NetWorks Sports Career Advice: How to Write an Effective Cover Letter

NetWorks Career Advice: How to Write an Effective Cover Letter

Preparing an effective cover letter is equally as important as writing your resume.  The cover letter is used to sell your resume by communicating to your potential employer how your skills and experiences are a match for the position for which you are applying.  However, preparing a poorly written cover letter is worse than not doing one at all. This post will give you a few pointers on how to make your first impression a lasting one.


Cover Letter Do’s

  • Tailor each cover letter to a specific employer.
  • Type the cover letter in the same font as your resume.
  • Use paper that matches your resume.
  • Keep it short and sweet!  Three to five paragraphs maximum.
  • Use the recruiter’s name and title.
  • Market yourself as a good solution to the employer’s needs.
  • Highlight the key points of your resume.
  • Conclude with a commitment to action…tell employer what you will do next.
  • Fit the letter on one page with one-inch margins on every side.
  • Sign the letter using black ink.


Cover Letter Dont’s

  • Mention personal weaknesses or perceived shortcomings.
  • Say that you will do “any” job.
  • Forget to include your telephone number and e-mail address.
  • Use abbreviations.
  • Use a type font smaller than an 11 point.
  • Send form letters.
  • Forget to spell-check.
  • Exaggerate, brag or lie.
  • Forget to read, edit and re-read your letter for typos, spelling mistakes, and grammatical errors.

If you have any additional advice for how to write an effective cover letter, please share with our readers by entering your thoughts in the comments section below.  We appreciate any additional advice for our readers.

To find out more career advice, follow us on Twitter @NetWorks_Sports

NetWorks Sports Career Advice: Acing the Phone Interview

NetWorks Career Advice: How to Ace the Phone Interview

You just got word that you landed a job interview with a company that really interests you — only there’s a slight catch.  You won’t be meeting with your interviewer(s) face to face. Instead, you’ll be taking part in a phone interview, the results of which will determine whether you’re invited to meet with company representatives in person.

Many companies use phone interviews as an initial employment screening technique for a variety of reasons. Because they’re generally brief, phone interviews save companies time. They also serve as a more realistic screening alternative for cases in which companies are considering out-of-town (or out-of-state and foreign) candidates.

So the chances are pretty good that, at some point in your job hunt, you’ll be asked to participate in a 20- to 30-minute phone interview with either one person or several people on the other end of the line. In many ways, the way you prepare for a phone interview isn’t all that different from the way you’d get ready for a face-to-face interview — save for a few slight additions to and modifications of your list of preparation tasks.

Here’s what to do:

Treat the phone interview seriously, just as you would a face-to-face interview.
A phone interview seems so informal on the surface that it can be easy to fall into the trap of “phoning it in” — i.e., not preparing for it as well as you would for an in-person interview. Don’t get caught with your guard down. Be sure to research the company, study the job description, and practice your responses to anticipated questions, just as you would for any other interview.

Have your resume and cover letter in front of you.
You’ll almost certainly be asked about some of the information that appears on these documents. You might also want to have in front of you any supporting materials that relate to information in your resume and cover letter, like documents you’ve designed or written, a portfolio of your various projects, or the written position description from your key internship.

Make a cheat sheet.
Jot down a few notes about the most critical points you want to make with your interviewer(s).

  • Are there certain skills and experiences you want to emphasize?
  • Do you have certain interests or passions you want your interviewer(s) to know about and understand?
  • Be sure these pieces of information appear on your crib sheet. Then touch on them during the interview, even if your only chance to do so is at the end of the session when the interviewer asks you if you have any questions or anything to add.

Get a high-quality phone.
This isn’t the time to use a cell phone that cuts in and out, or a cheaply made phone that makes it difficult for you and your interviewer(s) to hear and understand each other.

Shower, groom and dress up (at least a little).
Odd advice? Perhaps. But focusing on your appearance, just as you would for a normal interview, will put you in the right frame of mind from a psychological standpoint. You won’t do as well in your phone interview if you’re lying in bed, for example, or if you’re draped over your couch in your pajamas.

Stand up, or at least sit up straight at a table or desk.
Again, there’s a psychological, frame of mind aspect to consider here. But on a more tangible level, research has shown that you project yourself better when you’re standing up, and you’ll feel more knowledgeable and confident.

Quick Tips:

  • Confirm the time of the phone call (i.e. possible difference in time zones).
  • Identify who will be calling whom.
  • Have appropriate phone numbers.
  • Try to determine all participating parties and the job titles of each.
  • Address any potential distractions in advance.
  • Interview in a quiet place.
  • Listen closely to the question before responding.
  • Do not hesitate to ask the interviewer to repeat the question or ask for clarification if you are unclear of what is being asked.
  • Do NOT answer incoming phone calls.
  • Do NOT eat or drink during the call.

Phone interviews can be tricky, especially since you aren’t able to read your interviewers’ nonverbal cues like facial expressions and body language during the session — a big difference from the typical interview. But if you prepare well for your phone interview, you won’t need to read anyone’s nonverbals to gauge your performance. You’ll know for sure how you’ve done because you’ll be invited to a face-to-face interview, where you’ll have yet another opportunity to prove you’re the best person for the job.

Good luck on your next phone interview.  A solid interaction during a phone interview is the first step to getting an offer for a formal interview.  Take your phone interviews seriously!

If you have any additional advice for how to handle phone interviews, please share with our readers by entering your thoughts in the comments section below.  We appreciate any additional advice for our readers.

To find out more career advice, follow us on Twitter @NetWorks_Sports

NetWorks Sports Career Advice: 8 Quick Networking Tips

8 Quick Networking Tips for your next event

At parties, seminars, and other group meetings you attend whether you are employed or not, you’ll have opportunities to network with a number of people.  Here are a few basic tips for handling those occasions:

  • Start a conversation, go up to someone you don’t know and introduce yourself.

  • Collect as many business cards as you can comfortably carry.  Make sure you have enough of your own business cards to dispense as well.
  • Avoid too much talk.  Have a strategy for what you want to say & learn.
  • Don’t wait for someone to suggest what he or she can do for you; propose how you might help your new contact.
  • Don’t talk to one person too long.  If a conversation gets stale, end it gracefully.  If the conversation is productive, make an appointment for drinks or lunch and move on to another person.
  • Don’t spend time with people you already know; instead introduce them to your new contacts.
  • Set goals for yourself; during each networking event, try to meet a certain number of people.
  • Always begin and end conversations with a positive statement.

Everyone can be a great networker. Practice makes perfect, so make sure you make the most of any situation that presents itself.

We’d love to hear any of your advice for networkers.  Leave your helpful tips in the Comments section below!

For more career advice, follow us on Twitter @NetWorks_Sports

NetWorks Career Advice – 15 Career Tips (Find Your Passion)

NetWorks Sports 15 Career Tips

Regardless of your job title, salary, age, or employment status, at some point in your life (at multiple points for most of us) you will seek to gain greater clarity into “what do I want to be when I grow up.”

We spend countless hours in school preparing for the real world and yet, there is no perfect formula for finding the job of your dreams.  Be patient.  It is a journey that you must go on, but one that will reward you when you finally realize what it is that you enjoy doing.

For those of you seeking more than a job…a CAREER, here is our advice to help you FIND YOUR PASSION! 15 Basic Tips to help you find the holy grail!

Focus your energy on what makes you happy
Identify your strengths, weakness, and interests
Network, network, network and then build your network
Do your research to find out about careers that interest you

Yearn to learn on a regular basis, education is an on-going process
Observe mangers or leaders you admire and respect
Utilize social media platforms like LinkedIn to connect with others
Remember that Hard Work Pays Off

Prepare for the job of your dreams in everything that you do
Always be prepared
Study the industry you are interested in
Seek out mentors and advice
Invest in your personal brand and developing your personal brand
Orchestrate your plan…don’t expect others to do it for you
Network some more!!

Good luck with your journey!


NetWorks Tip of the Day: July 22, 2011

Today’s NetWorks Sports #Sportsbiz Tip of the Day was….

Feed your appetite for learning. Converse with mentors. Read voraciously.  Attend conferences…

If you want to have a successful career in the sports industry, it is imperative that you study your craft and become a virtual student of the game.  The industry is constantly in a state of change (which is one of the reasons it is so gratifying to be a part of this dynamic industry) and those who fail to stay ahead of the game, fall behind.

But, not only is the need to constantly be in a state of learning beneficial to your career, but it is also a great way to stay inspired about the new facets of the industry that are impacting the future of sports.

The thing I enjoy the most about the sports industry is that there is no model, no standard, no pre-definined path or destination.  What tomorrow brings is somewhat of a mystery to us all, which can be exhilarating.  If you enjoy change and being part of change, you’ll enjoy what this industry has to offer those of us in it.

So how do you feed your appetite for learning?  First, surround yourself by others who possess a similar thirst for learning.  You know, that curiosity for figuring out why things are done that way and why decisions are made.  Next, don’t hesitate to ask questions.  Sometimes, we feel that asking questions is a sign of weakness when, in fact, it is a sign of strength.  Talk to those who are doing what you one day dream of doing.  Read articles & books about executives who are sharing their stories.  Listen to podcasts where industry leaders are able to spend more time articulating their vision for the future.

In the world we live in today, there is a plethora of information to consume…if you are willing to take the time to find it.

But don’t just listen to what others have to say.  Read books & articles on various topics about leadership, management, finance, team building, etc. with the goal of being able to formulate your own opinion.

Other ways to “study” your craft…attend symposiums or conferences focusing on relevant topics within the industry.  Attend classes at your local college or university as a non-matriculated student (ask the professors if you can sit in on a class).  Host a dinner party and stimulate the conversation with some topics that you have an interest in.  Watch online videos posted by motivational speakers.  Read the blogs from industry leaders.

The point is…don’t be content with what you know.  Be curious about what you should know!

“When the student is ready, the master appears.” ~ Buddhist Proverb