Preparing Your Brand

Your research and conversations with sports industry professionals should give you a great idea of what it takes to pursue an internship in your chosen area of sports. Now, you need to show employers that you have what it takes. In other words, you need to build and refine your brand. Use the information you’ve gleaned from sources like the SportsBusiness Journal, and conversations with industry professionals to tweak your resume. Showcase whatever experience and education you have that speaks directly what employers are looking for. Look back on any jobs, volunteer positions, and other leadership roles, and pull out the accomplishments that demonstrate the qualities necessary for the internship in sports you’re pursuing.

A great resume is professional, eye-catching, descriptive, concise, and most important, it showcases you as an ideal candidate for internship. Before sending out your applications, spend some time revising your resume using the following tips as a guideline:

  • Keep it short – Your resume should be no longer than one page. If it spills over onto a second page, remove content that is old or irrelevant.
  • Use formatting to call out important information – Call attention to key points like job titles and topic headings by using italics, bold, CAPITALIZATION, and underlining.
  • Highlight your most relevant experience – Keep your section items in chronological order, but be sure to draw attention to your most relevant experience by describing these positions in more detail than the others.
  • Be proud and prepared – Everything on your resume should be an accomplishment or skill you are proud of and fully prepared to talk about. Employers will want to hear confidence and credibility on each and every point. If you’re unsure of something, remove it from your resume.
  • Proofread, proofread, proofread – This may seem obvious, but it is critically important that your resume is free of typos, grammatical errors and misspelled words. This document is a direct reflection of you; employers will be more likely to toss your submission aside if it has careless mistakes. As an extra measure, have a friend or mentor check it over.

Another critical step in preparing your brand is ensuring your online identity is clean and professional. Like it or not, a common practice by employers today is Googling prospective employees and interns. Search results can pull up anything from your finishing time in a local road race, to the pictures from last week’s party you posted on Facebook. Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take to clean up your Google results:

  • Secure your online profiles – all social networking sites, such as MySpace and Facebook have adjustable security settings that allow you to dictate who can see your content. An even better approach – take down anything that might be construed as unprofessional.
  • Create professional profiles – in addition to being useful networking tools, sites like LinkedIn and Plaxo will boost your online identity because of their naturally high rankings in search results. The developers of these sites make sure they are heavily cross-linked, indeed, and optimized for search results, ensuring their placement near the top of your search results every time.
  • Create a blog – in addition to being a great way to express yourself, a blog allows your prospective employer a sneak peek into your aspirations, opinions, etc, and shows them your dedication and passion. Popular free blog hosts, like Blogger and Blogspot, are also heavily optimized by their developers for high search rankings. So figure out what your passion is and blog away!

Securing Sports Internships