Every organisation looks for something particular in its workforce, so finding the magic ingredient you need to land your dream job is not easy. UEFA has long been hailed an aspirational place to work for those seeking a career in sport, and as the organisation aims to develop its company culture, Senior HR Manager Florian Python reveals what UEFA is really looking for in a candidate and gives his five top tips to getting a job there.
- Build a network
I’m not giving away any trade secrets by saying that networking helps you to get that dream job. Sport is an industry where people know one another, so if you’ve made the effort to build up some contacts, opportunities can potentially be found by word of mouth among your network. It’s also great to hear recommendations for candidates from those who are highly respected within the field, but they don’t just come out of thin air, so get chatting! The advice you can receive from networking can also benefit you hugely.
- Gain experience
It could be that you’ve always been interested in working in sport but have never quite had the opportunity. If that’s you, then look to get some experience under your belt! We look for people who are passionate about football outside of their day-to-day work, regardless of the field they are in. Perhaps your son plays for a local team. If so, offer to coach or manage that team. It’s the kind of interest we really value in our employees and because of the popularity of sport, you’re never far away from a volunteering opportunity.
- Position yourself at the right level
One thing we really respect in candidates is self-awareness of where they are in their career path and what they are aiming for. The skill sets required for positions at different levels in the organisation vary massively. Of course, professional experience is imperative for someone applying for a high-level role, but graduates and junior candidates require a completely different set of skills in terms of what UEFA is looking for and how it wants to shape its teams.
- Sell yourself
One thing that really stands out during our recruitment process is a candidate’s ability to really sell themselves and their qualities. This is particularly important for graduates and lower-level roles, where candidates don’t necessarily have a lot of experience. Enthusiastic candidates are important but so are those who know what their skills are and don’t feel the need to exaggerate them. At UEFA, we are looking for genuine people who have good personal and social awareness skills.
- Do your homework
The biggest faux pas we see is when a candidate turns up for an interview having done absolutely no research on the business or even read the job description properly. Every candidate should be able to answer at least two questions well: ‘What do you know about UEFA?’ and ‘What is your understanding of the job?’ It’s shocking how many times candidates are unable to answer those questions. Nobody expects you to know every last detail, but it’s vital to do your homework because otherwise you don’t come across as a serious candidate.