This winter I will be diving into building great career materials, but before I do I wanted to include a nice summary of things you can do to improve your career opportunities. My business partner, Greg Wojick (former career superintendent and long-time TurfNet member), recently put together the following list, and I thought it would be a nice start to the new year for us. We will dig deep into some of these in later columns. For more on Greg and his background, click here.
Looking to leap over the herds of professionals vying for the same superintendents job? I'm happy to say, there may be hope. Here are a few pointers for gaining a leg up in an impossibly competitive job market.
- Put your best foot forward: One of the best ways to increase the odds that your application will rise to the top of the stack is to create an eye-catching resume, portfolio, and personal website offering both a verbal and pictorial view of your skills and experience.
- Note your accomplishments, not your job description. Everyone knows the fundamentals of what an assistant does. Show how you've added value to the clubs you've worked for.
- Keep it simple. Too much information can be confusing and off-putting.
- Be certain all your materials are flawless, continually updated, and ready to go. If your portfolio is sloppy or amateur, how does an employer know your work isn't too? (In case you didn't know, GCSAA will review resumes free of charge.)
- Don't get too personal: Information about your hobbies, family, likes, and dislikes shouldn't have a large place in your portfolio. However, sometimes it can be helpful to mention golf as a hobby or acknowledge you have a stable personal life.
- Be visible: Attend local association meetings and industry events. Participate in TurfNet webinars. Write an article for an industry publication. Volunteer your time to help tournament clubs prep for their events. Introduce yourself to superintendents and sales reps. Do whatever you can to gain greater visibility, professional recognition, and a wealth of networking contacts.
- Use social media to make a name for yourself: Offer to set up and manage a blog promoting your course and, ultimately, yourself. Tweet about what you are doing on your course. Follow and respond to other industry professionals blogs and tweets. Get your name out there for others in the industry to see. You never know when it will reach a prospective employer. But be careful with these public postings and read this tutorial on TurfNet first.
- Don't just make connections, nurture them. When you develop an industry connection, be sure to maintain contact. Touch base from time-to-time, even if its just through email or texts. You never know when you may need them.
- Secure the support of your boss: There is little better than having your boss make a call on your behalf particularly if he or she has a connection to the prospective employer. They hold the key to many job opportunities.
- If you don't have a connection at the club you're applying to, do the legwork to find one: a sales rep, contractor, golf course architect anyone who knows someone who can put in a good word for you. More often than not, its who you know, not what you know that gets you the job.
Sections of this content were modified from an original article Greg wrote for Tee to Green, courtesy of the MetGCSA.