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Why Most People Fail to Land a Job in Sports

job in sportsOne of the hardest jobs to land in sports (other than a GM position in the NFL) is that very first job out of college.

Why? Because when you’re just starting out, you don’t know anyone. No one knows you. And you’re unproven. Plus, the sports business experience you have is either lacking, or irrelevant.

But those are excuses!

The Real Reason Most People Fail To Land A Job In Sports

The real reason most people fail to land a job in sports is because they don’t have a game plan. What’s troubling is that many of those same people spend more time developing a plan to get into college than they do on a plan to get hired after college.

Why are We Willing to Go to These Extremes…

  •     Pay a tutor to help maintain a high GPA while in high school
  •     Pay for SAT/ACT prep courses to get into a prestigious college
  •     Spend $100-$200K (or more) for a college degree
  •     Go into massive debt for a student loan

…Only to Settle for a Field Goal Inside the 10 Yard Line

Getting into the college of your choice takes serious effort. Getting your degree, even more. But for some reason the effort level drops considerably when it comes to planning and executing a career-launching strategy, which results in a boring, non-sports related job.

That’s the equivalent of marching down the football field and settling for a field goal inside the 10 yard line. All the hard work was done. You just need a plan to punch it in when you’re in the Red Zone.

Blasting Your Resume to Sports Employers is Not a Plan

job in sportsIn theory, sending out resumes to every sports entity seems like a decent idea. After all, once they see how great you are, you’re phone will be blowing up, right? Wrong!

Blindly sending your resume to someone you’ve never met (or emailed), is a waste of time and energy.

Resumes are important, but they’re highly overrated. That’s only one piece of your overall career-launching plan.


Launch a Balanced Attack

Just like a winning football team, you need to have a balanced attack when pursuing a sports career. You need a good ground game, a solid air attack, strong special teams and a few trick plays up your sleeve. Your ground game will include going to live networking events and conferences. Your air attack is a highly targeted direct mail campaign with persistent followup calls. (Done correctly, this will impress any VP of Ticket Sales or Corporate Sponsorships.) And your special teams will include personal branding (online and off) plus strong interviewing skills.

As for a few trick plays, the objective is to get in front of the person that has the power to hire you. Don’t confuse trick plays with ways to “trick” someone into hiring you. Tricking anyone can be a career killer. Think of trick plays as unique and creative ways that will make you standout from the competition and get your foot in the door.

If you need help developing your sports career-launching plan, contact me directly at

What are you doing to help stand out above the crowd of applicants?  Let us know your challenges in the comments below or send us a tweet to @sportsnetworker

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One Response to Why Most People Fail to Land a Job in Sports

  1. sportsnetworker June 6, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    @johnmellor Appreciate the RT John!

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