As you surf through a number of job boards, the sports jobs listings start to run together. Postings only give you enough information to determine how your skills align with the role. But what about the culture?
Finding your ideal place to work in sports is difficult, which is why you need to start doing your own research. In fact, finding a culture you fit in is mutually beneficial for both you and the employer.
Jobvite’s 2016 Recruiter Nation survey found that 60 percent of recruiters rate cultural fit as high importance. In other words, if you can determine a strong fit, you have a major advantage.
Approach your employer research like athletes pursue their career. Take time to prepare and practice before contacting potential employers.
When you thoroughly research employers, you take a more deliberate, targeted strategy to find sports jobs that are meaningful to you with employers you love.
Here are three tips for better researching employers:
Surf Social Media
Grab your board and catch some waves while you surf an employer’s social media presence. Companies are sharing more than ever before on social media, making it one of the most valuable resources for you to learn about their culture.
In fact, most employers use social media to research you — an April 2016 CareerBuilder survey found that 60 percent of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates. So, why not return the favor?
Break down your research by social media outlet. Start with Twitter to see if they host or engage in TweetChats. Then, find out when their upcoming ones are and participate in them.
To take it a step further, search their feed for five pieces of content you can relate your experience to, and make notes on how you can use a personal anecdote to connect with the employer.
Let’s say you see a sports equipment company post a list of their top 10 best running shoes. If your hobby is running and you tried one of the shoes reviewed, reach out through Twitter or on their blog and comment about how much you enjoyed their review.
They may also use Twitter to share available sports jobs and even celebrate their employees. For example, IdealShape tweets about #IdealCrew members, with photos and short bios as part of an employee recognition program.
From there, look at image-focused social media like Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest to get a glimpse into what their offices look like. Search their Facebook and LinkedIn accounts to find information about their culture and values.
As you research employers on social media, fill out your ideal employer list. Identify where you align with each employer’s mission statement, vision, core values, and other cultural elements.
Can you imagine yourself fitting in?
Study Game Footage
Coaches aren’t the only ones reviewing footage before a game to study their opponents’ strategies. You can also borrow this method and get to know your potential employers before you reach out to them.
Use resources like Glassdoor to brush up on a company’s interview process and learn how to properly prepare for pursuing sports jobs with them.
For example, let’s say you applied to Hudl, but you haven’t hear back for weeks. If you research their company page on Glassdoor, you can read real-life accounts from candidates like you. One applicant shared that the process took more than four weeks, and it included several one-on-one interviews.
Use this information to prepare. When you can identify current employees, use social media to reach out or introduce yourself through email. If they agree to it, conduct a short informational interview to inquire about the culture and how success is defined.
If you’re invited for an interview, arrive a little early to observe how the employees interact. Note the level of formality so you can act appropriately during the interview.
Invest in Good Gear
When athletes train, they pick the gear that fits them the best and allows them to condition safely and comfortably. Baseball players test their bats and gloves. Weightlifters need just the right hand wraps and belts for their intense training.
You also need the right tools to successfully research employers and find a culture you fit in. Use top notch technology and apps to your advantage. They can help you find your dream employers and identify sports jobs that fit you the best.
For example, CareerLabs searches hundreds of job boards at once and offers filters for targeted job searching. Look for employers who provide a good work-life balance, have strong financial performance, or who offer professional development.
Apps like Rake help you track your job search activity and target specific employers. It also keeps you on task with note taking, to-do lists, and reminders.
If you want to improve your networking, download CityHour. You can find people within a 50-mile radius and meet them in-person. Use it to connect with professionals who work for potential employers. This way, you can get the insider scoop on the culture to see if it’s right for you.
Athletes and job seekers like you are one in the same — you both have the mental and physical ability to prepare, practice, and take action to achieve a specific career goal. Once you find your ideal employers, the fun really begins.