What does it take to get a job in the sports industry?
Let’s look at it from the opposite perspective: what does it take me to make a meaningful contribution?
Yes, we all know how the pandemic has and will keep accelerating a disruption across society. We see it when AS Roma used their new signing announcements on social media featuring missing children. Or when Manchester United star Marcus Rashford called on the Government to extend free school meals and retweeted restaurants offering free food to kids.
Both our hard, but especially our soft skills, are only the first step in going into the unknown and signing for a challenge. It is not about being found but about being looked for.
Football stakeholders are struggling in many areas, such as income generation, digital engagement or brand identity. It is our opportunity to raise our hand and become better and better over time to provide significant solutions to those challenges.
In order to earn that possibility, we need two things:
1. Letting stakeholders know we exist. It is hard to be seen among general candidates with general profiles, having more chances those professionals who are aware of their uniqueness and turn it into a core strength.
2. Proving our potential contribution to them. Describing the change we have made for other organizations becomes essential to minimize the risk for the organization to hire us.
If we think of our profile as a business proposal for any sports property, it seems reasonable to speak their language through appealing and clear presentations about our work, regardless of whether we seek to be hired as a consultant or as a full-time employee.
A portfolio helps us to tell a personal, relevant and anticipated story about a potential relationship. It should mainly include three elements:
A. What are you good at
B. What have you done - your background
C. How you convey all the information.
You should not inform about general tasks but specific achievements, not average skills but relevant capabilities for what you offer and, lastly, not more details than needed but the important ones.
In terms of content structure, an effective portfolio could look like this:
1. Presentation. One page with a brief summary of your vision, purpose and main achievements.
2. Core skills. Identification of both your hard and soft skills, describing why they matter at work.
3. Work. Showcase of your best experience and specific contribution to each organization.
4. Education. List of the programmes you have taken to keep improving every day.
5. Referrals. Honest and insightful feedback from people you have worked with.
6. Call-to-action. End with a promise, the change you seek to make for that stakeholder.
The work you do and the way you do it is what will ultimately open new doors in the sports industry.
Improving your skillset, trajectory and expression of these assets will definitely increase your job opportunities beyond your CV.
What does it take you to do better work?