interview

Preparing for Your Head Coach Interview! P.1 – The Resume & Letter of Intent

You wake up in the mornings and you have the “itch”.   You know what it means.  You have been thinking about it for a long time.  Most of think about it for years before we the “itch”.   You’ve put in your time.  You have been an assistant, a coordinator and have experienced success.  You know how important building relationships in a program is, and you may not be 100% “ready” (you never will be btw), but you have now decided that it is time to take the next step!  You are going to start applying for Head Football Coach positions at the end of the season.   Congratulations!  This is a big career step and just putting yourself out there for consideration is a big move.

If you are going to do this you need to understand you will have to apply at a A LOT of schools.  Like many jobs, you will have to deal the “good ol boys” that have connections getting slipped into spots.  Most of the “good” jobs have the coach they want in mind before they let the current coach go.  Some schools wont even take applications, they will reach out to the coaches they want.   But don not be discouraged!  That will be you one day!  But for now, you will have to play the numbers game.  Remember, your new, and even if you are not, somebody out there will always be better on paper than you somewhere.  That’s just the name of the game.  What you need to do is:

  • apply at several spots, the more interviews you get the better
  • be aware that you DON’T have to take a job if they offer
    • the right job is better than A job
  • develop a plan of attack

This is going to be a three part series dedicated to the process of attaining the position of Head Football Coach:

  1. The Resume and Letter of Intent
  2. The Portfolio and Interview
  3. The Follow up and the Finalist Interviews

THE RESUME

What it Should Not Be

It is always easier to start with what to avoid with things like this.  Your resume should NOT do the following things:

  • Be a comprehensive life/career documentary
  • just a list of places that you have worked
  • be more than two pages long
  • be flashy and colorful
    • this is hard to read and if information is hard to read it gets thrown out
  • have a lengthy objective
  • list your athletic accomplishments as a player other than where you played
    • no one cares you made 12 tackles in a championship game except you

What it Should Be

The first thing you must remember is the people selecting candidates for interviews are reading a whole lot of material from many different coaches wanting that spot.  Sometimes they get hundreds of applicants that they must go through.  If your resume is too flashy or hard to read it gets thrown out.  If it is too long… they wont read past the first page or too anyways. Here is what it should be

  • Simple, Clear and Easy to read
  • use bullet points
  • ideally only one page long, two pages at maximum
  • clearly show how you IMPROVED the team from when you arrived to the current point in time
    • EX:  -Improved points per game from 17.5 to 28
    • Ex: -Decreased academically ineligible players from 7 to 0 in one semester
  • Structured just like this from top to bottom:
    • easy to read name, email, phone number with a bold line separating this from the body of the resume
    • objective that says exactly this:
      • To Obtain the Position of Head Football Coach at _________ High School
        • NOTHING MORE
    • education, only list the following
      • where you went to school, what your degree is in, when you graduated
        • NOTHING MORE
    • Summary – this is just list of bullet pointed “Proven” abilities
      • Ex: -Effectively increasing student-athlete academic performance via…. yada yada, (you get it I hope)
    • Coaching Experience
      • each TITLE gets a section, NOT each job
        • head coach, OC, DC, position coach, etc…
    • Teaching Experience
      • one section, brief, that shows how you improved students, you don’t need to list every school you taught at
        • remember, this is an interview for Head Coach, the teaching part will come AFTER they decide they like you
        • my coaching resume and teaching resume are two separate documents
    • Certifications
      • just a list of what your certified to teach, they only care about where they could put you if hired

THE LETTER of INTENT

Often call the “cover letter”  the letter of intent declares that you are intending to obtain the open position at their school.   Again, lets start off with what it shouldn’t be.

What It Shouldn’t Be

  • a declaration of your life accomplishments
  • dedication to your family
    • look, nobody is saying you shouldn’t be proud of your family, but when you put it in your LOI, it distracts from your purpose
  • like your resume, it should not be a list of every career stop you ever made
  • sent as an attachment
    • send it as the body of your email and save the resume, portfolio and references for the attachments
  • too long
    • it needs to use the “miniskirt” rule
      • long enough to cover the important parts, but short enough to keep their interest

What it Should Be

As stated earlier, you must remember that the selection committee is getting hundreds of emails.  Yours needs to stand out, so your letter of intent will be the body of the email. The subject of your email will be “Head Coach Position”.  Your LOI should”

  • be like your resume and clearly show how you IMPROVED the team from point when you arrived to the current point in time
    • in your LOI these statements are more of general whole because it will be written in proper format instead of bullet points
  • should clearly state your interest in said school and why
  • should be structured like this
    • introduction
    • what you bring to the table
    • proof of what you bring to the table (bullet 1)
    • restatement of what you bring to the table
    • closing statements
  • the structure should flow and be easy to read
  • make sure you state the beliefs you have on education and the impact you can have on it with football being the driving tool

CLOSING

I hope this is a nice little guide for anybody wishing to start the process of preparing for a head coach position!  Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 which will all come before the end of August!

If you are looking for a jump start, I do offer a HC Interview Package for purchase.  It is 11 total documents, Ill send it in an emailed zip file. Then we can schedule a phone call and I will teach you how to use it and what to do with it before an interview. How to use it in an interview to keep the panel on your plan, not theirs. The portfolio itself is 35 page portfolio that I built over the past 6 years. It outlines your plan as a head coach and covers Mission Statement to fundraising plans. Lifting plans. Philosophy for O/D and ST. Academics. Discipline policy. Every possible question an interview panel could ask is covered. It makes you look extremely organized and you can anticipate questions coming before they are asked. Ability for full customization to you.

The package includes:

  • Portfolio
  • Sample Resume
  • Sample Letter of Intent
  • Entry Plan
  • Off Season Plan for Success
  • Academic Eligibility Tracker
  • and more

DM me on Twitter or Email me for more information

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