Athletes, Change One Thing on Your Cover Letter Today
The hiring process for both the job seeker and the employer is such a laborious procedure. Click, click send. Repeat. If you want to stand out in this electronic driven process, athletes should always use their sport to get their foot in the door.
What does your cover letter say about you? Likely it reads you are a successful and driven leader seeking new opportunities to grow within an organization. Such dribble causes HR departments eyes glaze over in boredom. As an athlete, you have experienced incredible highs and lows during your training and on race days. How you handle adversity on those days directly relates to how you are equipped to handle adversity at work. Paint them a picture of you that they can’t forget.
After a two and a half mile swim, 112 miles on the bike followed by a 26.2 mile run and finally the finish line was in sight. Then, I heard it, “Here comes another finisher. Completing her first full iron distance triathlon from Nashville, TN, it’s Carrie D.” During an endurance race that can last longer than two full work days non-stop, there are a few key words that keep you going; Move, Finish, Enjoy, Live, Overcome. There is also a singular goal – to finish and when possible, set a personal best time. To do so you have to be willing to go beyond what you believe is possible and push through the seemingly insurmountable.
I bring the same perseverance, pursuit of excellence, and readiness to challenge myself from my extracurricular activities to my career objectives.
Tell the employer that you are self-motivated, have great follow through, never give up and possess a can-do attitude without using any of those words. Use your experience as an athlete to highlight your work ethic.
The best employees always have three things in common: a balance of family, spirituality and physical activity. If this potential employee crosses your desk, hire immediately because they have the proper check and balances in place for success.
Potential employees that showcase a strong family structure are more likely to fit in a team environment and understand the importance of helping others around them to succeed. This doesn’t mean they have to be married with 2.5 kids. Family is defined here as immediate and chosen family members but the make-up of the people is less important.
Spirituality is a candidate’s soft place to fall when things fall apart. Life always falls apart and although family and friends are important, a higher power by any name can soothe the soul deep inside the heart. Although you may not be able to ask such a direct question nor am I saying that you should, I do encourage HR leaders to vaguely open up on how they handle tough times. You may find the employee shares a glimpse into their life in return.
Any future employee with a constant passion for physical activity will be your work horse. Neuroscience found that engaging in a physical exercise regimen helps healthy aging adults improve their memory, brain health and physical fitness. I call it free therapy. Exercise is a time to leave all that bothers you on the pavement and creates more room for epic creativity and problem solving ideas.