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Super Bowl Lessons for the Job Search

Whether you’re a football fan or not, chances are good that you’ve heard – and will hear more – stories about players, plays, personal superbowland team triumphs before Super Bowl XLVII comes to a close on Sunday.

You’ll also likely hear stories this week about the latest U.S. Unemployment numbers, slated for release this Friday, February 1.

We’re not saying we see a direct connection between the NFL and unemployment numbers, but here are three tips from our “Silver Linings Playbook” for the job search.

1.  You’re more likely to make the team if you come recommended.

It is estimated that only five percent of NFL players made the team as a walk-on. Just as the vast majority of NFL players get drafted, you have a better chance of getting a job offer if a friend, former colleague or networking connection recommends you for the position. How much more likely? The New York Times reports that employers are setting target goals to recruit up to 50% of new employees based on referrals from current employees.

For tips on how to get a referral inside the company even if you don’t know anyone, click here.

Don’t forget to check out StartWire’s built-in free tool that recommends potential sources of referral based on your LinkedIn network.

2. Professional players – and teams – frequently lose on the road to success.

Here’s a piece of trivia you’ll hear over and over – the Ravens (1-0) and the 49ers (5-0) each come to the Super Bowl undefeated in the Big Game. But each team lost three or more games over the course of the season, and it’s been over ten years since either team took the field for a Super Bowl.

Unless you are applying for jobs that you are over-qualified for – or if no one else applies – you are going to experience the pain of loss.  You are going to be turned down for some of the jobs you apply for, just like some of the passes in football go down in the history books as incompletes or fumbles. It’s part of the process.

Would it make you feel better to know how often this occurs on the football field? Even the winners are accustomed to loss. Of the teams who have played more than one Super Bowl, only the San Francisco 49’ers have a perfect record for the Big Game – and they’ll put that on the line on Sunday.

3. Focus on jobs you want with discipline and determination – and it’s quite likely you’ll get a shot at interviewing. Just don’t give up.

Think some teams are doomed to have a Charlie Brown life? Or that it’s all about employer contracts and buying wins? Consider this: 28 of the NFL’s 32 teams have played in a Super Bowl. That’s 87% of all NFL teams! Not bad, eh?

Get out there, and keep trying!

Now pass the guacamole and chips. Tell us, how can we help you achieve your goals?



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