Advice on breaking into the sports industry
In such a competitive market, it’s vital that you use all tools available to make yourself stand out from the crowd when trying to get an internship or your first job in the sports industry. In a recent interview with our partner, GlobalSportsJobs Founder & CEO Will Lloyd offered his top five tips on how to most effectively get your foot in the door, based on his experience in the recruitment industry:
1.Tailor your approach: we advertise a number of internships on behalf of organisations in sport and we still see far too many candidates stating that they “want a job in sport”, rather than tailoring their application to the organisation and for the role at hand. We’ve also witnessed many instances of candidates getting the job title wrong in their covering message or saying they’re looking for experience in marketing when they’re actually applying for an events role. It becomes instantly obvious that they’ve been too quick in firing out their CV and have forgotten to update their covering message for this particular role. When you have a lot of experience looking through applications, you become an expert at noticing which have been sent without much thought or consideration. As an employer, I want a candidate who can demonstrate why they want to work for my organisation and this should show clearly in their application.
2.Research the organisation: there have been countless times that I have interviewed candidates for a position to discover that they have no real idea what the company does, who their key clients are, what their last big success was and why they would fit well into the organisation. Experience in the sports industry and a great CV count for nothing if you haven’t done the research and don’t have the knowledge to support your application. Many organisations that advertise through GlobalSportsJobs offer a glimpse into their company by publishing videos, articles and images on our Inside Track content hub, so I’d always suggest that would be a good place to start. The companies’ own social channels are also a good source of information on current activity within the business.
3.What you lack in experience, make up for in attitude: I truly believe in the saying “Hire for attitude, train for skills”. This is ultimately what employers are looking for in an intern, and it’s something you need to be able to portray at this early stage of your career. I recently interviewed someone who earlier in his career had decided to move away from financial headhunting but was then faced with the challenge of applying for sponsorship agencies without much experience. However, by demonstrating a good awareness and understanding of the sponsorship sector in both his application and interview, he was able to show his attitude as well as his enthusiasm for the role. He has now just won an industry award for his work at the agency.
4.Be proactive in your job search: our LinkedIn group attracts many candidates posting about their experiences and asking if there are any opportunities out there for them. But in this competitive job market, it’s simply not enough to throw out the line and hope to get a bite. Setting up job alerts on the GlobalSportsJobs platform is a good place to start and spending time going through job descriptions to fine-tune what you’re looking and get a feel of what competencies organisations in different sectors in sport look for in candidates for entry-level positions and work on developing these skills through volunteering in your local area.
5.Don’t blend into the background: as well as being short, concise and relative to the job in hand, the layout, look and feel of your CV should reflect your personality and attitude. Previous experience is not necessarily expected for an internship, but a candidate that stands out from the crowd may be. Therefore, it is a strong positive attitude that is what needs to come across in abundance as this is what organisations are ultimately looking for.