Philadelphia Eagles Talent Acquisition Manager Colleen Scoles Shares What Teams Look for When Hiring

Work in Sports Podcast Episode 5 – Philadelphia Eagles Talent Acquisition Manager Colleen Scoles

Hi, Welcome to the Work in Sports Podcast – I’m Brian Clapp Director of Content for WorkinSports.

My job is to use my experience in the sports industry to share ideas with you on how to make your way in sports.

I like my ideas, I feel pretty strongly about my perspective on things and I feel a healthy number of people have said thank you and that I have helped them.

BUT, I’m always looking for fresh, current perspective on what the day to day world is like out there for sports job seekers. So, I asked around.Philadelphia Eagles Talent Acquisition Manager Colleen Scoles

I looked through my LinkedIn contacts and saw Colleen Scoles – Talent Acquisition Manager for the Philadelphia Eagles.  As we explored in the last podcast, talking about networking with Zach Hall of the Arizona Diamondbacks, I’m terrible and I mean terrible at asking for things.

I don’t like it. I don’t like feeling like I am indebted to someone, or that I need them. I have this stubborn independence streak. It’s a flaw …I can admit it.

But I was really excited when I connected with Colleen in LinkedIn… so I reached out. And you know what, she said yes about as pleasantly as someone can. All of a sudden my anxiety was replaced by excitement. I was getting a top of the line guest, just by asking nicely.

What came next was even more exciting – Colleen held nothing back. She shared with me what she looks for in resumes, how to determine if someone is a cultural fit, the biggest mistakes people make on their resume – and most impressively, that at the Philadelphia Eagles they look through each resume submitted manually.

That’s crazy.

[bctt tweet=”.@Eagles Talent Acquisition Manager Colleen Scoles Shares What Pro Teams Look For” username=”workinsports”]

Before we get into the conversation with Colleen, which trust me, you are going to love. Lets answer a fan question –

Anna from Denver has a follow up question on networking and its overall importance. Anna writes – “hey brian I love the podcast and am so glad you’ve started this up. I have a hard time knowing how to communicate with people in the industry – how do I make real connections with people on social media and other avenues.”

Just because networking isn’t my comfort zone doesn’t mean I don’t have things that work, and things I like when people do them to me.

Step 1 – determine where it is worth it to spend your time on social. LinkedIn is more professional than most other social networks and everyone has a business connection vibe, so it make sense to start there.

Step 2 – Have a purpose with every conversation you strike up. Don’t make a connection and do nothing with it. Say Hi, tell them you read a story of theirs and liked it, tell them you enjoy their employer page, or their group or their picture…ok the last one is creepy. But the idea is to say something…without asking for anything.

Step 3 – If you share their content, like their articles, and follow their business now you are in a position to talk to them. But it’s about how you talk to them that matter – don’t ask for things like a job or a referral – this person does not know you and will be put off if you do this… I know I am.

Instead ask a specific question – hey I’d love to be a production assistant and work my way up in sports television, any particular skill you think I should master? Or I’ve always wanted to work in sports sales… any resources you’d recommend  I read about becoming a better sales person?

Do not ask vague open ended questions – they will not get answered. If you say, I love sports what do you think I should do with my life… you will not get an answer. But if you can ask intelligent specific questions and start a conversation…now you are on to something.

Questions for Philadelphia Eagles Talent Acquisition Manager Colleen Scoles

What Are Professional Sports Teams Looking for in Employees?

*As the Talent Acquisition manager for the Eagles, when you post a job opening…how many responses would you guess you receive?

*I’m guessing many people just want to work for a professional sports team like the Eagles — how many are actually qualified for the job they apply for by percentage? How frustrating is it to handle so many resumes of unqualified people?

*What is your process for weaving through all of those resumes to find a group of people worth pursuing for at least an interview?

*How does someone grab your attention for the right reasons?

*Let’s talk about telephone interviews – I imagine they are a first screening round for you – what is your goal in these conversations and how best does someone prepare?

*So many people think – I want to be the next Howie Roseman and be in charge of running team, that’s great to have big goals, but where are the majority of jobs teams like the Eagles have to fill?

*Sports management degrees are all the rage – almost every college has a program, some better than others. As someone on the hiring side of the sports industry, how do you value sports management degrees over a traditional business, accounting, economics etc degree?

*For entry level job seekers or people in college who will soon be seeking entry level jobs… what advice would you give them to make themselves the most desirable to be hired by professional sports teams once they graduate?

*We’ve talked a great deal about how people come to you when you have job openings – but how active are you in going out into the marketplace and sourcing the right people? Do you approach people that may not be looking, but are the right match?

*When I was news director at Fox Sports Northwest I was in charge of hiring, so I’d get all the resumes flooding in for our openings – I saw resumes on pink paper, with a fish background – I had one person who misspelled their own name on their demo reel – what are some of the common mistakes that you see people making in today’s sports job marketplace?

What’s the Scenario

You have a job opening – are you more interested in :

A: Promoting someone from within the organization

B: Hiring someone from the outside

Why? What are the benefits and downsides of each?

Finish Up With The Lightning Round

1: I just moved to the Philadelphia area last year — what something fun I should do that only the locals know about?

2: More important historical event – George Washington crossing the Delaware…or Paul Revere riding through Massachusetts?

3: Best place to get a cheesesteak in Philly that isn’t Geno’s or Pat’s?

4: What is one thing that will push someone’s resume into the NO category immediately?

5: I’ve become addicted to Philly soft pretzels – do you think it is safe to buy one from the guy under the bridge on i-95?

What Do Pro Sports Teams Look for When Hiring? Work in Sports Podcast
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What Do Pro Sports Teams Look for When Hiring? Work in Sports Podcast
Philadelphia Eagles Talent Acquisition Manager Colleen Scoles shares what she looks for in resumes & what roles are in demand - Work in Sports Podcast E5
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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 &

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

And if you want to know where our privacy policy is before you submit your comments below, it's right here.


  1. Andy Costigan says

    Really enjoyed listening to this podcast and hearing the strength of your opinion on using LinkedIn as a serious networking tool.

    As someone at the wrong end of their working career and providing match reports on football here in the UK, I’m keen to expand my readership and posting articles on LinkedIn has certainly helped acquire new readers.

    Your advise on actually messaging rather than just inviting folks to link is a simple, so common sense but potentially overlooked if people treat LinkedIn as an alternative Facebook.

    The lady from the Philadelphia Eagles was also enlightening in the way she handles job applications in such a thorough and professional manner, all credit to her. Furthermore, great to hear her encourage people to apply by e-mail to save wasting paper – a green initiative more companies and businesses need to adopt to help save the environment.

    A great listen !!!

    • Andy thanks so much for your kind words — the podcast is a passion project for sure, I love speaking with these experts in the field and trying to learn more myself in the process. I hope they are as helpful and enjoyable to others as they are to me! — Brian (the host guy)

  2. Jason Swafford says

    Hi Brian,
    Impressive interview! Listening to advice straight from the source will help me to focus my intentions when applying for my first job in the industry.
    Enjoyed the format of your interview and Colleen was great. I hope I can interview with someone as easy to talk to as she seemed to be.
    There was some very helpful information that I feel can give me the perspective needed to introduce myself to the professional ranks of the sports industry.
    I am a Veteran earning my business degree in Sport & Recreation Management but have military experience in the medical field, specifically radiology technologies and CATScan. So, listening to this interview leads me to trying to figure out my “transferable skills” and experience.
    Appreciate it!
    Very helpful!

  3. Matt Doyle says

    Hey Brian,

    Thanks for this great interview. As an Eagles fan and as someone aspiring for a sports production career, this was very insightful. I also teach workplace success classes at colleges and I’m always curious about resume and applicant funneling and different approaches people take. I do love a good podcast and glad I found this one to put on my list. Keep up the great content.

    PS: Just worked a few college games as camera op at UD. I’m from Delaware and attended there for awhile myself before switching gears.