Tools for getting your next job
CRACKING THE ARMOR OF TODAY’S THOUGH JOB MARKET is becoming increasingly difficult with the high number of qualified applicants currently vying for the same positions. The niche of coaching football is a perfect microcosim of this dilemma. So how do you stand out from the pack? How do you grasp the Holy Grail, so to speak?
Well, American Football Monthly has gathered some of its best experts from across the country to help provide you with all the necessary tools and skills needed to secure your next job, such as resumes, interview skills, networking, salary negotiations, agents and dealing with the media.
Don’t get caught unprepared … put your job-hunting game plan in effect today.
Networking: Make the Most of Every Opportunity
DO YOU DREAD NETWORKING EVENTS, INTERVIEWS, JOB SEARCH activities and other business related social gatherings? When attending or teaching a clinic is your only focus the X’s and O’s? Does attending another open house make you want to run inside your home and lock the door? For football coaches at all levels these occasions represent opportunities to develop business friendships and broaden networks.
Whether you realize it or not, networking happens all the time.
Coaches learn technical skills required of their jobs, but not all place importance on conversational skills. The ability to talk easily with anyone is a learned skill, not a personality trait. Learning this will help you develop rapport with people and leave an impression that lasts longer than exchanging business cards.
Here are a few tips football coaches can use to improve their networking skills:
· Be the first to say “Hello!” and introduce yourself. Don’t wait for someone to walk up to you first. They do not know what to talk about with you either.
· Take your time during introductions. Make an extra effort to remember names, and use their name frequently in the conversation with them.
· Maintain eye contact in any conversation. Many people in a group of three or more look around in the hope that others in the group will maintain eye contact on their behalf. But people don’t feel listened to if you are not looking at them.
· Get somebody to talk about what they hope to gain from the clinic or convention and you’re on your way to engaging them in conversation.
· Show an interest in every person. The more interest you show, the more wise and attractive you become to others. Some icebreakers:
o “What’s the greatest challenge of coaching at your level?”
o “How has the internet impacted your work?”
o “Describe your greatest moment as a coach…”
· Listen carefully for information that can keep the conversation going.
· Play the conversation “game.” When someone asks, “How’s the team?” or “What’s going on?” … answer with more than “pretty good” and “not much.” Tell more about yourself so that others can learn more about you.
· But be careful with acquaintances. You wouldn’t want to open a conversation with: “How’s your job at (fill in the blank)?” What if that person just got fired? Be careful when you’re asking about an acquaintance’s spouse or friends – you could regret it.
4 GREAT WAYS TO NETWORK
· Attend conventions and trade shows
· Observe or speak at a coaching clinic
· Read or write an article in a coaching publication, i.e. AFM
· Introduce yourself and make contacts
-Be prepared. Spend a few minutes before an anticipated function preparing to talk easily about three topics. They will come in handy when you find yourself in the middle of an awkward moment … or seated at a table of eight where everyone is playing with their food.
-Show an interest in your conversational partner’s opinion, too. You’re not the only person who has opinions about the NCAA’s new rules in spring football or the current college ranking polls.
-Be prepared with exit lines. Don’t melt from conversations. You do need to move around and meet others. Make a positive impression by shaking hands and saying goodbye as you leave.
Every encounter involves risk. As long as you keep looking for new people to meet, and show an interest in other people, you can develop coaching friendships and enjoy lively conversations.