Social media is both a blessing and a curse, but I gotta admit that Linkedin has proven to be way more of the former than the latter!
That old adage of ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ has never been proven to be more true than when connected with the footballing community. Like many sports in fact, opportunities can be very sparse for people with a certain level of experience (or lack thereof) and it sometimes requires a little outside-the-box-level thinking or a stroke of good fortune to jam your foot into the door of the industry.
So, now is the time to diversify your approach if you’re looking to get into the world of football yourself, and to do that, I’m struggling to think of many social networks that are as fruitful a platform for achieving this than Linkedin. If you haven’t used this platform before, then don’t worry – as it won’t take you very long to get up to speed with its usability.
Essentially, Linkedin serves as a business-centric professional network which allows its members to engage freely with one-another in a more industrial environment. So, where you might want to share the odd meme or funny video on an Instagram story or a Twitter feed, it might be best to save the odd CV advice post and business insight for Linkedin. The engagement on this platform is phenomenal by the way – and you can be much surer to receive more constructive feedback on here than elsewhere.
I’m certain that there will be time here at the Ultra UTD University to go through how to physically set up a Linkedin profile and tailor it to the footballing niche. However for now, we’re going to focus on what you can do once the administrative duties have been sorted in advance. Ergo, this article is ideal for young students looking for some voluntary football work alongside their studies, or budding professionals looking to get their first step onto the footballing ladder through their Linkedin network.
For the former, I personally think that Linkedin is a gold-mine for a number of reasons. The first of which being that the platform allows you to search for professionals specifically via their job title; meaning you are a click away from being able to potentially speak with a Head of Recruitment / Sporting Director of a professional or local football club – simply by searching for something like ‘Sporting Director‘ in the search bar and sending a connection request.
What’s more, is that you can tailor your message requests to the person you’re sending them to [and here is a really useful article which will instruct you on how to do just that]. From my own experience, I’ve found it’s best to begin my cordially introducing yourself, briefly explain the kind of thing you’re looking for and then ask if there’s an opportunity to discuss things further over the phone. Then, if they connect, this note will appear in your own message tab as a reminder to follow up in a timely manner. So, for those disorganised amongst us, it’s a very ideal format!
The above also applies for professionals simply looking to break their way into the industry, and I think that this personalised social interaction is the way forward for getting a footballing entry on your CV! Because when you think about it, simply sending an email to some random inbox in the vague hope that they come back is a tiresome and demoralising exercise.
And Linkedin is giving us all the opportunity to put forward our personality in a way which matches the modern convention of social networking, whilst remaining conventionally professional as the art of job-getting requires. So what are you waiting for? Get searching for the right people, engage with local clubs, outline your experience and specifics of your job search and let your personality shine through!