One of the biggest mistakes students and young professionals make when they’re trying to land a job in sports is that they’re too vague. Or they’ll position themselves in a generic, “I have a passion for sports” kind of way.
That’s the exact opposite of what you should do. If that’s you, let me tell you something. Not only are you boring, but no one will be compelled to interview you, much less hire you. And because you don’t stand out, you’re basically invisible to the employers.
Stand Out By Positioning Yourself as The Best Candidate
If you want to position yourself as the best candidate, first you’ve got to stand out from the competition. The best way to stand out is to lead with your greatest strength. Instead of being vague in your communication, be specific about how your greatest strength brings value to the organizations you’re targeting.
Be The Answer to The Problem
The most effective way to communicate your value is to show how you can be a problem solver. Every company has problems. Including ESPN, the New York Yankees, Nike and every other sports-related employer big and small. It’s your job to identify a specific problem and position yourself as the perfect solution.
The good news is that employers almost always articulate what their problems are, either on their own websites, or through other resources like TeamWorkOnline.com or WorkInSports.com. Employers that post jobs online offer a unique view of what they are looking for. This gives you great insight to the problems they need help with.
(Side note: if you’re using an online service like those mentioned above, I can show you how to do an end-around and rise above the thousands of other applicants. Hit me up here: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lead With Your Greatest Strength
I’m sure you have a ton of talent and can solve lots of problems. However, if you try to be all things to all employers you will fail. It’s that simple. The key is to link your greatest strength to a specific problem.
For example, if you can sell ice to Eskimos then you can help solve a problem of declining sponsor sales or ticket sales. Or, if you can write like the great Blackie Sherrod, then you can help solve (or at least slowdown) a decline in readership. Or, you’re an event marketer extraordinaire, you can turn a sorry event that no one knows exists into an exciting event people will talk about.
Whatever it is that you can do better than anyone else is what you must to lead with!
In my book, How to Land Your First Job in Sports: 7 Simple Steps, I outline the 10 Touch Points of Personal Branding. These touch points are where you can lead with your greatest strength. Using these touch points as a platform for marketing yourself is critical to your sports career-launching success.
Your greatest strength, when attached to solving a specific problem, is what makes you the best candidate for a job in sports.
Do you have a success story of positioning yourself in a distinct way and landing a job in sports? Let us know by tweeting at us or leaving your comments below!