How to make your job search more effective

Whether you want to change companies or start in a new field: If you decide to land a new career outside of your network, you are dependent on external sources. The plenty of ads in newspapers to the world-wide web, ranging from social media platforms to job boards and company pages, might prevent us from seeing the wood for the trees. Thus, making the job search quite overwhelming when we get lost in the flood of options.
Luckily, there exist some methods to help you find your way through.

Here’s our advice on making your job search more effective.

Narrow the job down as much as possible

No matter which task in your life you look at: You always need to start with a plan of what you want to achieve to be successful. In this case, the start is knowing

  • what kind of job you are looking for
  • which industry fits your lifestyle & interest
  • where you want to work (anywhere / countrywide / region / city)
  • what kind of company (enterprise / middle-class / small business / start-up / agency)

Knowing exactly which career suits your needs, helps you target the right job.

The easy way would be already working in a field that you like. Job changes here mostly result from unhappiness with the employer, moving to a new region, the desire for a new challenge or a better salary. To make long story short: If you already have work experience in a career that you like, you can look for a similar position in a different company.

If you actually don’t have a clue, focus on your skills, education and interest to narrow it down on a specific field, for example Marketing, Management or Engineering. Most online job boards allow you to filter for a department, so that’s a start.

Specify your search

If you are able to narrow your interest down on an industry, concentrate your search on a niche job-board. For example, if you are looking for an employment in the sports industry, it’ll be more effective looking at less ads at Sportyjob than looking at thousands of ads on general job boards. In the end, your employer is as important for a satisfying work life as the mission field itself.

Same goes for regional offers: If you’d like to work in your home town, you might want to browse your regional newspaper first. Especially traditional & small business tend to advertise there. Nowadays, most newspapers also publish their jobs in their own online portal, so you can easily take a look on your phone or computer.

Let automation do your work

Job Alerts

Have you heard of alerts? It helps you automate your search. Just like a notification of your favorite mobile apps, these alarm you when a new ad was published that suits your search.

Just take a look at our own job alert:
Since you have narrowed down the job profile in the beginning of your search, you can easily automate your search. You define the

  • job description or field
  • keywords (i.e. specific skills, tools, buzz words like „small team“)
  • location
  • frequency (when the job is published / a summary once per day, week, …)

Once set up you will receive an e-mail in your defined frequency which contains all fitting positions. Let us do the work for you!

Pre-sets: Preparation is key

Another automated process is the application itself. A good job board offers the setup of a digital CV or upload of a document which allows you to apply with just one click the moment you found a fitting ad.
Take your time in advance to create a well-formatted CV - it will save you the time later and actually increase your effectiveness the most.

An alternative would be an extensive LinkedIn profile. A lot of companies extended their recruitment to the social media platform where you can apply directly. Furthermore, LinkedIn has a feature to print your CV out of your online profile.

Need advice on the perfect CV? Here's some thoughts for your CV of professional headhunter Andy Gugenheimer for help.

Looking manually

Make a schedule

Actively looking for a job is time-consuming and can be quite a pain-in-the-ass. It’s actually very similar to learning something new or growing a new habit. The key to being more effective is consistency. Scheduling a time slot for your job search daily or at least, regularly, increases your productivity and also makes the search itself less tiring. Create a weekly schedule which defines a time frame for your search. Also: If you decide on an hour daily, stick to it - but also don’t overrun.

Set goals: Job search +

The other half of actually making progress is defining goals that you want to achieve. Else, your job search will quickly turn intro scrolling through websites and wasting time. Define your task as „job search +“:
1 hour of job search = 30 minutes of research + filling out x application(s)

Activate your personal network

Let your friends and acquaintances know that you’re looking for a job. There’s a reason that collective intelligence exists - have it work for your advantage. They might have heard about an offer in their own company that suits your needs. Especially for jobs on the hidden labor market, this is absolute gold! Often, employer try to fill a position internally, so it won’t be published outside of the company. Knowing of one of those through a friend will enable you to send an unsolicited application.

Big plus: There won’t be many applicants and you will stand out as a proactive and motivated candidate.

We know the job search can be tough and the application and interview process afterwards entails another set of barriers to break down. But: With these hints, at least the first steps to achieve a new career, will be made a lot easier and more productive. We wish you good luck!

OutDoor Vs. Outdoor: What’s up with the two fairs?

OutDoor becomes OutDoor by ISPO, from 30.06. - 03.07.2019 for the first time.
In June 2018, the European OutDoor Group, EOG for short, announced that the OutDoor trade fair will be hosted by ISPO at Messe Munich for the next three years. With a new concept, the ISPO takes over the execution of the fair - and leads it into the future.

After the Messe Friedrichshafen lost the most important European outdoor fair to Munich, it calls a new event into action. The name? Outdoor.

Self-explanatory, two fairs coming around this year are creating a lot of confusion.  Let's take a closer look at OutDoor by ISPO and Outdoor.

OutDoor by ISPO

With a captivating concept, Messe München was awarded the contract by the EOG. Instead of simply adopting the Outdoor brand, ISPO expanded the event with innovative features - by looking at future-oriented technologies and other industries.

"The new concept takes up current requirements and offers added value for all market participants: whether start-up, medium-sized companies or global brands," says Markus Hefter, project manager of OutDoor by ISPO.

The most important developments at a glance:

An additonal 361 days

As part of ISPO, OutDoor is experiencing the same benefits that have already become established in the sports industry. Rather than being "just" an on-site event, OutDoor by ISPO creates a allround network with additional online and offline services, as well as connecting dealers and manufacturers 365 days a year.

Following the development of the outdoor  term
While the classic mountaineering, climbing and hiking activities will continue to be on the show, in 2019 additional segments will be added for the first time. Including yoga, running, trail running, mountain biking, travel and water sports.
For customers, those activities have already been an established part of the outdoor industry.

Knowledge transfer from the ISPO portfolio
With the help of its own portfolio and products, OutDoor by ISPO provides access to knowledge of other industries, through so-called "cross-industry". At Summits and Conferences, selected speakers will discuss environmental technologies already used in the sports industry, as well as digital trading and technology solutions from the experience with ISPO Digitize.

For small and medium businesses

Even though the trade fair in Friedrichshafen used to address the major players in the industry, ISPO now knows how to get start-ups and smaller companies on board. While "OutDoor Easy" enables a cost-effective trade show appearance, the Basecamp of Inspiration provides a platform for startups and industry news in particular, with its own summit on thoughts and visions.

The other fair: The new outdoor in Friedrichshafen

Even though the brand itself has moved, Messe Friedrichshafen is still trying to position itself as a key platform in the outdoor industry in 2019. How? By organizing its own trade fair.

Reduced to 2 1/2 instead of 4 days, the "Outdoor" takes place in Friedrichshafen from 17. - 19.09.2019.

For the industry itself, the challenge of Friedrichshafen is a rather confusing topic: Especially small and medium-sized companies usually opt for the stand placement on just one trade fair. Trade visitors are now faced with the decision to make: Munich or Friedrichshafen.

What's the advantages for Friedrichshafen?

According to Reisinger, the head of Outdoor, the new concept is mainly about using the existing strengthsof its location and eradicating the weaknesses of the original brand. Among other things, this shall be done by addressing small and medium-sized businesses through training and a start-up stage. A cost-effective stand package. Better networking options, such as round tables and organized conversations. A closer look at trends.

Developments that are also fundamental in the new concept of the OutDoor by ISPO. fully supported by the EOG. Thus, the original weaknesses of the brand are actually no longer an issue.

The future will show if an additional Outdoor in Friedrichshafen actually makes sense for the sector itself. In the first place, both platforms definitely promise an enhanced and exciting outdoor trade fair.

When art meets science: The industry of sports fashion

Do you know the two most successful sports brands in 2019? It's adidas and Nike.
That doesn't come as a big suprise as apart from sporty gear, both of them make in fashion. And not the casual apparel kind of way.

In February 2019, adidas Originals introduced their new collaboration with korean Designer Ji Won Choi at no other place but the London Fashion Week. Following in April, Beyoncé and adidas announced that they intend to collaborate in the creation of a new footwear and apparel line that would focus on performance and lifestyle items.

Taking a closer look at the fashion market this makes a lot of sense. While the sports & outdoor segment itself is booming and created a revenue of 84,105 million USD¹ in 2019 already, the fashion segment actually amounted to 600,994 million USD² - which is seven times as much. Concentrating on fashion is almost a guarantee for success. And widening the own product range from sportswear to actual lifestyle is a smart move by adidas.

The demand is growing, with people doing more sports and actually concentrating on good-fitting and looking apparel which also supports them right during their workout. And of course, by sports brands being a big part of modern streetstyles and even evolving to designer fashion.

As a consequence, the sports industry offers a wide range of job opportunities for fashion designers - and engineers. Having the demand to be functional and fashionable creates a job profile which differs a lot from fashion designers in other sectors.

Sports Fashion Designer: Creativity & Sciene go hand in hand

Even though it's often associated with "artsy and creative" people, especially nowadays, creativity and a good style are simply not everything to be good in this job.

Sportswear Design is a melting pot of creativity, science, socioeconomics and engineering.

A career in fashion requires an understanding of technologies, a grasp of math and engineering, or the so called STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics).

As fashionable looks enqueue behind performance orientation, the design process focuses on developing innovative ways to improve the fitness apparel, be it through special garments, treatment or production. For example:

  • adidas running shoes are a made of materials created through a technology called Digital Light Synthesis, which makes them lighter and at the same time more durable. It's a step further than 3D printing.
  • The garment of the workout wear from Patagonia is treated with Polygiene® odor control. It's based on (recycled) silver chloride which blocks the bacteria in the sweat.
  • And do you know how the fitting is perfectionized? Not through a designer taking measurements of different bodytypes, but by an alogorithm working on collected athlete feedback and digital data. A good example is the Flyknit Sportsbra by Nike. To ensure maximum comfort even for high-performance athletes, the team put in more than 600 hours of intense biometric testing, including motion capture and creating atlas maps.

Of course, the process is not completed by omniscient design-mathematics, but regularly it's a team of engineers and designeres who work hand in hand. Whichever field of work interests you more or fits your profile better, still, an understanding of the work of the other side helps a lot.

If you want to be a designer

You will need the technical skills, actually handcrafts and design software. It's concerning designing and crafting as well as pattern creation and garment construction. Furthermore, a good designer has knowledge about fashion, whether it's its history or the economic side of it.

Also, which might be the trickiest part, designing requires creativity and dedication, as well as a vision and talent. Maybe the hardest assets of them all.

Normally, the technical skills and the background are both teached in fashion schools. Further depth, especially of fitness apparel can be gained in internships at the different brands.

Designer Jobs in the Sports Market

If you are a Designer looking for a new challenge in the sports business or want to become one by starting with an internships or a career-entry position, at Sportyjob you will find interesting jobs from Footwear, Garment and Sportsgear Designer to Fabrics Manager:

[jobs per_page="5" categories="design"]

1 https://www.statista.com/outlook/259/100/sports-outdoor/worldwide

2 https://www.statista.com/outlook/244/100/fashion/worldwide

© Title photo by adidas

Nicolas Cerrato on esports & its development

esports are still very young and require way more innovation and creativity than regular sports: the promise of esports is that of the wedding of professional sports and Hollywood. Many groundbreaking things have yet to be imagined, invented and brought to life.

Nicolas Cerrato

Formerly a small niche, esports has become a successful branch of the sports industry thoughout the last years. With professional clubs incorporating gaming teams and live streams watched by millions, it offers great market potential which is still increasing every year.

However, it's people like Nicolas Cerrato who are helping to evolve the esports industry by using its potential for entrepreneurship. Being a former gamer with the necessary experience to understand the field, he found Gamoloco, an insight portal on gaming streams early on. Since 2014, they have been providing viewership data from established streaming platforms and making it readable due to developing their own metrics.

Furthermore, Nicolas is a well-known guest in the esports section of Quora. His insights or his advice on how to become a professional gamer are pure gold, thanks to his own experience which he shares openly.

Bringing all his answers together in one post, we asked Nicolas in this interview about Gamoloco, the future of esports in the sports business and his personal advice on how to achieve a career in esports. So, please, everyone:


Meet Nicolas Cerrato

" I am from France and my esports dreams started the year after I graduated from high school, in 1998. In 1999 I became a professional in the space as I dropped out of college and opened a PC gaming center in downtown Paris. Quickly after that I started one of the 1st pro gaming teams in the world, it was called GG. Since then I almost never stopped working in esports and the last thing I’ve been working on is Gamoloco, a data service focused on Twitch viewerships which i started in 2014. I’m the President and CEO at Gamoloco."


You’ve been a professional gamer in the past, but decided to add more to the esports business with your info portal Gamoloco. When and how did you come up with the idea to found Gamoloco? And what was your motivation?
I got the initial idea in 2012: I was the head of sales & partnerships at a start up producing of esports contents back then, working closely with Twitch on a daily basis. I realized that Twitch viewerships were carrying a lot of information and meaning, of the kind any professional in the space would want to access and decipher. My motivation has been to help market actors make the best calls when it comes to strategy and investments. As a seasoned veteran, I’ve been witnessing many clueless moves in the space, sometimes leading to spectacular wastes of time, money and energy. Gamoloco aims at speeding up the learning process and contributing to making the best calls.

What is Gamoloco? What is its role in esports?
The business of esports can be seen as a competition for attention and viewerships: What game is the most watched? What event is the most watched? How do they compare to each other? How do they compare to regular sports? Has there been growth lately? If yes, where?… That’s the kind of questions Gamoloco helps answering.

How does a day of Nicolas Cerrato at Gamoloco look like?
I wake up without an alarm, somewhere between 6 and 8. Then I usually go have coffee outside and start my day checking www.gamoloco.com: to see if everything is working, and to get my daily dose of viewership data. Viewerships are one of my main informational sources regarding esports and gaming: they tell me what gamers were interested in yesterday, last week, last month. After that I usually do some Qi Gong in a park close to where I work and then it’s back to work. Usually i do coding, the hardest for me in terms of required brain power, in the morning and more business-oriented work (data research, promo, sales, hr, networking) in the afternoon.

Being an expert in esports, it’s obvious that you have a lot of experience in the field. How did your esports career evolve? What have you been doing before you started at Gamoloco?
I experienced many different things as an esports professional: gaming center owner, tournament organizer, pro team manager and coach, journalist all the way to „Le Monde“, shoutcaster on some of the biggest stages, TV show producer, community manager, business developper, creative director, consultant. I would describe my journey in esports as passionate and chaotic, just like my life. Things have started to settle a bit lately and I can only be happy and proud of the variety of experiences I’ve been through. I definitely understand esports from many angles.

esports was a big topic at the last ISPO Munich and its counterpart the ISPO Digitze. It’s a quickly growing branch of the sports industry with a lot of potential for sports companies. How do you think esports will effect the sports industry?
I think they will merge. There are many hints showing that, not the least of which being the big interest of pro athletes and established sports organizations in esports: if a bunch of people still can’t get the potential in esports, sports entertainment professionals for sure naturally do. Within 15 to 30 years from now, we’ll have high quality augmented reality games that require to be both an outstanding athlete and gamer to perform. At this point, the door will be open for esports to reach their maximum potential as they will become one with sports.


Within 15 to 30 years from now, we’ll have high quality augmented reality games that require to be both an outstanding athlete and gamer to perform. At this point, the door will be open for esports to reach their maximum potential as they will become one with sports.

Nicolas Cerrato

Imagine sitting in a room with esports enthusiasts who would love to make their passion a profession. Which advice would you give them on how to achieve career in esports? How do you possibly enter the esports business?
JUST DO IT. If you’re passionate, if this is what feeds you energy, just do it. Bring your light to the mix, get involved in a team, community site or tournament organization or whatever suits you in the space. I don’t believe in degrees that much. Learn by doing and remember: esports are still very young and require way more innovation and creativity than regular sports: the promise of esports is that of the wedding of professional sports and Hollywood. Many groundbreaking things have yet to be imagined, invented and brought to life.


If your curiousity grew steadily throughout this interview, you can shed some light on esports and gaming live streams on Gamoloco: https://gamoloco.com/.

Landing your new job – Expert advice that could give wings to your career

Make a top ten list about the hard things in life and "work" will always be a part of it.The reason for this are two things which probably everyone of us has experienced at some point:
  1. "What am I going to do with my life?" Back in school, college or university, when we had plenty of options of becoming (more or less) everything we want, but we just couldn't figure out what. The different career possibilities are endless, but which one is the right one?
  2. "I hate my job" Going to work day in and day out on auto-pilote, because it just doesn't satisfy us. If you work in a job that you don't enjoy, because it isn't meant for you. Hard.
Both cases actually require finding out which career would suit you, challenge or bring out your talents, hence turning profession into a passion. But how do you do this?

"Without understanding your personality, experience, connections, and self-awareness you're not going to get very far". - Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzie


As head of assessment at one of the world’s biggest recruiting companies, author of 10 books and Psychology Professor at University of London and the University of Columbia, Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic is well placed to give you the answer to this question and some more. Together with an expert team of psychology professors from University College London and Columbia University in New York and Red Bull, they developed the online assessment Wingfinder, a tool that aims at outlining your strengths and handing you a talored coaching plan to maximise your skills.In this interview, he gives you advice and tips that you can take to increase the chance of landing the right role, based on experience, hard data and science. Inset: Dr Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic is head of assessment at one of the world’s biggest recruiting companies and psychology professor at University of London and the University of Columbia. Photograph: Shannon Morris

For those searching for a job out there:

Jobs today can pay well. They can also be interesting. They can also require creativity and fulfil multiple life needs. Competition is fierce though and qualifications and experience are only part of the requirement — without them, you can do very little; but without understanding your personality, experience, connections, and self-awareness you're not going to get very far, either. We live in a talent economy and the main talent passport you have is your reputation and how you can explain it. How are you different and better from your competitors? I don't like the idea of cultivating your personal brand – it sounds trivial, vacuous and narcissistic – but if your reputation doesn't stand out in a crowded market, or if you can’t explain how you will use your talents at work, you’ll only make it if you are lucky.

What’s your top tip for somebody working out their next step?

Self-awareness can go a long way. The better people understand their own strengths, limitations, and interests, the smarter their career choices will be. They’ll end up liking their jobs more, performing better, and staying put longer. Self-awareness, in other words, is a sorely undervalued talent enhancer because it can help people identify jobs that actually match their values and skills. Remember: talent is largely personality in the right place. For individuals to make better choices for themselves, they’ll also need some data - making the free, career-related feedback available at Wingfinder even more crucial.

What’s the most important thing to show in interviews to get any job in any company?

Your main competitive advantage lies in discovering and being able to explain your own skills. Tests we’ve set up on Wingfinder give you tailored feedback as to how you can do this. What you need for any role, in any company is what’s called the RAW components of talent (Rewarding – interpersonal and intrapersonal skills; Able – a style of thinking or Intelligence suited to the demands of the role; Willing – drive and motivation). Inset: www.wingfinder.com model; based on the original meta-analysis of employability & success by *Hogan, R., Chamorro-Premuzic, T., & Kaiser, R. B. (2013). Employability and career success: Bridging the gap between theory and reality. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 6, 3–16.

Interviewers often ask, ‘what’s your greatest weakness?’. How do you suggest people answer?

Try and look like you’re thinking about the answer, because the more you look like you have rehearsed the less truthful your answer will seem. Avoid common clichés such as ‘I'm too much of a perfectionist’ or ‘I'm too self-critical’. Avoid being completely honest, too. Much like a first date, an interview is not the time to reveal your deepest darkest secrets, so instead highlight the things your interviewers may have already identified as weaknesses, be it gaps or shortcomings in your CV and background, which will show self-awareness. Red Bull’s Wingfinder is one of the most valid freely available personality tests that can identify your strengths your shortcomings, and even offer coaching advice on those same weaknesses. We all have flaws and limitations, but it's our ability to keep them in check that determines our true potential.

What are the most common mistake people make as they begin a new career?

Thinking they are better than they actually are. When in fact modesty, self-awareness, the right career choices, and hard work will open doors. Expect less and give more. You’re at the beginning of your learning curve, so understand that this journey is probably not going to be a straight line. Nothing will open more doors than performing in your current role and being valued by those that you work with.

If you could redo your time studying or the first years of your career what would you do?

I would spend more time on extracurricular activities, getting real-world experience. It’s important to focus on your studies but use your spare time to create something, pursue hobbies, internships, projects and interact with people, proving to yourself that you can influence others and work well with them. These interpersonal skills are critical in any company.

What do you wish you knew when you graduated or early in your career ?

That, from now on, life will only get harder and more complex, but the rewards feel even greater. In a real sense, you never truly graduate — it’s a constant flow of learning, adapting and gaining more insight into yourself. Learning how best to leverage your curiosity and creativity, drive and how to work with others will be the greatest way of finding success.

Failed it! 6 career mistakes to avoid in your sport job

What to do with a mistake: 1. Recognize it. 2. Admit it. 3. Learn from it. 4. Forget it.

- Dean Smith

Everyone makes mistakes. Especially in a career, no matter if you're a freshman or have been a professional in your job for years. The only important part is on focusing how to improve through them. Well, here's the thing: Most of us already trip on step one - recognizing them. Seeing our own mistakes is always harder than noticing them in others. That's why we want to share some of the crucial mistakes that we made during our career. You might have made or are making some of them yourselves right now - or can prevent yourself from doing so by following our advice.Here's our 6 career mistakes and how to avoid them.

Being idle

If you want to be successful, you have to work on yourself - always. Don’t get lazy, but try to always stay up to date on the innovations of the sports business and your job. Because it might also happen that your position and learned skills become outdated, through digitization or other reasons.You can start reading books, attend seminars (which is often supported by your employer), visit events and fairs, do (online) courses. Not only will you be an expert on your field, but training your brain and gaining knowledge is actually very satisfying.

Lack of confidence and over-confidence

Not believing in yourself or feeling like the superlative of your field? No, thanks. 
Your level of self-confidence plays an important role in the development of your career.As a fact, success in sports begins in the mind in at least 80 percent of cases. The same goes for your career. If you don’t trust in yourself and your abilities to handle your tasks, then no one else will either. When picking up a project, you need to show confidence, but just the right level. The moment you feel overconfident is the moment you will stop developing yourself - and fail.

Not taking any risks

You might fear to fail or receive negative feedback. But actually, both of these will make you better in your job. If you always play it safe and work low-key, you will probably never climb the career ladder. Dare to think outside of the box, dare to upset your boss or colleagues by voicing your opinion even if it doesn’t theirs. You might succeed and gain respect. Or you might fail and learn. Either way, it will bring you forward.

Overestimating or lying about your skills

Being eager and passionate about your job is great. You might want to prove yourself by showing your skills, picking up projects that you don’t know much about or finishing jobs in a very tight timeframe. Just remember: The moment that you make promises, people will hold onto those. Overestimating yourself and ending up not fullfilling set goals will shed some bad light on yourself and your work. Try to gauge your abilities correctly to set realistic expectations.Even worse is lying. If you claim to bring skills or experience that you don’t have, you’ll end up seeming questionable. This will either result in missing further opportunities, or getting fired.

Doing it just for money OR purpose

You should never decide on a career that you hate because it pays well. It affects your health, your body, your mood - in the end probably the rest of your life. Funny enough, the same goes for opposite. If you are one of the lucky ones to start a career in your field of passion, or being able to realize your ideals in a job, and it doesn’t pay enough to live, it’s again not worth it. It might be satisfying during the working time, but whenever you don’t know how to pay your bills at the end of the month, this again has a negative impact on your life.Naturally, aim for a job that satisfies you AND pays enough to live comfortably. You might even add some value to your surroundings and your community.

Being a lonesome wolf

If you are always working alone and don’t reflect on your career with anyone, you might just get stuck. That's especially a problem if you work from home or self-employed.A network is important not only in the sports industry, but actually for everyone. Whether it’s people that inspire you or an expert to ask for a second opinion on your project, the people that surround you influence your career - ideally, for the better.

The different types of product managers in the sports industry

Get an idea about the different requirements for the position of a product manager in the sports industry

When it comes to product management, the job title is actually very vague. Most of the times, you'll find a job posting  looking for a „Product Manager“, senior or junior. If you're lucky, it is expanded by an additional keyword.  While Marketing positions often give away their specific role in the title - like SEO Manager, Social Media Manager, E-Mail-Marketing specialist, etc. - the product manager role is often just named as that, a Product Manager.

When looking through the different job ads on Sportyjob though, you’ll realize quickly that the requirements and tasks vary a lot. A consequence from the different profiles that a product manager can fulfill. There’s often more to this role and choosing a product management position that fits your skills, interest and character often needs a detailed look in the job description.

To make your job search easier, we've analyzed our job postings and created an overview about the different types of product managers that companies have been looking for in 2018. So what kind of product managers in the sports industry do exist? 

But first: What is a product manager in general?

[caption id="attachment_35313" align="alignleft" width="120"]Profiles of Product Managers in the sports industry Click to view our infographic on the different roles of a product manager[/caption]

In the sports industry, product owners or managers aim for success for products or product lines released in the domain of a brand. They develop strategies to please the customer’s needs in order to optimize a product or its communication and conversion. They create roadmaps, analyze and predict the market, set the communication in between the different related teams (engineers, marketers, designers), stakeholders and executives.The role often comes with great responsibility, decision-making and a good knowledge of ones market.

In detail, the position and its responsibilities vary a lot according to company sizes and goals. Here’s some examples of product managers that you’ll find in the sports business.

 

The Product Developer

This product manager is driving the process from briefing, over concepting, developing and finally, producing new products for a sports company. In the sport’s goods market, the position often just focuses on a certain product group of a brand. For example did Timberland (VF) look for a „Global Product Developer SMU Footwear“ in October who oversees the development of accurate prototypes. SMU Footwear stands for Special Make-Up, an edition of a shoe made of special material. Especially for experienced candidates who have worked in other industries before, this role is a lateral entrants magnet, as long as you have some product knowledge.

Even if it might seem so, the product developer does not design the product, but he oversees and manages the development. His/her responsibility of  is the translation of customer's needs  and afterwards putting it into the form of specific product requirements, communication between the different teams to produce molds, develop or find out new materials to use, the way to advertise the product, etc.

Which skills do you need

A product developer should always have great concepting and communication skills as they need to document and define the development. Writing specific spec’s for engineers and manufacturers, as well as reporting to stakeholders are a constant part of the job.

Furthermore, they should acquire great decision making skills and prioritize, rank, and/or reject features, enhancement requests, etc.

Also, an eye for detail great understanding of material, fabrics and technical aspects of a product come in handy.

Product Manager Conversion Specialists

There’s product managers that tasks mostly focus on improving the conversion of already existing products. In conclusion, this strategic role needs a good understanding of analytical tools and data, as well as key metrics. Instead of developing products or improving them, these product owners are working on optimizing the conversion across all channels, landing pages, funnels, customer’s experience and even pricing.

Further examples are Workflow Product Managers who track a customer’s workflow to improve the functions of a website or app and the interaction with the user.

Which skills do you need

This kind of product manager is very data-driven. They should bring an understanding for different monitoring tools, like Google Analytics or KissMetrics, depending on the tool the sports brand is using. A former knowledge of E-Commerce and Online Marketing can be a big plus.

Digital Product Manager

Instead of handling the management of analogue products, the digital counter part of this position handles digital products. In the sports business, these are mainly hired for online platforms. He or she evolves the online and/or mobile experience for the best user experience. In their recent job ads, VF looks for a Digital Product Owner who is developing innovative ways to deepen customer engagement and profitability through the use of digital channels. 

Their exact performance in the position depends and can be located in each of the described roles above, but often includes technical aspects.

Which skills do you need

In addition to the essentials of every product manager, the digital role requires an understanding of the digital landscape, as well as technical aspects of e-commerce.

What does a Sales Manager in the sports business do?

Whether you are about to get promoted or think about applying for the position of a Sales Manager in the sports industry, it's good to know beforehand what the role includes. Because, even though, the title indicates "Sales", its requirements are very different from an actual salesman or vendor.  Since the position is one often found in our job board - as the sport's good's market is one of the biggest hiring branches - it's time for an overview of the position.

The Sales Manager job profile

So, what exactly does a Sales Manager in a sports company do? Like we said, direct selling is, in most times, not a part of this position anymore. However, knowledge or former experience as a Vendor is a big plus. Why? Because a Sales Manager coordinates, guides and leads the Sales team of a company. Together with the HR department, they hire and train new team members, giving them the necessary base to succeed in their jobs. Furthermore, the Sales Manager defines the different Sales territories for each team member, defines the sales goals in smaller companies and supervises their team to make sure that the quota is reached.Further typical tasks and projects of a Sales Manager include:
  • Building a Sales Plan
  • Taking care of customer's relations
  • Management of external distributors
  • Expanding the Sales Territories and developing new channels
According to job level (junior, senior), company size and business organisation, the job description and the tasks that come along with it may vary. A quota at big corporate players, for example, is often defined by management executives, while the Sales Manager is responsible that the set goal is met. Normally, all tasks can be found in the job description or else inform yourself actively by contacting the HR department of the company. 

Which qualities and skills do you need as a Sales Manager?

In general, it's great if you bring former experiences as a salesman. It's often successful and experienced salespeople that get promoted to Sales Managers during their career in one company. Understanding how distribution works and which instruments to use to push Sales will be a great base to direct your team.For external applicants though, the sales experience is not always necessary. Sports companies especially look for management experience, since leadership skills are absolutely necessary in this position.
A Sales Manager is an achiever. He is performance driven and has strong analytical skills which helps him and his team define tactics and strategies to develop sales within or beyond market potential. Natural leader, he is capable of creating favourable environment, processes and organization for his sales teams to perform at their best.

Stephane Janssoone, Managing Partner of Sportyjob

Instead of going forward and working alone, like talented salesmen often tend to do, you need to be a teamplayer. As a guide and mentor for your Sales team, you need to take care of each member, listen and support them in reaching their tasks. Furthermore, a Sales Manager needs to motivate its team on a daily base.Good communication skills are also essential for this role. You need to be able to explain the tasks, sales plan, budget and distribution channels to your team, so that they understand what exactly they need to fulfill. In combination with patience and enthusiasm, they will be the perfect foundation for training your team. They also come in handy in case of upcoming problems with customers or between team members.Your analytical skills are crucial for the managing part of the role. You should be able to set up a realistic budget and goals, reading quota and being able to foresee the development of your sales on a monthly, quarterly or yearly base. Also, if you are able to keep calm and think through different steps, this will help you make success-driven decisions - which will come up often in a leadership position.As you see, the role definitely requires former experience, so the job is not suited for a career enterer who just finished his studies or apprenticeship. Whether it's other management positions or Sales, to be considered for the position, you should have been working in a suitable field for at least 3-5 years.

Two examples for Sales Manager positions in the sports business

If the profile fits yours and the career as a Sales Manager seems attractive to you, you can find different job opportunities throughout europe in our job board. However, there's two sports jobs that we would like to highlight.One being a great possibility to enter the career as a Sales Manager when you've only got little experience in this position. Keep in mind though that the role in general is not an entry position! The second position is a great challenge for experienced Sales Managers who are willing to conquer a new market and set up quotas, goals and strategically plan the distribution for a brand in a new region.These two are exceptionnel examples to see in detail what the requirements for the position are and how much the tasks can vary, straight from the view of two well-known sports companies.

Sales Manager at Black Roll, Switzerland

If you'd look for the classic profile of a Sales Manager, this position is perfect. You'll be the connection to the important clients, taking care of communication, ordering and delivery processes. Find out more.

Sales Manager at Bollé, Hong Kong

For experienced Sales Managers, this position is a great way to expand their career to a more challenging level. The position will be responsible for the overall strategic direction to review, plan, manage sales and margin achievement and initiatives across Asia region. This position is also responsible for the day-to-day managing of Asia distributors and related Sales forces, while maintaining existing and developing new channels of distribution. Find out more.

8 common questions in sport job interviews and how to answer them

Even though the questions of an interview differ for every sports company, there's a handful which pop up almost every time. Answering them might be easy for some, but hard for others. That's why we're here to help. Whether you just graduated or it has been a while since your last interview - here's advice on how to answer the most common job interview questions.

"Tell me about yourself"

Most of the times, this is one of the first questions the interviewer will ask. Normally, you should recite your resume here , but don't just trot it out completely. The recruiter normally knows your CV and your application and probably even has a duplicate of it in front of him/her. Instead, use this moment as an opportunity to show the milestones that you feel are the most relevant for you and the job. It shows your personal focus and is a great way to highlight your qualities for the position. 

"Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"

Whether you're a person who is planing ahead or prefer being spontaneous and see where life is taking you, your answer should be honest.  You don't need a concrete plan to answer. What they'd like to find out about you is if you're ambitious and possibily a loyal employee, you should also reword the question for yourself to "If you're still in this company, where do you see yourself in 5 years?".It could be something around the lines of: "I like the idea to have proven myself in this company and advanced my career by offering added value through the years." 

"What’s your biggest weakness?"

The most cliché answer we have heard? Probably "I am a perfectionist". It proves that you didn't understand the purpose of this question. It aims to find out the strengths of a person: Whether they're reflective and able to analyze themselves and in conclusion their surroundings. Also, if they're able to solve problems, whether it's their own or work relative.The best way to answer this interview question is to be honest about your weakness. Keep in mind though that it's supposed to be work related - you don't need to share any personal problems. Furthermore, add the way you've been dealing with your weakness in the past, showing that you're able to provide solutions. 

"On a scale from 1 - 10, how would you rate yourself / how proficient are you at xxx?"

Whether it's about yourself or Word, Excel, Photoshop or any software, this tactical interview question comes up in every other interview. We’ll let you in on something of our headhunting experience: The question isn’t really about the skills, but about seeing how well you are able to evaluate yourself. Have you heard about "hiring for attitude"? The response "Clearly a 10!" is probably exaggerated in most cases. There's always room to improve yourself, train and learn new skills, but you can't change a first impression. Be honest about your skill-set, give them a clear insight by going a little into detail of your knowledge (a little is key here). But also admit in which areas you could do better. If you show that you're eager to learn and would be grateful to improve throughout your job, this shows a lot about your work attitude - and recruiters will mark it as a strength.

 

"Why do you want to work for this company?"

This should be a no-brainer - as long as you want to work at the sports company. It might be hard to answer though when you're not really into the job. In any case, informing yourself beforehand about your future employer is the key to formulate your response. Find out what they value, which features they emphasize on their website and integrate them into your answer. Of course, you can always share your personal interest as well - maybe you have a nostalgic story with the sports brand, love their products or their services - it shows passion. 

“Tell me about a time when...”

Probably the most concrete question - which requires a concrete response. The interviewer wants to find out how you'd react in a special situation. A classic way to answer this, is the so called STAR format:
  • What was the Situation
  • What was your Task
  • Which Action did you take
  • What was the Result
Following these simple rules, you'll be able to keep it work-related and rational. 

"When you have been let go and they ask about it" 

This is actually not a common question and only comes up rarely, but as we know it's one of the hardest to answer, we wanted to integrate it in our post anyway. Whatever reason there was, that you have been let go, there's two rules to follow when answering:
  1. Don't badmouth your former employer
  2. Focus on the positive and the opportunities that came out of it
Emphasize that you're excited for the new opportunity to prove yourself, to pursue a new position that fits you better. 

"Do you have any questions?"

Yes! The answer to this one is always yes. It shows you care, that you're interested in your employer and the job.Possible questions could be:
  • What has someone else in this position done to succeed in their role?
  • Which advancement opportunities has this position in the next years?
  • What indicates success for this company?
  • Could you describe a typical day of this position?
  • Can I contact you if I think of anymore question?

Of course, a job interview it not only about the questions, but also about your body language and your appearance. We also prepared advice for this in our blog How to score in a job interview for a follow-up and the best way to win your interviewer over.

How Vans off the Wall enhances creativity: An interview with Dirk Jacobs

Coming up with new ideas in a well established company can be tough - especially with everyone in the team living up to their specific role. Over the years the way a brand is experienced is clearly defined and established in everyones minds, taking its toll on creativity and innovation. So how do you bring your team to overcome their own mindset and practice forward-thinking?Back in April, the Original Actions Sports brand Vans off the Wall just showed the world how. In collaboration with the Design School of Politecnico di Milano, they launched the event Spring off the Wall at the biggest design program of the world, the Milano Design Week. An event which let people experience Vans off the Wall in an exciting, interactive way.Under the motto of  Speed, Balance and Vertigo, visitors of the Milano Design Week could live the sensations of skateboarding by jumping into a foam pit, surfing through clouds like a Silver Surfer or walk on huge unstable foam waffle soles. 

 What you'd expect to be the creation of a great event management / brand marketing team, was actually an idea born in a completely unorthodox way.  Dirk Jacobs, Creative Director Vans EMEA, allowed us to take a peak in the concept behind Spring off the Wall and his way of engineering creative thinking.
Dirk: "Evey year I get my team together to come up with projects that don’t necessarily have anything to do with the work priorities, but with personal development. I mean, Vans’ purpose is enabling creative expression, not just for consumers, but also for the people behind the brand. We, me and my team, get to see the personal side of professional skills. In the process, I skip all regular titles, everyone could do what they want instead of what they normally do -  I saw creativity and leadership in people that I’ve never seen in a creative field."
From the pool of projects, Dirk chooses one every year that will come to life. In 2018, the idea was to collaborate with the design school of Milano to have their students bring to life their own brand experience in a creative way.
Dirk: "We have our Brand, we have our Brand Pillars: Action Sports, Music, Art, Street Culture - all the students fit the profile of our consumer. I found it interesting to talk to the perfect target group to see how they perceive Vans, what they think about it. Also, they have an amazing reputation, so I was really intrigued by it! About 2000 students applied for the project, which was obviously too many. So we asked them in a survey about their knowledge of the brand and action sports and their personal story with Vans. I had a hundred of applications and I was going through all of them for three weeks - it was my evening lecture. Some of the stories were very personal, some were almost like poetry. I really liked them. In the end, we chose about 120 [students] and we coached them in a workshop about our brand and gave them the challenge to show what „Off the Wall“ means to them."
At the same time, the decision was made to open up Spring of the Wall to design week. Bringing the project to another level, the collaboration was turned into a mentoring program for the students. Vans rented out a space for designers coaching and encouraging the project teams on expressing themselves in a professional matter. The group was divided into teams that each were composed of students from different design disciplines: Fashion, Communication, Architecture, graphic design, etc.What came out of it, was the creation of possible spaces for the design week that were a physical expression of the brand. Giving them space, time and freedom to express themselves, with the necessary guiding through industry professionals, the students came up with ideas far away from the regular communication of Vans. Instead of focusing on a stiff presentation, the students laid their focus on creating a space of participation, letting people experience the brand with all of their senses. 

 In the next step, they separated the groups another time and chose a number of students for a final group, gave them a feedback and another week to update their idea. In the end, there were 20 students and one concept.

Dirk: „These 20 students, they wanted to talk about skateboarding. I mean I love it to death, but it was never our way to speak to a broader, more lifestyle consumer. They wanted to talk about the experience of skateboarding. But how do you explain it to someone who has never skated, taking the skateboard away? The drop in in a bowl, the importance of balance, the feeling of height“

[gallery columns="4" size="medium" ids="32008,32026,32017"]
The students of the Design School of Milano dared to address a topic close to the brand, but far away from their regular communication. Even though Vans is originally associated with skateboarding, their main audience is situated in the lifestyle section: "Vans is a nostalgic brand, and everyone has their own personal Vans story or Vans memory, like the pair you wore when you gave your first girlfriend a kiss". The innovative concept showed a great approach to being authentic and back to the roots of Vans while at the same time being forward-thinking and very unusual for the brand.  Something that was taken in positively by both the audience and the company itself.
Dirk: "The response was amazing! We had about 10.000 people for the drop in. You jumped out of a shoebox into a foampit. At first, I thought it was childish, but people did it two or three times. The jump was 2 meters high. I don’t know what it was - the simplicity brought the child out in people. People went crazy!"[gallery columns="4" size="medium" ids="32011,32014,32029"]