April 2017 -- Today’s job market is very competitive, and applications should go beyond just the hard paper copy. Resumes are crucial, but leave out many factors that influence hiring, such as your apparel, body language, projection of voice, and ability to build a quick rapport with clients. Thus, when emailing a resume to the tennis director or owner for a tennis-teaching position, include a link to your website, which should include a video of you teaching a lesson.
One of the benefits of your USPTA membership is a free website that you can personalize, including adding YouTube videos (detailed instructions are available when you log into your uspta-pro.com website). Embed videos of you teaching tennis to both adults and juniors to allow the hiring managers to see how you hit, instruct and communicate during the lesson. Many interviews are conducted with you performing a tennis lesson. Thus, this video will be a preview for the tennis director to see if they want to grant you an in-person interview. In fact, the day may come when tennis directors will mandate this procedure for your application.
Also, if you have published any articles in ADDvantage or other tennis magazines or newsletters, add links to them on your website. In addition, record a video of yourself talking about why you coach, how you help students, and explain your coaching philosophy. Include information about a couple of events that you developed for a club or events that you could direct that are not typical days of revenue (e.g., the day after Thanksgiving, the Saturday on Labor Day weekend, etc.). Upload this video to YouTube and embed it in your website. If you gave a presentation at a division or national conference that was recorded, include that video as well, especially if the topic would relate to the position for which you are applying. For example, if you are applying for a head professional or director of tennis position, a presentation on hiring practices or increasing on-court revenue would highlight your expertise.
Be sure your website is up to date and professional in appearance. A future employer may also check your ability to create a professional website, as this may be a job requirement to promote the club.
But let’s not forget the resume. This is the first thing the employer will see, so the actual hard copy itself should be professionally produced, either by you or by a company. Before even one word is read, the appearance is immediately noticed by the employer. If two resumes were held up in front of you for one second and then taken away, one will stand out. An employer may receive as many as 100 resumes for one job, and spend only five to 10 seconds per resume. She will divide these resumes into two piles. The first stack will be around 10 resumes to look at again, and the other 90 will more than likely never be viewed again. Make sure that yours is in the short stack.
Near the top of the resume, highlight your strengths in line with what the club is looking for. Use either three to five bullet points or a brief paragraph in bold type. This section will be immediately after your name and contact information, and can be labeled as Professional Profile. Do not hide your top strengths! Remember, a tennis director is usually too busy to read your resume a second time; make sure that you attract their attention the first time!
Finally, carry your resume or business card to any convention or tournament that you attend. Your business card should include your professional website. If you meet someone that is in a hiring capacity, you should hand out your business card and direct them to your website that features a video of you teaching a lesson. Also, before attending a convention, send an email to yourself with your resume and link attached. You can ask the director for their email address at the convention, and use your phone to forward your information immediately. Follow up a few days after the convention with a call to the tennis director to see if they have had a chance to view your lesson on your website. Do not expect the tennis director to always make the first call; you need to be aggressive to get a job in this competitive job market.
Take advantage of the technology available to you today along with the tools provided by USPTA, but don’t forget networking and the benefit of having a professional resume. Today’s job market is tough; use all the tools available to you to make yourself stand out among the rest.
Jeremy Carl is Director of Junior Tennis for Blue Chip Sports Management and is a USTA High Performance Coach. He previously worked at Burke Racquet and Swim Club in Burke, Va., and Mount Vernon Athletic Club in Alexandria, Va.
Farley Youman is a tennis professional with Blue Chip Tennis Academy. He teaches at the Worldgate Club (Herndon, Va.) and formerly taught at the Burke Club (Burke, Va.). He previously taught 250 students over the course of six months at Saddlebrook Tennis Resort .