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Landing a Job in Sports: Job Application Advice

Last week we posted a job description looking for a new community manager for our sites. The response was overwhelming and we received many amazing resumes and applications. The top 10 were invited to participate in the next stage of the search by submitting video posts explaining why they wanted the job. The videos showed clearly why these candidates made the top 10 cut to begin with. They are dedicated and passionate, something we value a lot for our company.

Some candidates really stood out and impressed us. They did crazy things like submit their application an hour after we requested it, created a website, sent multiple video posts and recorded themselves from a Sonic Drive-Through to illustrate their 24/7 hustle.

If you want to stand out you have to be willing to think creatively and show that you have that drive. We had people submit resumes that were far more qualified with impressive work experience, but that’s really not what was most important to us. In the end we wanted someone who would out hustle the rest and be hungry to learn every day.

Unfortunately not all of the applicants were such rock stars. There were some obvious job no-no’s we ran across when reviewing submissions. I came up with a list of tips on things to avoid when applying for jobs that might be useful to current job seekers.

Don’t send links to dead social networking accounts. If you have a Twitter account but don’t follow anyone and have never tweeted from it, I probably don’t need to see it. I wouldn’t call attention to the fact that you don’t use this tool when this job involves social  networking and being familiar with this platform. It’s calling attention to your weakness, so leaving it out is probably best.

Telling me about your social media expertise and then linking to your Twitter account with less than 100 followers is probably not a good idea either. Don’t try to build up your qualifications or exaggerate, especially when your potential employer obviously knows a thing or two about social media. It looks bad on your part.

One of the weirdest applications had very little information and a few links. Then the applicant stated that they had many qualifications for the job but too many to list. I’m not sure if that’s laziness or ignorance but please, DO tell me why you are qualified for the job.

We are a pretty casual crew but swearing in your cover letter or typing “LOL” might be pushing it. I know a lot of employers who wouldn’t consider those applications.

I’m not sharing this information to embarrass or make fun of anyone. I’m sharing it in the hope that it helps job seekers and those who are looking to work in sports or any industry. If you’ve made similar mistakes in the past, don’t worry. Be positive, sharpen your game and keep working toward your goals.

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9 Responses to Landing a Job in Sports: Job Application Advice

  1. Gary July 21, 2010 at 6:42 pm #

    So who got the job?

  2. Theresa Ortega July 21, 2010 at 6:59 pm #

    Great advice, Lewis. I'm going to send this link to some of our grad and undergrad students here. (I work in the Rec Sports Dept. of a large local university, we hire a lot of sports/sports management majors in our building). It's amazing to see cover letters with “text-speak” being passed off as legitimate….YIKES. Keep up the good work!

  3. lewishowes July 21, 2010 at 7:10 pm #

    Thanks Theresa… to be honest I like when someone can make me laugh and smile, but not when it's that unprofessional in a resume or application. glad you enjoyed this!

  4. Jamie Favreau July 23, 2010 at 6:39 pm #

    Great advice!!

  5. Erica July 29, 2010 at 8:17 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this information. It's amazing that things that seem so common sense to some really aren't common sense to others. But it's a learning experience and hopefully many people will learn from the information in this discussion.

  6. Trom6102 July 30, 2010 at 3:04 am #

    very good information for anyone trying to get a job in any industry. Need to know the job your applying for and how to best promote yourself.

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  9. Mirinda June 27, 2019 at 1:31 am #

    An athlete may become a sports journalist or commentator. He has undeniable competitive advantages in this sense. It would be strange if a person who never entered the ring would advise a professional boxer and world champion. –

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