how to get a job in sports

There’s never been a better time to work in sports. With the expansion of sports networks, greater emphasis on fitness, and the rise of data analytics and technology, the industry is booming with possibilities. The question is, are you ready?

If your dream is to work for your favorite sports team or organization, but you’re wondering how to get a job in sports, we’ve got you covered. We’ve ironed out steps to help you set goals and land the job you want. 

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8 Essential Tips to Finding – and Landing – A Sports Job

1. Know Your Goals

Before pursuing a career in sports, it helps to research the different career options available to you. Are you interested in becoming a coach at a high school or college? Maybe you’re more interested in sports marketing, sports management, or public relations. Or perhaps you enjoy working with numbers and analyzing data? Whatever your passion or calling might be, the sports industry offers a variety of jobs – allowing you to find the perfect fit. 

sports job career goals

If you’re just starting out, think about what your interests are and what types of jobs not only seem exciting but are worth pursuing based on your particular career goals. You’ll also want to consider some of the following:

  • Salary – How much do I want to make? And what is the average salary for that type of position?
  • Education – Do I need a degree, and if so, what kind?
  • Experience – What type of experience do I need to land a job I’m interested in?
  • Travel – Do I want to relocate or travel often?

Taking the time to narrow down your list of sports career options can help you set the proper goals. And can help guide you on the right path to success. 

2. Get the Right Experience

Many of the jobs in sports available do require some form of degree or certification, although some do not. If you want to pursue a career in sports that requires ample education and experience, be clear on what that is and develop a path to attain it. 

For example, for many popular sports careers, a sports management degree or certificate is required. Having it is a huge plus for employers looking for the right candidates for their position. However, other jobs require a Bachelor’s degree or even a Master’s degree for specific majors to apply. Going for a job you are ill-prepared for based on taking the wrong courses could cost you the job you want. 

Also, consider obtaining more experience through sports internships and entry-level positions. Having any of these on your resume are key indicators that you’re passionate about your career and will work hard to achieve your goals – a definite plus with employers. 

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3. Network. Network. Network.

networking to get a job in sports

These days, if you want a job, you need to network. It’s all about who you know. If you’re serious about pursuing a job in sports, you’ve got to get out there and start meeting people – like now. 

Be sure to attend conferences, reach out to your teachers and professors, and even build up your LinkedIn profile and get engaged. Join groups and meetups. If you decide to pursue a sports internship, make your presence known. Ask questions. Shake hands with important people. Doing this will increase your chances of landing the right job because you talked to the right people. 

The key to starting off is selling your brand. Exude confidence. Stay on top of industry news. Be that person people remember. The rest will fall into place. 

4. Understand the Industry

Loving the game isn’t enough. You’ve got to get it. I mean, really understand it. The camaraderie and pursuit of excellence. The teamwork and passion of the game. In some fields of work, you’ll be working alongside a variety of sports organizations and teams. In others, you’ll work closely with a specific sport. In either scenario, you’ve got to know your stuff. 

Continually educate yourself on the industry. Watch the sports networks and follow the right blogs, especially as they relate to the field you are pursuing. Understand what’s changing and what’s trending. The more you know about the industry, the more successful you will be.

5. Build a Strong Personal Brand

In today’s competitive job market, having a strong personal brand can set you apart from other candidates. This means creating a professional online presence that showcases your expertise, passion, and commitment to the sports industry. Start by developing a polished LinkedIn profile, complete with a professional photo, detailed work experience, and a summary that highlights your career goals and achievements. Additionally, consider starting a blog or a personal website where you can share insights, analysis, and commentary on sports topics relevant to your field. By consistently presenting yourself as a knowledgeable and engaged professional, you’ll attract the attention of potential employers and industry influencers.

6. Volunteer for Sports Events

Volunteering at sports events is a fantastic way to gain hands-on experience, expand your network, and demonstrate your enthusiasm for the industry. Many large sports events, such as marathons, tournaments, and charity games, rely on volunteers for various roles, including event coordination, marketing, and operations. These opportunities not only allow you to gain practical experience but also provide a chance to work alongside industry professionals and make valuable connections. Volunteering can often lead to recommendations, referrals, and even job offers, making it a strategic step in your career journey.

7. Create a Sports Portfolio

Building a portfolio that showcases your work can be an effective way to demonstrate your skills and experience to potential employers. This could include writing samples, case studies, project reports, videos, and other relevant materials. For instance, if you have experience in sports marketing, include examples of campaigns you’ve worked on, complete with metrics and results. If you’re interested in sports journalism, compile articles, interviews, and blog posts you’ve written. A well-organized portfolio highlights your accomplishments and provides concrete evidence of your abilities, making you a more compelling candidate.

8. Seek Mentorship

Finding a mentor within the sports industry can provide you with guidance, support, and valuable insights into your career development. Mentors can help you navigate the challenges of the job market, offer advice on professional growth, and connect you with their network. To find a mentor, start by identifying professionals whose careers you admire and reach out to them through professional associations, LinkedIn, or industry events. Be respectful of their time and express genuine interest in learning from their experiences. A good mentor-mentee relationship can be a powerful tool in achieving your career goals and staying motivated on your path to success.

9. Leverage Social Media to Showcase Your Expertise

Social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube can be powerful tools to demonstrate your knowledge and passion for sports. Start by sharing insights, commentary, and analysis on games, players, and industry trends. Engage with other professionals, sports fans, and industry leaders by participating in discussions and debates. Creating and curating content that highlights your expertise can help you build a following and get noticed by potential employers. For example, you could start a YouTube channel where you analyze recent games or create Instagram stories that provide behind-the-scenes looks at sports events you attend.

10. Develop Technical Skills Relevant to the Industry

With the rise of data analytics, technology plays an increasingly vital role in the sports industry. Gaining technical skills can give you a competitive edge. Learn how to use software and tools relevant to sports management, such as data analytics programs, CRM systems, or social media management platforms. Online courses and certifications in areas like sports analytics, digital marketing, and video editing can enhance your resume and make you more attractive to employers. Understanding the technical side of the industry shows that you are well-rounded and ready to adapt to various roles.

Start Pursuing Your Dream

If you want to pursue a career in sports, take advantage of all of the sports job opportunities out there. Begin with a plan – laying out your goals and doing research to ensure you’re on the right path. Apply for internships and take on some entry-level work as it relates to your field. Shake hands with people and get social. And stay educated on what’s going on in the industry. Doing so will ensure you find – and land – your dream sports job. Utilize Jobs in Sports to expedite your job search, and consider a free or paid membership to make things easier on yourself.