It’s day two of the Sports Careers Conference in Dallas, TX (held in conjunction with the Association of Luxury Suite Directors conference), and things have gone really well so far. I’ve had the chance to talk in two different panels – the opening panel on getting started with a sports career track and a panel on using social media to build your network. I received some great feedback on both panels, so I’ll share some of the details here for y’all (hey, we are in Texas):
Panel on Career Development:
- Start with your skills: Too many people come into their sports careers search just wanting to work for a team because they “love sports” or “want to get a foot in the door.” This shotgun approach is ineffective and even dangerous, as it can set you up for failure if you end up in a position that doesn’t match your best skill set.
- Educate yourself: There are so many great tools out there (blogs, journals, social media, networking events, etc.) that there is no excuse not to learn about the industry first before you try and find a job.
- Tailor your approach: If you are applying for three different jobs, you should have three different resumes with three different cover letters, each tailored to the specific detail and requirements of those jobs. The HR departments get so many application to go through, that if you don’t tell them exactly why you fit their needs, they’re not going to look at you.
Panel with Lewis Howes on Social Media:
- Valuable tools: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and blogs are all valuable tools in developing your network if you use them the right way. You still need to make quality connections and start relevant conversations to get the most out of them.
- LinkedIn: Don’t underestimate how valuable it can be. Make sure your profile is complete. Pursue and give recommendations. Paint the best picture of yourself that you can. Use groups to find people with common interest and reach out to them, but make sure you explain why you want to connect with them.
- Twitter: The Four C’s of Twitter are just as relevant for building up your personal brand through Twitter. Use search.twitter.com to seek out people who are talking about the things that you are interested and join in the conversation.
- Blogging: Running your own blog can definitely help build your reputation and personal brand, but it is a huge commitment so make sure you are dedicated to it. If you don’t want to run a blog, you can still use other blogs to education yourself and contribute comments, which itself could lead to great conversations and networking opportunities.
- Take the online offline: Develop your network through online tools is great, but its even better if you can take the online connections you’ve made and turn it into a face-to-face connection. Seek out conferences and networking events whenever possible, or if someone is local, just invite them out to lunch.
- Hustle: Lewis has done an incredible job of building his profile and network through these tools, both online and offline, and he’s done it because he works hard at it. There is no substitute for effort and hard work.
Lewis tried to stream our social media panel online via uStream, but there were some technical issues. You can still check out some of the clips from the panel here. (Warning – they are broken into clips of varying size from 1 to 5 minutes long. If we can get everything pieced together into one clip, I’ll post an updated link!)