Techniques and strategies to prepare for your interview
  • How to properly prepare yourself for the five types of interview questions 
  • How to properly follow-up after the interview in order to influence the decision of the hiring manager

Only $23.95 Click Here To Purchase 

.
“I have recommended this book to many aspiring sports administrators.  A must read for anyone whom has a goal of working in athletic administration”

-Bill Fusco
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University

 

 


Ten Elements of an Effective Job Search Campaign

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Mark awoke before his I-phone’s alarm was set to go off at 6:45am.  He had a restless nights sleep because of his excitement for his informational interview with Thomas Griffin. Tom, as his friends referred to him, is a retired college athletic director who mentors young people in their search for a career in the sports industry.  Mark’s uncle had played college basketball with Tom in the late 1960’s and referred Mark to him.

Tom Griffin had a 40-year career as a college coach and athletic director, and he is now giving back to the community by mentoring young people who are interested in careers in college sports.  The two would meet at a local coffee shop where Tom does most of mentoring.

As Mark arrived at the coffee shop, Tom welcomed him with a bright smile and a firm handshake. After about 15 minutes of small talk and introductions, the two began to talk about working in college sports. Tom first described how college athletic departments are structured and then shared the different types of jobs that exist in an athletic department. As they continued with their discussions, Tom got into more detail about how to get a job in college sports. He identified 10 elements that are necessary for conducting a successful job search campaign.  He told Mark that these elements are from the book “Getting Hired in College Sports”.  He went on to say that it’s a “how to” book for the job seeker and Tom asks that each of his mentees get a copy so they can use the worksheets that are included.  As they continued with their conversation, Tom gave Mark a handout that listed these 10 job search elements. These elements are a necessity for job seekers to know in order to secure a job.  The following are the 10 elements that Tom shared with Mark:

  1. You must properly assess your skills, abilities, strengths and traits
  2. You need to properly plan your career
  3. You need to establish a target market for your job search campaign
  4. You need to effectively promote yourself with a well-written cover letter and resume
  5. You need to create a compelling Personal Sales Pitch
  6. You need to complete an Interview Preparation Form
  7. You need to prepare to answer interview questions
  8. You need to organize your job search campaign
  9. You need to know the proven strategies for executing a successful job interview
  10. You need to be strategic in following-up after your interview

The two continued to talk for over two hours and in the end they agreed to continue to work together so Mark can develop all 10 elements of the job search process. This will help him to position himself for an outstanding career in the world of college sports. For more information on the job search process, or the book “Getting Hired in College Sports”, feel free to contact Howard Gauthier at howard@sportscareersinstitute.com or go to his website at www.SportsCareersInstitute.com.

 

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

 

 


Your Job Search: How Hungry Are You?

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

How bad do you want to work in the sports industry? If you truly want to make it in the sports field, you have to be hungry, hungry to achieve your goal.

Hunger is an extreme desire to achieve your goals and objectives. When you’re hungry, nothing will stand in your way. You will make the necessary sacrifices, you will work hard, and you will stay focused on your goal. It doesn’t mean that you will operate with a “win at all cost” attitude that will hurt others just so you can get what you want, quite the opposite. When you’re hungry you will become the ultimate professional. You will dress for your next job, you will work hard to learn the necessary skills, and you will look to build strong relationships.

In my book, Execute for Success, I outline eight elements that will help you to achieve your goals and objectives. If you want to succeed in the sports industry, you will want to:

  1. Find your passion by becoming engaged in your activities and adopt an optimistic attitude toward these activities.
  2. Establish outcome goals and performance goals that are clear, challenging, and in writing. Use the SMART system to organize and target the outcomes you want to achieve.
  3. Maintain unwavering resolve and determination to accomplish your career goals.
  4. Learn the fundamental skills of your craft or activity.
  5. Develop and improve your skills through proper training programs and deliberately practice these skills.
  6. Exercise both disciplined thought and disciplined action.
  7. Stay focused on your job and eliminate distractions.
  8. Anticipate changes within the industry, adjust quickly, and re-establish your goals.

These eight elements are outlined in my book and are shown to help people achieve success. Take a moment to reflect on each of these elements and see how they might apply to where you are in your profession and your job search. By applying these elements to your goal of working in the sports industry, you will be taking a large step towards feeding your hunger, your hunger of working in the world of sports. So again I ask you, how hungry are you?

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 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

 

 


Planning Your Career

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Editor’s Note:  The Coffee House Mentor is a series of 10 topics that discuss all aspects of the job search process.  This blog on career planning is the third article of the series.

As the career mentoring group gathered for this week’s meeting, the group was prepared to have a strong discussion about how to properly and effectively plan their career.  Rob, the mentor and leader of the group, began the session by asking the group members if they knew what their ultimate career goal was, and if they knew how to position themselves to achieve this goal.

Two of the mentees had a pretty clear concept of what they wanted in a career and two were really trying to discover their way in life.  But Rick knew exactly what he wanted.  He wanted to pursue coaching and wanted to coach basketball at the Division I level.  He went on to say “When I was first fired as the head coach at the local high school, I was confused and didn’t know if I still wanted to coach.  However, as I reflected upon my strengths and weaknesses, I knew that my strengths are in teaching and coaching young people.  In fact, I love the game, I love teaching and coaching, and the firing might be the prodding I needed to help me pursue my dreams and passions.”

Rick went on to discuss a formula he uncovered for mapping out his career and a step-by-step process to help guide him as he planned a career toward becoming a basketball coach at the Division I level.  This formula for planning your career includes four steps and several strategies on how you should plan and position yourself for your dream job.  These steps and strategies include:

Step One:  Identifying Your Dream Job.  This includes identifying the following elements,

  • Type of Position (e.g. basketball coach)
  • Industry (e.g. college level)
  • Type of Institution (e.g. Public/Private, 2-year/4-year)
  • Level of Competition (e.g. NCAA Division I)
  • Where You Want to Live (e.g. region of the country)
  • Size of the Community (e.g. urban or rural)

As you continue on in this four-step process, you will want to research which organizations meet the above criteria for your career.  You should list these organizations in a personal notebook.

Step Two:  How To Get There.  As you plan for your dream job, research and identify the type of education, experience, and skills you will need in order to be hired for this position.

Step Three:  Positioning Yourself.  Working backwards, what type of positions will lead to your dream job?  The assumption is that you are just beginning your career and that your dream job is approximately 10-15 years into the future.  This also assumes that it will take approximately four career moves before you reach your dream job.  These assumptions will change depending upon where you currently are in your career.  Therefore, it might only take two moves instead of four.  With this in mind, work backwards from your “dream” situation in step one, and identify what the logical job would be that could lead to your career goal.  This is your “One-Position Removed” job. List this position in your notebook.  Continue on with this format and identify the type of employment that would lead to your one-position removed job.  This is your “Two-Positions Removed” job.  You will also want to list this in your notebook.  Complete this process by identifying your 2-Year Career Goal.  Your 2-year goal should lead to your “Two-Positions Removed” job and is the job you want to secure within the next two years.  List this position in your notebook.

Step Four:  Your Current Situation.  In this step you will list your current position and then identify the strategies you need to employ in order to become hired into your next position within two years.  These strategies can include:

  • Repositioning yourself within the industry
  • Obtaining an entry level Job
  • Staying in your current position and begin a networking plan
  • Volunteer to gain experience
  • Attend Graduate/Undergraduate School
  • Complete an internship (paid or unpaid)
  • Find a mentor who can give you perspective and advice

These four steps gave Rick the necessary process and strategies that allowed him to gain a clear focus into attaining his dream job.  The mentoring group was pleased with Rick’s input and Rob continued on by discussing the process for identifying the people and organizations you should target in your job search campaign.  This will be discussed in next week’s blog.

For more information about the job search process, please contact Howard Gauthier at howard@sportscareersinstitute.com or go to our website at www.SportsCareersInstitute.com.  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 latest book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at www.SportsCareersInstitute.com.

The Coffee House Mentor: An Overview of the Job Search Process

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Coffee-Shops-Amsterdam-Ban-e1321980515514The music obnoxiously blared as the alarm clock read 6:45am.  Unlike most days, Cece Davis popped out of bed and was excited for the day.  You see, Cece has been looking for a job for several months now, and today she was joining a careers mentoring group headed by Rob Taylor, a retired college athletic director.  Rob has become known as the Coffee House Mentor because the group meets every Tuesday morning at 10am at the Rose Street Coffee House, and every mentee he has mentored has gotten a job.

Rob Taylor had a 40-year career as a coach and athletic director, and he is now giving back to the community by mentoring five young people who are at various stages of their careers.  The group is limited to five people at a time because Rob believes he is most effective as a teacher in a small group setting such as this.

As Cece arrived at the coffee shop, Rob introduced her to the other four mentees.  There was Lizzie Sather who has been with the group for three and a half weeks after being downsized in the computer industry.  Next to her was Steve Huntley who is a senior at State University and is majoring in Finance.  Continuing to move around the room was Rick Edwards.  Rick was a teacher at the local high school and was considered to be a rising star as a basketball coach.  When a new athletic director was hired, Rick’s coaching contract was not renewed and the new AD appointed himself as the new coach.  As the introductions continued, Brian Graham was next in line.  While Brian is really talented in designing and operating websites, he is painfully quiet and shy.  He was the Vice President of Operations for a three person up-start website design company.  When the recession hit, people tightened their belts, and the company had to close its doors.

As a way of introducing Cece to the group, Rob asked the group to share with her an overview of the job search process.  They identified 10 elements that are necessary for conducting a successful job search campaign.  These elements are from the book “Getting Hired in College Sports”.  It’s a “how to” book for the job seeker and Rob requires each mentee to buy a copy so they can use the worksheets that are included.  As they began this week’s session, the group shared with Cece the following 10 elements that a job seeker must know, and must execute perfectly, in order to secure a job.  These elements include:

  • Properly Assessing Your Skills, Abilities, Strengths and Traits.
  • Completing The Career Planning Guide.
  • Establishing The Target Markets For Your Job Search Campaign.
  • Effectively Promoting Yourself Through a Cover Letter, Resume, References, and Networking Strategies.
  • Developing Your Personal Sales Pitch.
  • Completing Your Interview Preparation Form.
  • Preparing To Answer Interview Questions.
  • Organizing Your Job Search Campaign.
  • Using Proven Strategies For Your Job Interviews.
  • Being Strategic in Following-up After Your Interview.

In the next few weeks, the story of the Coffee House Mentor will continue to unfold in this blog as we discuss each of these 10 job search elements in much greater detail.  For more information about the job search process, please contact Howard Gauthier at howard@sportscareersinstitute.com or go to our website at www.SportsCareersInstitute.com.

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 new book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at www.SportsCareersInstitute.com.

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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.

Strategies For Branding Yourself Within Sports

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Alex was conducting an informational interview with the athletic director at a small New England college.  He was trying to learn more about the sports industry and was hoping to pursue a career in college sports.  One of the topics they discussed was on building a solid career within college athletics.  The athletic director mentioned that Alex should focus on building a strong brand within the industry and he should begin by creating a personal branding statement.

Intrigued by the concept of branding, Alex asked what a brand is, and how he would go about branding himself?  In a nutshell, a personal brand is how people view you.  It is your reputation and what people think of when they hear your name.  Your reputation is built on what you’ve accomplished and what type of personality traits you possess.  Your accomplishments usually reflect your expertise in the industry such as a coach’s win-loss record or a marketing director’s knowledge and expertise in licensing.  Your personality traits could include if you are friendly, have a positive attitude, a strong work ethic or are a good team member within the department.

In developing your brand identity, there are several techniques you can use to effectively create your personal brand.  The first step is to develop your personal branding statement.  This is a statement that defines what you do and who you serve.  It includes identifying the industry in which you work (e.g. intercollegiate athletics), your profession (e.g. sports information), and your area of specialization (e.g. game operations).

Over time, specializing within a particular niche within the industry is the key to creating your brand.  In other words, what will you be known for?  What area within the industry are you an expert?  Becoming an expert takes time, but you can begin by learning about a particular niche right away.  Below are four steps you can take to begin branding yourself within your industry.

Join A Professional Association – One of the key elements to becoming known in any industry is to get to know the people within the profession.  With this in mind, the next step in developing your personal brand is to identify and join the associations for your profession.  By joining a professional association, you will have an opportunity to learn about the profession, have an opportunity to meet other colleagues within the profession, and be able to stay connected with these colleagues through a common interest – the professional association.

Be Aware Of Your Image – Your image is the perception that others have of you.  It is a reflection of your activities, actions, and behaviors.  Make sure that your lifestyle is congruent with the image you want for your brand. This holds true for both your personal and professional life.  At some point your personal and professional life will become intertwined and become one in the same.

Writing and Publishing – One of the best ways to become recognized as an industry expert is to write and become published on topics within your area of specialization.  Find a topic within your industry that interests you, research it, and write an article for a professional journal. 

Public Speaking – Another way to become recognized as an expert is through public speaking.  As you write your papers and submit them for publication, turn them into speeches.  Contact the local Kiwanis Clubs and Rotary Clubs and share your expertise with them.  Contact your professional association and submit a proposal for a presentation at a regional or national conference.

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.

 

Creating an Effective Presentation for Your Interview

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Micki wanted to get a leg up on her competition during her current job search.  To aide her in the job search process she contacted a Sports Careers Consultant for advice on strategies she should use.  In particular she wanted advice on how she could out-work her competition and shine by submitting a supplement to her application in the form of a sales pamphlet, a proposal or a video presentation.

The consultant had significant experience in the college sports industry and shared some of his thoughts with her regarding the use of presentations in the job search process.  He suggested that supplemental materials submitted with the application don’t usually provide an advantage to the applicant.  However, a very well presented sales pamphlet or proposal could definitely assist during the on-campus interview.

He went on to explain his views.  The consultant shared that during the application process, the pool of applicants are first narrowed down by the search committee after reviewing their cover letter, resume, and references.  If a person meets the minimum qualifications they would typically move on to a second round of review.  Further review of qualifications, and discussions with references, helps to create a list of finalists.  At this point supplemental materials and presentations probably won’t help. 

The consultant spoke about his philosophy for the job search process.  He believes that along with a person’s resume and cover letter, contacts help you to get an interview – and once you get the interview, it’s up to you to secure the job.  Intrigued by this concept, Micki asked the consultant about the types of presentations she could pitch to the search committee during an on-campus interview.

In many industries a candidate is asked to make a presentation during a job interview.  The consultant recommended that if Micki were ever in this situation, she would want to find out from the employer what type of presentation is expected and what should be included.  Typically this includes a PowerPoint presentation.  However, in college sports, interviews don’t usually include a PowerPoint or any type of formal presentation.  But one format you could use is an Interview Portfolio.  This type of presentation is something that most candidates won’t use, and if done properly you could definitely stand out from the crowd.

The consultant explained that an Interview Portfolio is a written plan and vision for the job you are interviewing for, and he shared an example of a portfolio that another client developed when he was interviewing for an athletic director’s position.  His client’s portfolio was a 24 page document that outlined his plan and vision within eight areas:  departmental goals, departmental infrastructure, student support, compliance, marketing & promotions, fund raising, and an outline of the model athletic department.  The portfolio included a binder that had a nice color cover and 12 clear plastic pages inside.  He created eight portfolios, one for each of the search committee members.  During the interview, he was able to “walk” the committee through each section of the portfolio and was able to describe his plans and vision for the department.  Soon after his interview he received a telephone call from the president of the university and was offered the position.  He found out later that he was the only candidate during the interviews to use a presentation.  The Interview Portfolio is a sales tool that really works.

The key is that you know the basic fundamental skills that are associated with each stage of the job search process and that you effectively performing these skills.  In all you do, you will want to EXECUTE FOR SUCCESS! 

Howard Gauthier is an Associate Professor of Athletic Administration at Idaho State University.  He is a former collegiate athletic director and collegiate basketball coach.  He is also an author of 9 books.  Check out his book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at www.SportsCareersInstitute.com.