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You’re back at it: sitting at your computer, searching for sports jobs online. For many, this daily practice has been going on for a while.

As of January, the number of long-term unemployed (LTU) was at 1.9 million — accounting for 24.4 percent of the unemployed — according to a recent analysis by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

No matter how long you’ve been at it, searching for sports jobs can be exhausting. This is especially true when you don’t have the skills employers are looking for.

With baseball season in full swing, you need to treat your job search like an at-bat. Think like a hitter, and get ready to hit a career home run.

Here’s how you can approach your search for sports jobs like a major league slugger:

Take Some Practice Swings

When baseball players are in the on-deck circle, they’re swinging weighted bats to practice their timing. In between pitches, many of them step out of the batter’s box to focus on their form.

Practice is crucial in everything you pursue, and that includes searching for sports jobs. You need to get some practice swings in throughout your search, so you’re ready when you get to the plate.

Get your friends and family involved in your job search. Ask them to review your resume for errors. It’s easy to miss them when you are overly focused on your resume for a long period of time.

You can also recruit them to run through mock panel and phone interviews. This way, you can get comfortable answering interview questions and focus on the talking points you want to use.

Keep Your Eyes on the Ball

When a batter approaches the plate, they’re ready to jump on a pitcher’s mistake, whether it’s a hanging curveball or a change-up right over the middle of the plate. To put it simply, they keep their eyes on the ball from the moment the pitcher releases it.

You need to use this same focus on pursuing the sports jobs you want. Don’t lose track of your goal and your intentions.

Let’s say you want to work for a company that is socially responsible. If this is a priority of yours, you shouldn’t waste time pursuing employment opportunities with companies that don’t have a corporate social responsibility (CSR) program.

Make this clear by creating a list of target employers you want to contact. Once you have a list, you can start to apply for sports jobs with them. This way, you’re going after jobs that mean something to you.

When you approach an opportunity you’re passionate about, that enthusiasm will shine through and help you stand out during the hiring process. More importantly, you’ll be happier when you start working.

Find Your Balance

As batters settle into the batter’s box, they often dig their cleats into the dirt and find a comfortable, stable stance. They find their balance so they can control their swing.

You need to find a balanced way of searching for sports job. Stick to a routine that gives you time to focus on your health and wellness and stay productive.

Jobvite’s 2016 Job Seeker Nation study found that 52 percent of job seekers search for jobs in bed, 31 percent in a restaurant, and 15 percent even take the job search to the bathroom. In other words, many people are relying on unhealthy job search habits.

Just as you do with your work life, you also need to strive for a balance between your job search and day-to-day life. Dedicate time to be intentional in your job search, but make sure you take time for yourself as well. Schedule your days so you still take care of your mental and physical well-being.

Get a Coach

When a player’s batting average drops, their hitting coaches start to focus on problems with their swing. Similarly, when you hit a wall in your job search, you may need to contact a career counselor or life coach.

These professionals can help you develop the skills and confidence you need to break through the rut you’re in. Coaches identify your shortcomings and guide you through an action plan to help you earn more interviews.

Try to Predict the Next Pitch

Many hitters learn how to read pitchers. They can look for patterns in their wind-up and release point to predict the kind of pitch coming in.

Stay on your toes and prepare for the next steps throughout your process. This applies to every stage of the job search. Consider what your next steps along the way.

When you submit an application, you know you’re probably going to receive an email or get a call to discuss it. Prepare for how you will respond to these communications, then consider your best options for following up. You may want to send an email, leave a voicemail, or message the hiring manager through LinkedIn.

The same goes for when you earn an interview. Keep looking ahead so you are never caught off guard — or else, you may strikeout.

When you approach your search for sports jobs like a slugger, you’re ready to hit your career home run.

What are some other ways to approach your job search like an at-bat? 

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