Golf Course Management

JUL 2019

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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30 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 07.19 Have you ever watched a political debate? What do political debates have to do with becoming an excellent interviewer? A lot. I believe we can uncover great strategies from the political world and use them to advance successfully in the golf industry. Here we will focus on the beginning and ending of political debates to extricate two career gems that you can employ immediately to win in your next job search. e typical political debate begins with the candidates presenting an opening state - ment and ends with each candidate delivering a closing statement. In the typical golf indus- try interview, you won't necessarily be given such a formal opportunity to present an open- ing and closing statement, but I believe you should prepare for them like a politician. Opening statement. It is no mystery that first impressions are critically important and can make or break a political campaign or job interview. When I speak to groups of golf course superintendents and equipment man- agers, I emphasize that if you only have time to focus on one thing for an upcoming inter- view, be prepared with an opening statement to jump-start your first impression. In the beginning of an interview, you will be asked some type of opening question, such as, "Tell us about yourself," or, "Why did you apply for this job?" is is your cue to incor- porate your opening statement. What is an opening statement? Just like political candidates vying for your vote, you are competing for the hiring committee mem- bers' vote to hire you. Your opening statement should include two overarching points: why you want to work there and why they should choose you. Start with something special about them, their golf course, facility, tradition, etc., and why you want to be part of it. Next, convey a few points that set you apart and make you the best choice. ese are the strengths that you should have already identified and highlighted in your cover let- ter and résumé. Don't assume they will re- member everything from your documents, even points that you listed front and center. Remind them why you want the job and your top strengths that match with their specific needs. Give them reasons to justify hiring you and advocating for you as their next golf course superintendent, assistant superinten- dent or equipment manager. Closing statement. You've made it through the interview; you can feel that your time to convince the hiring committee to cast a vote for you is coming to a close. Now what? You win the day with a strong, memorable closing argument! Typically, at the end of an interview, you will field an open-ended question such as, "Is there anything else you want us to know about you?" or, "Is there anything we haven't cov- ered?" Yes! is is your chance to remind them of the points you made in your opening state- ment and convince them to vote for you. Reiterate why you want to work there and why they should choose you. After watching a political debate, none of us remembers a can- didate's entire 20-point plan, and neither will a hiring committee remember all the facts and figures about you. So give them a few nota- ble points as a take-away about you. Remind them of the strengths you highlighted in your opening statement and then bring it back around to the audience and those great quali- ties about their golf facility, culture and tradi- tion of which you want to be a part. Finally, don't forget to ask for their vote. Or in this case, ask for the job! It may seem redundant, since you obviously want the job, or you wouldn't be sitting in that chair at that moment. Right? No! I urge you to state openly that you want the job and would be excited to be selected to join their leadership team. Now all you need are campaign buttons, and you've got my vote! 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 inter- view preparation and portfolio consultation. Play politics and win your next job interview (not that kind of politics!) You won't necessarily be given … a formal opportunity to present an opening and closing statement, but I believe you should prepare for them like a politician. (career) Carol D. Rau, PHR Twitter: @CareerGolf

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