To be fair to the online job boards, most students that send out resumes and cover letters—and that’s all they do—don’t have a clue about what it takes to land a job, especially in sports. (That would include me when I was student.)
Never Do This…
Sending out a resume to hiring manager—without first making a connection—is an exercise in futility. This lazy tactic gives you less than a one percent chance of landing the job. That’s like selling corporate sponsorships for the New York Jets and mailing out a media kit… hoping the phone rings. Doesn’t work that way.
Always Do This…
The best move you can make is to contact the person who does the hiring. Almost no one does this because it says in the ad: “No phone calls. Send resume only.” Those two sentences make me laugh, especially when you see it attached to “new business development” jobs that require aggressive, yet tactful communication skills.
As a job seeker, those “Send resume only” ads should get you pretty excited because 99 percent of the people reading the ad will not contact them, other than just sending their resume. And that’s understandable because the last thing you’d want to do is upset the person that could hold your future in their hands.
Here’s how you don’t upset anyone: Do not reply to the ad directly from the job board site. Instead, make a connection with the hiring manager first. I call this the end-around. Making a connection is different than just making contact. A connection is a much deeper, more meaningful—and memorable—interaction. Keep up with this blog and you’ll learn how to make a genuine connection.
ACTION ITEM: Make a list of all the jobs that match your skillset, talent and passion. Find out who the companies are and get the hiring manager’s name. Sometimes that information isn’t in the ad, so you’ll have to do some legwork. But don’t just make contact; first make a genuine connection.