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Website Series: Taking the Right First Step

Matt Leverich


This is the first in a series on building career websites for the turf industry. We will cover all aspects of content, page building, imagery, and more.

Let's start with some facts. There is still a bottleneck at the top of our industry in trying to attain a Superintendent position at a quality club. If you are applying blind to a position where you have no connections to the club at all, a standard cover letter and resume will not get it done. With dozens upon dozens of applicants, you have to create a way to stand out. The absolute best way to do this is to grow your network with golfers, GMs, and hiring personnel as I discussed in this post. That option takes serious commitment and constant work that not everyone will make time for in their busy lives. But it works, period.

An alternative option is to create very powerful application materials... which leads us to the topic of the personal website. Over the last six years I have built quite a few websites for those in the turf industry and have been a part of candidate searches. I've seen just about every possible way to put career highlights together and have had excellent success in clients receiving interviews and job offers after adjusting their application materials.

The first step in this process is to decide that a personal website is necessary for a successful application for your next position. It is absolutely critical in our industry today. But there is a difference between merely taking this step, and taking it correctly. For the vast majority of turf professionals, you should never, ever build this career website on your own. It doesn't work, I've seen too many and been a first-hand witness to the damage they can do. It's not just about having any old website, it is about having the right website with a professional look and the key content.

It's not just about having any old website, it is about having the right website with a professional look and the key content...

Your website will be a reflection of how you manage and run your operation. Would you want a hiring person to think that you run your course with less than professional quality? How do you know on your own what is good design or compelling to a hiring person? With all the duties and crazy long hours that a superintendent must work, it makes no sense for you to venture into DIY graphic designer in your precious spare time to save a few bucks... because in the end this decision could end up costing you thousands of dollars in salary increase for your next position.

So why in the hell would I be writing this series about building career websites and giving advice on how to do certain aspects on your own? Because if you arm yourself with the correct guidelines I lay out, you can work with a standard graphic designer to build a website that works well and includes great content.

We at Playbooks for Golf build career materials for select clients because we enjoy doing it and along with our design team, I personally have full control over the finished product for every single customer. I can't -- and don't want to -- build websites for every person in the turf world; we only take on what I can handle with our regular golf course project work. So I am trying to genuinely offer advice on doing things the right way if you decide to build a website with some help from a qualified graphic designer.


Think about this: most people that sit on hiring committees are professionals in other industries that have been very, very successful. They are used to seeing world-class design, branding, marketing, etc. in their daily lives. You need to showcase your professional skill in the same way, not with a free website builder from the latest online platform. Your career is not a template and most of these are terrible and overused anyways. Design is subjective, don't leave it to your friends and family to give their opinions on it -- they aren't professionals in design either. Hire it out to the pros, just like you are hired as a turf pro.

One last note that reinforces this topic. I recently received the following email from an actual client, but have omitted his name for confidentiality purposes:

"I wanted to follow up with you; I am pleased to announce that I have just accepted a new superintendent position. I really appreciate all your help in the process. I know that having your help with the website and resume made a great impression. I felt very comfortable throughout the entire process knowing that the materials I was using were very well put together and looked great. Having everything together in advance and needing only to make some minor tweaks made the application process stress free and allowed me to successfully prepare for the coming interviews. I also believe that the professionalism displayed in the resume and website not only assisted in landing the job, but also negotiating a great compensation package. Looks like we will need to update the website again when I begin my new tenure to assist in educating the members on my career."

The investment you make in your career materials will pay you back time and time again throughout your career. It is one of the best decisions you can make, so take the right step and find a reliable, quality partner in your career.


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