Photo by GCM staff
Can technology help golf industry professionals conduct successful job searches and advance their careers? Absolutely.
Your mind may have automatically jumped to job search websites, social media, digital portfolios and other online tools for finding jobs and networking. Yes, those are important, but I want to explore additional ways technology plays a role in career advancement and standing out in a job search.
What if we broaden our approach to include how technology skills allow us to perform our jobs better and, ultimately, provide a better golf experience for our customers? What if we communicate about technology through the lens of how it benefits our customers, not just as a mechanism for getting a task completed? In this month’s column, we’ll look at examples of how you can convey a range of professional qualities by incorporating your technology know-how into your cover letter, résumé, portfolio and interview answers.
Social media, company websites and online branding
When I work with GCSAA members to create a résumé and craft interview responses, many reference their skills with social media and other online tools. How can these be useful in getting a job? While most candidates competing for a superintendent position will have experience with these platforms, the key to setting yourself apart is to present how these skills would be valuable to the employer.
Your experience with Twitter won’t mean much to a green committee member serving on a hiring committee unless you explain, for example, how it fits in with your overall communication skills and the various methods you employ to reach your customers. Did you create your Twitter account to better communicate with golfers so they have real-time information about the course? Do your contributions to your golf course website and marketing efforts help present a winning brand to prospective and current members? Articulating these points in an interview can be a way to answer standard interview questions in a powerful, nonstandard way. You’ll stand out not only because of the technology skills themselves, but because you’re demonstrating additional competencies that are relevant to a golf facility.
Specialized computer software
Proficiency with spreadsheets, irrigation software and financial management software is an essential component of being a complete professional in the golf industry. How can you leverage these abilities to differentiate yourself in a job search? Many hiring managers cite examples and explanations as ways applicants can propel themselves to the top of a list of candidates. Think about how using such technology supports your efforts to create great results for your golf facility and customer. How does a particular application assist you in achieving goals, such as efficient use of resources, streamlining processes, maximizing productivity, saving money, better budget management, saving water, or gathering data for strategic planning and leadership discussions? Bringing up such topics will display your business management capabilities along with your tech skills.
Cutting-edge products and methods
Using the latest and greatest gadgets in the turf industry can make for some unique elements on a résumé or talking points in an interview. To go a step further, explain those products and methods in the context of your overall expertise with golf industry technology and how you use it to lead a successful golf maintenance program. Doing this will indicate that you are forward-thinking and in touch with industry advancements and innovations. Listing continuing education and active membership in GCSAA and local chapters can also be excellent ways to demonstrate knowledge of the most current trends, as well as your professional engagement.
The next time you use technology to complete an agronomic project, tackle a business management challenge or provide a service to your customers, consider how you could highlight this on your résumé or in your next job interview. You’ll be communicating much more than just tech savviness — you’ll illuminate your professional talents in a way that’s memorable and pertinent to your audience. And that’s how you get hired!
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.