With recruiters planning to do 79% of their hiring this fall, and only 29% in the spring according to the 2016 NACE Job Outlook Survey, now is the time for student-athletes to start their job hunt. Here are a few ways that advisors can work with their student-athletes to make sure they capitalize on this important time of year.
Create a Blueprint
Get your athletes thinking about their career early on by having them create a game plan for their future. Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, a student-athlete will not know which field or industry is fit for them over night. Finding the right fit is a process that requires much trial and error. Have your athletes start thinking ahead of the game by exposing them to different industries that may be of interest and have athletes keep those in mind during career fair visits.
Establish a Timeline
Every football game has a time frame, and so should your athletes’ job search. Once the clock starts running, have a list of predetermined tasks to accomplish during each play. Week one may consist of squaring away resumes and cover letters. Week two might include applying to three different hiring companies, conducting a practice interview, and so on. Staying on top of these benchmarks will help keep athletes on the track to a successful job search.
Set a Goal
Goal setting is something every student-athlete is familiar with on the field. Help them to transfer this mindset to their job search by posing it as a challenge for them. With their unique skillset, athletes thrive when the pressure is high and the task seems tall. Have athletes create a scouting report for themselves highlighting their individual strengths and weaknesses, and what they are interested in so that they can use it to help choose which jobs to apply for. By having them set a career goal for themselves, they will naturally rise to the occasion and push themselves outside of their comfort zones to land their dream job.
Never Skip Practice
Just as an athlete wouldn’t show up for a game without practice, the same goes for interviews. Interviewing is a skill that can only improve with practice. Have athletes research their companies of interest, and have them practice forming responses to common interview questions. This way, come game time student-athletes will be well prepared to handle the pressure.
Every time an athlete steps up to bat, they don’t always hit a homerun. The same goes for the job search. Keep your student-athletes from becoming discouraged by having them treat it as they would their sport. In order to improve at anything, one must practice. If at first they don’t succeed, pull them to the sideline and re-strategize to make the next play the best one yet.
With this being a busy time for recruiting and hiring, now is the time to encourage athletes to get ahead and stay ahead of their job search. Use these proactive strategies to help them develop a career plan and knock their job search out of the park!
Download our 2016 Student-Athlete Career Outlook Report to learn more about current recruiting trends and recent graduate employment benchmarks!