“I don’t like athletes'' was the first phrase the employer said to me during my final round interview for an SDR (Sales Development Representative) role. He said all athletes are competitive, what makes you different? As I was in my final interview, my main story was how my collegiate athletic career had made me a driven and competitive individual, similar to the characteristics a salesperson holds. Instead, I had to explain my journey in becoming this person. I explained how I pushed through my goals and persevered in tough times, and how I would transfer these attributes to my professional career. My story shifted – and I was able to show my competitive and athletic side in a professional way.
So how do you say you’re competitive without actually saying it? Tell your employer that athletics helped you excel at time management and find solutions rather than excuses. Use athletics to show that you are a team player and someone who sacrifices things to achieve a goal. Explain your build-up and how you grew through your athletic career, and how you will only continue to grow as an employee. Think of your business career as your next team – a chance to be a team player and create new goals!
Even if you’re not an athlete, employers like to see that you’re hungry to succeed. Find examples in your life - perhaps aiming to graduate with a certain GPA or honors or to compete for a leadership position within your sorority or fraternity.
If you, or someone you know, needs help navigating the career search process, give us a shout. We offer a free 15-minute consultation. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org; or check out our website at Launch Career Strategies.
By Megan Stenberg, Intern at Launch Career Strategies and 2021 Providence College graduate