Tips for Applying for Jobs on TeamWork Online

If you are looking for a job in sports and you don’t know about TeamWork Online, you have probably been living under a rock. In my opinion, it’s the best job search tool out there for the industry, especially for professional sports, AND it’s free (though there is a paid option that gives you some additional features).

The site is pretty easy to use (browse jobs, apply online, save your profile for future jobs so you do not have not re-enter data). However, after a few years on both the job hunting end and the hiring manager end, I’ve picked up a few tips that can make TeamWork an even more effective tool for job hunters.

  1. Subscribe to the RSS feeds. You can sign up for the email alerts or follow them on Twitter, but in my opinion the RSS feeds are the best way to track the latest openings. You can mark the reviewed ones as read, and check them daily to keep on top of your job hunt. Which will help you with tip No. 2…
  2. Apply right away. A job may be left open for applications for as little as a week. Plus submitting your application in a timely (but well executed of course) fashion shows a seriousness about your job hunt and expresses your interest in the job. And, I’ll be honest with you, hiring managers get tired reviewing resumes after a while–why not be in their first stack?
  3. Upload a general resume. It surprises me how many people don’t realize that TeamWork only allows you to upload one resume in the system (I can’t event count the number of resumes I’ve reviewed with a career objective to work at a completely different team). While I normally suggest a resume that is appropriately tailored to each position, TeamWork Online is not the place for that. Create one that is appropriate for the range of sport positions to which you plan to apply. (Oh, and while we are at it, PLEASE save your resume as a PDF!)
  4. Personalize your cover letter. Unlike the resume, your cover letter is the place to let your interest in this particular job shine. Do some research and figure out who the hiring manager is and address the letter to that person. Talk about why you are qualified for this specific position.
  5. Stand out from the crowd. The best part about TeamWork is that you can apply for so many positions in one place. The worst part is that everyone else is doing the same thing! I once interviewed for a position for which the human resources director told me that she received 500 applicants in one week on TeamWork. Following steps 2 through 4 are important parts of standing out, but you can do more. TeamWork offers a paid MVP account (which I haven’t used myself) that is one way you can supplement your application. Personally, I would link to my own website, where I had work samples and recommendations. The idea here is to do something that makes them spend more than just 30 seconds scanning your application.
  6. Follow up. Applying through TeamWork Online is a rather impersonal experience for the applicant and the employer. Reach out to the hiring manager outside of TeamWork when you can. Send a follow up email with your resume attached (here’s where you can include a tailored resume) and mention that you applied on TeamWork. Depending on what type of position you are applying for, you may want to send a hard copy resume that includes work samples. Again, you’re helping yourself stand out from the crowd.

Anyone else have any tips for applying for jobs on TeamWork Online?

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Should I Major in Sport Management?

A former colleague of mine has one piece of advice whenever she is asked to speak to a group of sport management students: don’t major in sport management. I don’t take such a hard line on the subject, but I do think there are some important things to consider when choosing your major as an undergraduate.

The main point that my colleague makes is that by majoring in something as specific as sport management, you are pigeon-holing your future career opportunities. First of all, at 18 or 19 years of age, a lot of us think we know what we want to do with our lives but few of us actually do. Working in sports may sound cool, but trust me, not everyone loves it. Long hours and little pay, especially early on in your career, might eventually convince you to look at another industry. Plus, you may end up discovering a passion or a talent for something else entirely. The same can be said for any major that you choose, but think of the perception that hiring managers outside of the sports industry might have of a sport management degree. They might not understand what applicable skills you learned, or worse, they might dismiss the value of this line of study.

But that’s okay, because you are 100 percent sure you want to work in sports. No way are you changing your mind about this. Good for you! Let’s talk numbers. According to the North American Society for Sport Management, there are 294 U.S. colleges and universities currently offering undergraduate sport management programs. Now I don’t know how many students are graduating with a bachelor’s degree in sport management each year, but for the sake of estimating, let’s say each program averages 30 graduating seniors per year (and that’s probably a conservative number). That’s 8,820 new sport management graduates every 12 months. That’s a lot of people to compete against for jobs in a very small industry–and that doesn’t count all of the non-sport management majors also applying for those positions.

I’m not trying to scare you away from your chosen career or major choice here–well, not completely anyway. The truth is, though, not all sport management majors are going to end up working in sports. There just are not enough jobs. In other posts, I’ll talk more about ways you can improve your chances at getting one of those positions, but for now, considering that fact is important in your decision about whether or not to major in sport management. If you don’t get a job in sports, will your sport management degree help you find gainful employment? Maybe.

If you already know what area of sports business you want to focus on, you can choose to major in a subject that closely aligns with that career path, for example, marketing, sales or communications. As a hiring manager, I have probably seen more qualified candidates for internships and entry-level positions with majors other than sport management. You can always minor in sport management to keep a focus on the sports industry.

Or, you can follow your dream and major in sport management. If you choose this path, I recommend two things. One, choose your school carefully. Look at the types of courses offered in the sport management program and consider how much practical training you will get to prepare you for a job in the sports world. Two, find a minor (or more) that supplements your sport management degree with some real-world skills. In the end, everything comes down to making yourself marketable for jobs after graduation. Taking classes and gaining experience in a field like business, marketing, sales, public relations or journalism will only benefit you.

In the end, choosing a college major is a personal decision. Ten (or maybe even five) years after graduation, your undergraduate major may have little impact on your career. But it can play an important role in your internships and first jobs out of school. College is definitely a time to explore subjects that interest you, but take the time to think about what role your degree will play in the next few years of your life before making a selection.