Job Search Tools
Finding a job can be a difficult task. These tools may help alleviate some of the stress associated with finding that first job or finding that new job after years with one club or facility. It includes sample resumes and tips for producing eye-catching documents that will get you in the door. Also, you'll need the right introduction, and that's a good cover letter. This area has a sample cover letter and some tips for producing effective communications to prospective employers.
Once you get the call for an interview, you may want to scan the interview tips, and brush up on how to prepare for meeting and talking with the various people who will be a part of the hiring process.
Tips for preparing a resume
What to include
Although resume formats may vary, the following information is standard for most resumes and will help a potential employer evaluate your skills and experience.
This means your name, address, phone numbers and e-mail address. Do not include your age, marital status, weight, height, etc., since these are not legally job-related categories.
This is a one-sentence (two at most) statement that tells the reader what type of position you're seeking. This should be tailored to each job for which you apply and be fairly specific.
If you don't have lots of work experience, it's common to list education first. Under the education heading, you should include the names and dates of degrees earned, major course of study, the colleges/universities attended and any honors you received. Some people list courses in their area of concentration. Also include information on research projects you completed, field work and extracurricular activities.
This area of your resume is most commonly organized in reverse chronological order. That means you start with your most recent or current position and work backward. It's great if you can show that you've had increasingly more challenging positions with additional responsibilities.
Start with the name of the club or facility, job title and dates of employment. Next, provide a brief description of your responsibilities and activities. Although you may have performed similar duties at each of your jobs, try to include something unique for each position or employer, and don't repeat tasks that are common to all positions.
Some people prefer to group their experience into function categories, especially if they do not have a lot of paid work experience. This helps you highlight skills in specific areas such as "Managerial," "Teaching," or "Sales."
Although it's not always necessary to include this on a resume, you may want to offer that "References are available upon request" or something similar. Of course, if you've got the space, place two or three references with their titles and phone numbers on the document. Be sure that it's OK with the people you list, and include their preferred contact information.
Some people include a "Special skills" category on their resumes. This is a good place to promote specific talents such as additional languages spoken, job-specific software experience or certifications. This is especially appropriate for USPTA-certified Professionals!
Graphics and writing style
If your resume is neat and inviting, it's much more likely to be read by a potential employer. The following tips will help you design a document that is both neat and informative.
It's important that resumes be neat and easy to read. That means allowing for enough white space to make the document appealing. To accomplish this, you must limit the use of words, and skip lines between headings. Don't get too fancy with different fonts, but it's a good idea to bold each heading or entry and/or indent information under the headings.
Use of words
Instead of using complete sentences, opt for short, incomplete phrases that include "action" words. Use words like "developed," "implemented," "created," "built" and others like them.
Paper and ink color
It's best to stick with white or light-colored paper and black ink. That way, if you use a fax or scanner to send your resume, the prospective employer won't have trouble reading your resume.
As far as length, it's best to keep the resume to one page. Of course, this doesn't mean you should leave out important information, but you should ensure that your resume condenses as much important information as possible into a reasonable and readable format.
Sample cover letter
Jan. 2, 2014
Mr. Dave Smith, General Manager
Oakdale Country Club
1000 Country Club Road
Houston, TX 77025
Dear Mr. Smith:
I was excited to discover that Oakdale Country Club is looking for a new Director of Tennis, and I want to fill this position. Enclosed (or Attached if it's in an email) is my resume and several letters of recommendation. My goal as a tennis professional has always been to work for a successful and distinguished club like Oakdale.
The requirements for the position state that the position will be responsible for all programs, maintenance and marketing related to your tennis facility at the club. As you can see from my resume, I've gained increasingly more responsibilities during my career as a tennis-teaching professional, having worked or supervised these exact tasks. I am also a USPTA Elite Professional, also a requirement for the position.
I also will bring a fresh perspective to the position as a result of my varied career that spans 10 years and four jobs in four very different locations and environments. I believe my experience at various facilities will allow me to increase the tennis activities at your club and develop value for the program and your members.
Please review my resume, and contact me if you have any questions. If you would like to schedule an interview, you may reach me at (713) 555-9332. Thank you for your consideration.
USPTA Elite Professional
Letters of recommendation
While it's true that tennis teachers have nontraditional jobs, this doesn't mean that they escape the traditional job application and interview process. Once your resume gets you noticed and you receive an invitation to interview for a teaching job, it's up to you to research and prepare for the meeting.
We hope the following tips will help make the interview process easier:
- Visit the company's (or club/facility's) website to gain insight into the history, services, benefits and values of the workplace.
- Research local newspapers for stories that reference the company.
- Request marketing materials from the company.
- Network by asking family, friends and associates if they know anyone who works at the company.
- Be prepared to answer various types of questions. Questions may cover personal traits, education, job history, knowledge of the industry and travel requirements.
- Always have questions prepared for the interviewer. This will demonstrate your interest in the job and company, your potential thoroughness on the job, and your knowledge of the company and its purpose. It's also appropriate to inquire about the next stage in the interview process. The questions also should help you get a better understanding of the culture of the workplace and the professional growth opportunities available.
- Bring multiple copies of your resume and additional lists of references if they are not on your resume.
- You may also consider printing out your USPTA education report card, which lists the continuing education courses you've attended and the credits earned. Your participation in professional development may prove to be the difference in a choice between two very similar job candidates.
First impressions count
- Dress appropriately. Both men and women should wear formal business attire – a suit – even if you're interviewing for a tennis-teaching position.
- Make eye contact.
- Use a firm handshake.
- Note your body language and the tone of your voice. Be sure to speak clearly and with enthusiasm.
During the interview
- Listen carefully to questions you are asked.
- Ask for clarification if it's needed.
- Give examples of your skills and experiences in the form of short stories. In other words, don't read from your resume or repeat the same information.
- It's OK to pause and reflect on questions before responding.
Always send a thank-you letter or e-mail after your interview. This reinforces your interest in the position and you may address any remaining issues from the interview.
If the job for which you are interviewing will have on-court responsibilities, you may be asked to demonstrate your playing and/or teaching skills. If so, you should be prepared. If you are not asked to play or teach, you might inquire about doing so.
- Take tennis clothes and your racquet so you can hit with members of the tennis committee or potential students.
- Provide a notebook of your tennis programs and lesson plans.
- Create a portfolio that includes your resume and any tennis-specific publicity you've received for your playing and/or teaching. This might be in the form of club newsletters or local newspaper clippings. Also, include any awards and other accomplishments.
Interview dos and don'ts
- Do dress appropriately for the business or type of industry. If you're not sure, opt for conservative, business attire. You can always remove a tie or jacket if necessary.
- Do take along tennis clothing even if you're not sure you'll need it. Tennis-teaching applicants may have the opportunity to play on court with interviewers or facility members.
- Do verify the time of your interview.
- Do double check the address and exact location of your interview. If necessary, map out your trip on one of the Web-based services.
- Do arrive 10 to 15 minutes early for your interview.
- Do turn off your cell phone during the interview, or leave it in your car.
- Do take extra copies of your resume (and references) to the interview.
- Do make eye contact and offer a firm handshake to the interviewer and anyone else you meet during the interview.
- Do listen carefully to your interviewer's name and the correct pronunciation.
- Do address your interviewer by his or her title and last name, unless you are invited to use their first name.
- Do sit up straight.
- Do ask your interviewer to clarify any questions you don't understand.
- Do give honest answers to questions.
- Do exhibit a positive attitude.
- Do prepare intelligent questions for the interviewer.
- Do research the employer in advance.
- Do make sure you understand the employer's next step in the hiring process.
- Do write a thank-you letter or e-mail to your interviewer promptly following the meeting.
- Don't arrive late.
- Don't arrive too early.
- Don't chew gum.
- Don't smoke or use tobacco products just before the interview.
- Don't make negative comments about previous employers or co-workers.
- Don't falsify application materials or answers to interview questions.
- Don't act as if you are only interested in salary.
- Don't be unprepared for typical interview questions.
- Don't offer too much personal information.
- Don't exhibit frustrations or a negative attitude in an interview.
- Don't take cell phone calls or allow your phone to ring during the interview.
- Don't bring up money; let the interviewer bring up the subject.
- Don't bring along uninvited guests to your interview.
- Don't hound the interviewer or the human resources staff before or after the interview. Typically, after you make two to three attempts to communicate without a response, you should assume he or she is not interested in beginning or continuing the interview process.