Finding Your Most Confident Self – Work in Sports Podcast

Hey, everybody, I’m Brian Clapp, VP of Content and Engaged Learning at Work in Sports.com and this is the Work in Sports podcast…

I had a moment last week that really helped refocus me. 

As you all know I am highly transparent, and I think I am pretty self-aware. I can tell when I’m not feeling as inspired, or a question the impact I am making or wondering if I’m hitting the mark with all of you.

Yes, I am a worrier, and I don’t think for a second that I have it all figured out. I am flawed and learning. And that isn’t some statement hoping for compliments, it’s just to show we are all the same in many ways. 

As you have doubts, guess what, so does everyone else. If you worry and have anxiety and think you are all alone..well guess what, you aren’t and I hope it gives you some solace to know you aren’t alone. 

Anyway, my point is, I go through ruts for sure. I go through times where I struggle to book guests and I wonder, why is this still so hard, haven’t I established an audience yet, don’t people know the good we are doing?

Or I go through a rut where I’m worried my message isn’t getting through, I’m not growing the audience like I should, or I’m not hearing from the audiences very much… and I wonder and stress over what is wrong.

Again. I share this because you need to know it is totally normal and rationale. People like Gary Vaynerchuk may not admit it, but I’m pretty sure they go through moments of vulnerability and doubt too. I’m just willing to admit it. 

Well, this week Nathan Brown really helped me out, whether he knows it or not — so I want to share this story. Nathan is a relatively new fan of the show, and is a student at the University of Dayton – he messaged me this week on LinkedIn:

Brian, I got a funny story for you… So I recently took a shot and applied for a gameday position with the marketing department for the Cincinnati Bengals. I had no expectation I would hear back from them, but they liked my resume and invited me for an interview (woo hoo!). 

However, I am currently interning in NH so I asked if we would be able to conduct an interview over Skype. It took them awhile to get back to me, and what happened was I basically had less than 12 hours to prepare. I did my best to do some of the tips and tricks you talk about in your podcast, but then I remembered something, I am staying in a pretty rough, not attractive, dorm room/student housing thing right now and this is not the place for an interview. 

I then went searching around town at local libraries and what not trying to find a place to conduct this interview and I struck out (not being very familiar with the area did not help and how do these libraries not have study rooms?). 

I come back to my dorm room and was like, “were gonna make the best of this,” but as I come into my room and turn on the lights, you guessed it, the light bulbs blow out. Long story short, I get a call about an hour later and did my best to own the fact that I was conducting this interview with nothing more than a desk lamp and my bed in the background. I could have been much more embarrassed and stressed by the situation, but I was able to make everyone laugh about it and own it. The rest of the interview went on to be very genuine and fun since the ice had been broken very early on in the conversation. I wanted to share with you that I was offered the job this morning. 

I thank you for your knowledge and advice. I was able to use the things you have mentioned, stay calm, be myself, and make the best of a tough situation. Thanks again to you and what you do.

Great story from Nathan, and to be honest I couldn’t be prouder. This is a great life lesson for all of us – Nathan had a choice — panic, and let that come through in the interview…or own the situation, make a bit of a joke out of it, loosen the mood, laugh at yourself a little and then nail the interview.

Not only does the latter show you have a personality…it also shows real confidence. You were able to take a bad situation and persevere through it. This is the type of thing that can stand out for the right reasons!

Think about this for a second – you are the interviewer. You work for a major team, organization, or brand — and you conduct a lot of these interviews. They are all the damn same. Trust me I’ve lived this, interviewing candidate after candidate that all seem rehearsed from the same script. 

Now, I’m not advising you to do something crazy just to stand out – or to create a problem to look like you overcame it, but you can see the value in the unexpected. You can see the value in not blending in. 

Now I always feel the need to qualify things — that again, doesn’t mean to wear a fish tie, or a really short skirt. You want to stand out for who you truly are. 

Be you.     

That is the key to all of this — show yourself, your true personality, not a scripted version of who you think the interviewer wants you to be. 

Nice job Nathan, congrats on landing the job and I’m glad I played some small part in it. 

Ok, before we get into today’s question – a quick note on the Work in Sports Academy. We’ve created a series of online courses that are created to help you become a master at getting hired in sports. 

I get questions daily — how do I prepare for a group interview? What type of internship should I get? How do I build a network of contacts? How should I make my LinkedIn profile.?

To be honest – all of your questions formed the outline of our courses! We’re answering all of your pressing questions with great depth, analysis, tactics, and strategies. It is not enough to take classes in college — you have to master the getting the job part, and most schools don’t teach you this stuff.

Check out WorkinSports.com/gameplan for more information — if you have questions on the courses, just hit me up on LinkedIn.

Alright, today’s question — I Already went a long way on the Nathan story so let’s get in a good quick hitter. 

This one is from Victor K in Atlanta — 

“Hi Brian — I saw a quick twitter battle this week you were involved in regarding the format of electronic resumes, did you ever come to a final conclusion?” 

Hey, Victor thanks for the question – to give some background into what Victor is referring to, and just to be clear it wasn’t really a twitter battle, it was a friendly discussion amongst peers.

I saw a highly respected Director of Marketing for a D1 athletic program post on twitter that if you are going to submit your resume online it had to be in pdf form, never use anything else. Just PDF.

I responded to him, saying that his comment was interesting, all of the Applicant Tracking Systems we have dealt with say never to use PDF because it is a graphical standard that the computers struggle to translate into words. 

Another Associate AD chimed in – essentially saying Always use PDF, and then throwing in some cliche about the interview starting as soon as the resume is received.

I again responded — are you using an applicant tracking system, or just reviewing by hand? She didn’t respond.

I asked one of the applicant tracking systems to weigh in, and then said “never use PDF”

Look I don’t know who wins in this scenario. But here’s the deal. You need multiple versions of your resume. 

1: you have to customize it for every job you apply for. Add emphasis to your skills that line up with the job you are applying for. If you apply for a production assistant at ESPN that asks for someone with knowledge of non-linear editing, camera work, and audio editing. And then apply for a job at NBC Sports Boston that is also a Production Assistant, but is looking for someone to produce social videos, graphics, and GIFs. Despite them having the same title – they are not the same job and you need to emphasize the skills they want in the role.

2: You need to have a version for the electronic submission. Our friends in ATS world say this should ALWAYS be as a word document. This is the version that is customized for ATS transcription. Submitted electronically, it has to be formatted so the computers can read the information correctly. No fancy formatting, no graphics, no tables, just straight info homey. 

3: you need to have a version that is for human eyes! This can be your pdf version — it can be fancy, have a formatted layout, use a template, columns, graphics — whatever you desire. A human is going to look at it, so it matters how it looks, not just what is inside.

Does this sound like a lot of work…yes it is, but you do want a job, right?

So Victor — that’s the deal on our twitter beef — I’m creating a downloadable worksheet we are going to add to our Work in Sports Academy courses outline all the right and wrong ways to build your electronic resume for the Applicant Tracking Systems so stay tuned for that.

Oh and if you’ve already bought the courses — you’ll get all of my updates. That’s the really cool thing about this program, once you buy, you get all of my updates and changes forever. No subscription fee, one flat price, one time and you get it all.

Thanks for listening everyone — talk to you soon.

Get back to work!

About Brian Clapp

Brian Clapp has worked in the sports media for over 14 years as a writer, editor, producer & news director. After beginning his career in Atlanta at CNN/Sports Illustrated, he switched coasts to Seattle to work at Fox Sports Northwest. In 2010, Brian began pursuing a new found passion on the digital media side, launching a successful website and then taking on the role of Director of Content for WorkinSports.com & WorkinEntertainment.com.

Recently, Brian has become addicted to Google+ and LinkedIn so add him to your circles and make him a contact. No seriously, do it.

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