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How March Madness can help YOU land a job

March 24, 2010 1 comment


    My bracket is busted!  How often have you heard this?  The truth is, unless you have Utah State defeating San Diego State for the championship like one of my colleagues, it’s still anyone’s game (sorry David).  But even if you haven’t filled out a bracket, you can still learn some very important life lessons from the tournament, including tips you can use to land a job.


    What you did during the regular season doesn’t matter.  Analysts often refer to a team’s regular season performance as their résumé.  And if this is the case, then the tournament is the job interview.  It always boggles my mind when I hear people say that they won’t get a job because they’re not qualified enough.  This self-defeatist attitude is truly your biggest obstacle.  Similar to March Madness, your résumé is just to get you in…what happens after that is entirely up to you.


    The best team on paper doesn’t always win.  Every college basketball fan knows that any team can win under the right circumstances (hence the “Madness” in March Madness).  If your experience is good enough to get you the job interview, then you have the same opportunity to get the job.  Underdogs win all the time, and they use the following tactics to increase their odds.


    Preparation is paramount.  Teams prepare for their games by studying tapes of past games.  Think of the internet as your tapes – research the company and interviewer by reviewing the company’s website, searching news articles and press releases, and cyber-stalking them on LinkedIn.


    Develop a solid game plan.  Strategize by preparing questions to ask in a job interview.  Hiring managers want to see that you are knowledgeable about their company, but also that you are eager to learn more.  Know the company’s mission statement (find it in the “About Us” section of their website), and ask them about its significance…no hiring manager has gotten to where they are without being passionate about their company’s mission statement.


    Follow through to the finish.  How many times have you seen a team take a lead into the closing minutes, only to collapse at the last possible moment and lose the game?  This is because that team lacks follow-through: the ability to play with the same intensity for every second until the game is over.  You should demonstrate your follow-through by sending a thank-you letter soon after the interview.  I suggest mailing a hand-written note…it’s more personal and will really set you apart from the crowd.  Check out this helpful article for other thank-you letter tips.


    For other tips on landing a job, check out my past posts:


    What team do you think is going to win the whole thing?  Leave a comment below.  I personally have Ohio State winning the whole thing…but anything can happen.


    Kris Alban


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