University Careers Services – The Most Useful Resource?
Published: 12 Jun 2013
While at university, your dedicated careers service can be useful tool in helping you be as prepared as possible for graduation. However, an argument can be made that to break into the sports industry, you need specific industry knowledge and understanding that the broad focus of a campus careers service will struggle to provide. Therefore the question must be asked: Is the university careers service the most useful resource you can use to prepare yourself for a sports career, or is there room for additional services that can provide you with the knowledge and understanding you need to break in?
The university careers service provides a good opportunity to sharpen general skills that a broad range of employers will look to see from you in the future. For instance, CV advice can be vital in ensuring your resume gets noticed among the myriad of applications that an employer will receive. In addition, interview and group exercise workshops can prepare you for those kinds of application processes. However, sport is unlike many other industries in that the application process is so competitive. Many people passionate about sport want to work in the exciting, fast paced world and as a result, successful applications will need to demonstrate capabilities above and beyond the general advice that careers services will provide. To this end
GlobalSportsJobs is working with top universities to give students the added edge in terms of employability and differentiates top careers services from others.
In particular, making connections to current sports industry professionals can be a way to demonstrate your desire and networking ability, and help you in gaining specific industry knowledge. To this end, your university careers’ Alumni Service may be able to put you in touch with people within the sports industry. However, this requires your university to have maintained contact with a significant number of alumni working within the sports industry at present, which will not always be the case. The limitations of careers services mean that there is a clear space for additional careers resources, specific to the sports industry, which can provide the best insight for individuals looking to break into the sports industry.
GlobalSportsJobs provide careers resources including weekly articles and video interviews from key decision makers and thought leaders from within the sports industry, as well as careers advice articles that build on sports-specific knowledge. Showing a deep knowledge and understanding of the key issues surrounding the industry today will go a long way to convincing potential sports employers that you are different from the raft of other applications they have received. Being able to give opinions on these subjects can transform the interview from an employer vs student conversation to one of a business conversation, which will improve their perception of your candidates.
In addition, hopeful sports professionals should make use of social media, which provides an additional opportunity to hear the thoughts of important decision makers and interact with them yourself. Creating a network for yourself can only increase your chances of being noticed, and standing out when it comes to applying for the job you want.
Therefore, we believe that while university careers services can serve a useful purpose in gaining the basic skills which develop employability, it is additional sports-specific resources that will give you the greatest edge and the best chance of success.
- The Alumni Service
Quality of support to help deliver ‘employability’ should be a influential part of choosing which university to attend. Most students can be safe in the knowledge that many people have been in their position before. There will be many years’ worth of previous graduates that will be working within the industry you want to work in, and the alumni service can connect you to them. These connections will be invaluable, and many will be more than happy to help a keen student from their old university. Alumni can provide advice on the type of work you can expect, information about where to look for jobs, and can provide the type of industry insight that your future employer’s will be keen to see displayed in your future interviews.
- Start Early
Don’t limit your use of the information sources to your final weeks or months of being at university. Use them straight away. The more help you can receive and the more knowledge you can soak in the better prepared you will be and the more chance you will have to succeed. This can lead to more industry connections, more industry knowledge, and more understanding of where you can search for your first graduate role. An early focus on your career objectives ensures you have plenty of time to shape yourself in to the sports industry professional you want to be.
- Get Regular Information From
Use the careers service regularly. To break into the competitive world of sport means you will need to stand out from the huge numbers of people that will apply for the same roles that you will. A consistent focus on your career plan and your objectives will ensure you know exactly where your strengths and weaknesses are, and exactly what you need to do to differentiate yourself. If you are not dedicating time to your goal of breaking into the sports industry, you can be sure other students are. Regular use of the information sources allows you to keep pace and hopefully, get ahead.
- CV Advice
A key strength of the careers service will be the CV advice they can offer. An employer will often look at hundreds of CVs for a vacancy and therefore you need yours to be clear, concise and relevant. The careers service is skilled in ensuring that the limited space on your CV will be filled with information presented in such a way that will spike the interest of a potential employer. They will help you identify experiences in your career so far that will demonstrate your potential and your capacity to perform well in the sports industry.
- Industry Magazines
Whether it is the library or the careers service, relevant industry magazines can provide unique and valuable insight into the sports world. If you can offer your own thoughts and opinions on the big issues currently impacting the world of sport and the business issues that this creates, you are sure to impress an interviewer. Demonstrating your understanding helps to display the passion and drive to succeed in a competitive industry as you have taken the initiative to learn as much as you can. Different industries have different layouts, as with regions, research is important as career services tend to be quite general.
The careers service may provide dedicated workshops or seminars that can help you improve specific areas to aid in the application process and serve as useful preparation to ensure you are as confident as possible before entering a high-pressured situation. Workshops can be held for mock interviews, group exercises, and networking among many others. Practice makes perfect, and the better prepared you are, the more confident you will be as you try to demonstrate you are the best candidate for your dream job.
In conclusion, the university careers service is a valuable resource and these tips can help you make the most of what they can offer:
• Use multiple channels
• Do not rely only on career services
• Sport is a specialist industry that requires specialist resource
• Quality of career services varies as with their knowledge of the business of sport
• Preparation is key and industry knowledge is valuable
By making use of these services, you make sure you are as prepared as possible to impress sports industry professionals, and have the best chance of developing into one yourself.