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Make Your Sports Resume Stand Out from the Crowd

John Little, Former CNN Sports Internship Coordinator

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Video Transcript

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Brian Clapp, SportsTVJobs.com: John, lets talk about your time running the CNN Sports internship program – you’d get a lot of applications and yet only be able to select a choice few, what could someone do to stand out from the pile of resumes?

John Little, The Winners Edge Consulting: It was really important to be unique Brian, like you said there were a ton of resumes and everybody who was coming out of college had very little experience, so anything you could do to set yourself apart really made the difference. Anytime you had the opportunity to work for one of the local TV affiliates or Fox Sports Net regional or maybe ESPN comes to your town to do GameDay or are covering a college basketball game, you need to take advantage of that. Even if it’s just running cables or being a runner for stats, anything you can do to gain some real experience and documents it will be huge because it will set you apart from the rest of the sports resumes.

I tell this story often about how when I was in college we didn’t even have a campus television station, so I did everything our radio station had to offer. I did news, I did sports, I had a morning show anything I could do to build up my resume to help me get in the door somewhere. That’s what I liked to see when I was looking at people sports resumes; I wanted to know what did they do to stand apart from the rest. Being a sports fan isn’t enough, you have to have some tangible experience.

Clapp: So what about after you selected the internship crew, were there certain qualities that made for the best and most productive interns?

Little: Absolutely, the most important attribute was the willingness to do whatever it takes. In the sports industry in particular, you just know going in that you’re going to be working until 1, 2 o’clock in the morning, you know that you’re going to be working Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. If you’re not willing to accept that then sports television isn’t the right business for you. It was pretty easy to figure out who was dedicated and who was there because they thought it was a cool internship to have. Once you got your foot in the door it was doing whatever it takes to make yourself known.

There’s a small difference between a good intern and a great intern, a good intern will sit there and do exactly what you ask them to do, a great intern wants to do what they are doing great, as well as learning what your job is so that way they can be even more of an asset to the anchor, the producer or the reporter. They want to be like an employee in training, instead of someone just getting their credit for college or just because they think they are a sports fan.