The Job Search Super Bowl

The front door slams open and a thick shoulder enters your living room sidewise, followed by a broad body that makes your big screen TV look like a pocket watch. A weather-beaten face, baseball cap perched on top, seems to hover unsupported over a vast red sweatshirt bearing the word COACH in white block letters. You would be afraid, but the man now towering over your couch bears a strong (and vitamin-fed) resemblance to your elementary school gym teacher, right down to the twinkle in his eyes.

“Sooo…,” Coach booms, dropping a sympathetic paw on your shoulder, “theyre saying your careers been side-lined, are they? That youve been benched by the economy, laid-off, downsized?”

You nod, hoping Coach will lift his hand before your lungs are compressed into pancakes.

Coach takes a step back, then hunkers down to put you eye to eye.

“Its an old story, rookie. But what I want to know is, what are you going to do about it?”

“Um, well, I…Ive updated my resume. And there are all those job search engines and the newspaper ads. But there are so many people applying for the same jobs…” you stumble to a halt as Coach jumps to his feet.

“Search engines? Newspapers? Come on, now, rookie, where’s your competitive spirit? Don’t you want to be a winner?”

“Well, yeah. I mean, yes! I need a job.”

“And aren’t you the kind of person who rises to the challenge?” he reminds you, using one thumb to point to the plaques on the wall behind his shoulder. “Employee of the Year last year, remember? And Highest Producer the year before that, right? Or is that just locker room talk?”

“No! I earned those awards!”

“Darn right you did!” Coach bellows. “Earned em with hard work, sweat, and a winning attitude. Felt good, too, didnt it? Not just winning those awards, but doing your best, every single day, no matter what they threw at you! What a rush! Am I right?”

“Yes, sir!” you find yourself yelling back.

Coach looks you straight in the eye and challenges, “Then isnt it time you started feeling that way about your job search, kid? Stop thinking bush league, and start thinking majors! Ive got a playbook here that is guaranteed to put big points on the job-search score board! Just bring on some of that hard work and you can be a contender! What do you say, kid? Are you with me? “

Suddenly, you find yourself on your feet, your fists pumping, feeling the first glimmer of hope since you lost your job. “Yes! Yes! Bring it on, Coach!”

“The game of life is a lot like football. You have to tackle your problems, block your fears, and score your points when you get the opportunity.” The unknown author of this statement may never know the profound impact these words have had upon the thousands of persons with whom I have shared it. If you or someone you know is looking for work, then “suit” up and hit the field and Ill coach you through one of the most important games of your life: The Job Search Super Bowl!

THE PLAYBOOK : according to the Department of Labor, 48% of all people report finding their jobs through referrals and networking (“It takes the whole team to win a Super Bowl!,” says Coach). 24% found their job via direct contact with companies (Coach calls this breaking through the defense), 23% through employment agencies, staffing companies, college career services offices and executive search firms (“Where did you learn to play football anyway?”) Only 5% of people find their position through the help wanted ads, the internet job boards and other printed advertising (“Thats called the Hail Mary play!).


Rule 1: Attitude : Its the only thing you have 100% control of, 100% of the time. All the coaches cant be wrong!

Rule 2: You must hit the playing field everyday: Looking for a job IS your job. Do it 7 days a week.

Rule 3: Wear the right uniform and protective gear: Dress to win, know that falling on your face is still falling forward. If you get tackled/knocked down- Get UP!

Rule 4: Ethics: Play fair. Play clean. Its a small world…

Rule 5: Its a team effort Help each other to win. Share your knowledge

Rule 6: The SuperBowl takes a series of wins: One step at a time. Win one game, then the division, then the league. A good job today may be a great job tomorrow.


Interview for an open position that is a good match: 6 points (Touchdown!)

Called back from an interview for a 2nd interview : 1 point (the extra point)

Called back for a 3rd interview: 2 points (conversion)

Networking with business cards and resumes ready: 3 points for each occurrence:

  • Contact every single person n your network (every relative, every neighbor, friend. These people truly care about you. Make sure they have a copy of your resume, and are connected to you on your LinkedIn profile )
  • Attend a professional association meeting and really work it!
  • Attend a business/ industry specific forums.
  • Join/start a job club.
  • State Employment Job Search Workshops/Meetings (
  • Obtain an Informational Interview.
  • Get a Mentor. Meet regularly. Mentor others.
  • Alumni clubs (military, school, ex-employer, special interest).
  • Contact entire contents of family/home telephone book.
  • Your personal … professional services contacts (physicians, attorneys, accountants, etc.) made aware of your search and you send resume.
  • Attend Career/Job Fairs.
  • Met someone at a: football game (!), fitness centers, weddings, theme parks, airplanes, hair/nail salons, movie theatres, or shopping … gave them a resume.

Direct Contact and Agencies: 2 points for each occurrence

Register with Executive Recruiters, Contract Staffing Companies

* Go on an assignment for 1 month+? Score 20 additional points

* Warning: Do not PAY any agency for a job! (Penalty-Expulsion from the game)

Research, then contact specific companies that match your skills. Contact department/division head (not human resources) for informational interview.

Send Resume to a Company-Specific Internet Job Posting .5 points

Built your own website; post resume to it. 1 point

Send 1 Resume via Internet Mega-Job Board PENALTY! subtract 1 point

Ultimate Goal= 200 POINTS Job obtained……SuperBowl is won! And you have a job!

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