Every sports fan grows up with team posters on the walls, jerseys and hats overflowing from their closet, and binders full of trading cards. And many sports fans want to carry that childhood passion into their career.
Fortunately, landing a job with your favorite team is not as difficult as you might think. It all comes down to one thing: timing.
There are certain times during the year that sports leagues and organizations will post a higher volume of sports jobs. These hiring cycles depend on the sports season.
Plan your job search strategy accordingly with these tips:
At this point in the year, your favorite players are at training facilities running drills and playing exhibition games. But by this time, job opportunities are likely to be filled. So, use the preseason to focus on defining who you are as a professional and prepare for the next time your team posts open positions.
Your online presence is the best tool for defining yourself and standing out from other job seekers. Our survey found that nearly one in four employers say the first thing they do when they receive an application is search the candidate’s name online. What do you want them to find when they search your name?
Treat your online presence as an extension of your personal brand. It’s where you establish your passion for your team while also demonstrating your expertise and knowledge. A blog is a great way to start.
Create content that highlights your skills and demonstrates your value. Building a positive online presence is especially helpful if you’re overcoming a few setbacks and professional mistakes.
The Regular Season
While your favorite team hits the field, focus on building your network. Stay informed by regularly checking job boards and the team’s careers page, but don’t stop there.
Shake hands and build connections to make a good impression. This is where professional organizations come in. When you join one, you open up so many opportunities to meet fellow sports fans and career-minded people in the industry.
This also helps your search for sports jobs. In fact, our survey found that 64 percent of employers say candidates who join professional organizations stand out, and 60 percent of employers say they give referred candidates more attention and consideration than other candidates.
Networking is your best bet during the regular season. Here is a list of when the regular season generally starts for each major sports league:
The best part about networking? Not only can it be a lot of fun, but you can do it anywhere, including your favorite team’s home field.
Attend regular season games and look for ways to build connections. For example, if you’re interested in marketing, introduce yourself to a raffle ticket associate, ask questions, and show that you’re interested in learning more about working for the organization. They might be able to introduce you to their supervisors or give you advice on how they got hired.
As the regular season comes to an end, don’t lose sight of your goal — to find sports jobs with your favorite team. Stay connected with your network and maintain positive relationships. This can be as simple as grabbing a cup of coffee or sending an article to your connections.
You want to show that you appreciate their friendship and you are fully engaged with the industry. Let’s say you keep in touch with a photographer you met at a minor league baseball game. Send him an article on the best new photography technology or attend a workshop with him at a local recreation center.
Also, continue creating content that showcases your expertise and engage in online discussions. If you read a new book on sales techniques, share your takeaways through a blog article, then start a conversation about it through sales professionals groups on Linkedin.
At this point, organizations are planning ahead for their talent needs and starting to post sports jobs. You’ve stayed in touch with your network while building your online presence. Now, start looking for opportunities to meet your potential employer in person.
For example, the Professional Baseball Employment Opportunities (PBEO) is the official employment service for minor league baseball teams. They host a job fair during the Baseball Winter Meetings, which is usually in December. You can join these organizations, attend events, and boost your chances of finally working for your favorite team by meeting with their hiring team directly.
Stay up-to-date with job listings on a daily basis, and tailor your resume and cover letter to show your favorite team that you fit both the role and the company culture.
Your job search requires patience and a clear strategy. You’re ready to build your successful career with your team — all you need to do is understand the timing and jump at the opportunity.
How are you pursuing sports jobs with your favorite team? Share in the comments!