Career: Tell your teamwork stories

Try these tactics to demonstrate teamwork skills throughout your résumé and career documents to catch an employer’s eye.


Filed to: Job search

Golf course teamwork
The ability to work well on a team draws on a number of interpersonal skills and is an essential résumé ingredient for the golf course management professional. Photo by Montana Pritchard

Golf industry hiring managers consistently rank teamwork high among the desirable attributes they’re looking for when recruiting professionals at all levels. However, unlike qualifications that can be easily verified — such as education and agronomic experience — demonstrating teamwork is a bit more nuanced.

If hiring managers want their next superintendent, equipment manager or assistant superintendent to possess teamwork skills, how can you be sure you’re conveying these when conducting a job search? In this month’s column, we’ll take a closer look at the meaning of “teamwork” and ways you can incorporate it into your career message and documents to set yourself apart from a crowded pool of candidates.

Speak to the common goal

Definitions of teamwork always mention having a common goal, purpose or objective. I believe simply framing your work and accomplishments through the lens of how they’ve impacted your current golf facility’s mission (goals, purpose and objectives) is an effective way to demonstrate teamwork.

For example, one superintendent I worked with explained that several times throughout the summer, he and his crew would take the time to set up the golf course with fairway tees and easy hole locations for beginner and junior golf events. He was willing to take these additional steps to support a club-wide goal of targeting young families to grow membership and engagement. The superintendent’s extra effort played a key role in helping the club gain new members, so we included this story in his résumé and interview comments. Through this, he was able to communicate not only that he takes care of all levels of golfers, but that he can be flexible and collaborative to help achieve overall club objectives.

Don’t overlook obvious opportunities

One of the services I provide for GCSAA members is résumé critiques. Although most members instinctively know that teamwork is a critical factor in an employer’s selection of a winning job candidate, I often don’t see teamwork emphasized or even listed when I review member résumés and interview responses. Simply including the word “teamwork” when you’re highlighting your skills is a good step in guiding whoever reads your résumé to conclude that you’re focused on and work well in a team environment.

Showcase facility-wide collaboration

Another way to underscore teamwork is to go beyond examples of how you work with just your crew and the maintenance team. Broaden your approach by mentioning projects for which you joined forces with other departments at your golf facility.

When I’m working with GCSAA members and ask about teamwork, too often their answers only reference maintenance teams and projects, and don’t expand to the bigger picture of working with other teams. Working with staff who serve in other departments at the golf facility — such as food and beverage, the pro shop or membership — shows an ability to cooperate with individuals who have different backgrounds and priorities, which elevates your teamwork quotient much more than just working with your maintenance team.

We know that hiring managers want superintendents, equipment managers and assistants to be adept at leading and working on teams. Take steps today to leverage your teamwork aptitude so you’ll stand out in your next job search.

Carol D. Rau, PHR, is a career consultant with GCSAA and the owner of Career Advantage, a career consulting firm in Lawrence, Kan., specializing in golf and turf industry careers. GCSAA members receive complimentary résumé critiques from Rau and her team; résumé, cover letter and LinkedIn creation for a reduced member rate; and interview preparation and portfolio consultation.