Golf Course Management

MAR 2014

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

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40 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 03.14 During my 20 years as a professional in the feld of recruiting and conducting career consulting, I have witnessed many examples of what not to do in the career arena, particu - larly with résumés. I have analyzed thousands of résumés and have found that, although most professionals know the importance of a ré - sumé, it is the most glaring example of a career tool becoming an obstacle for professionals seeking a job. In this month's column, I have highlighted common pitfalls so you can avoid them as you advance your career in the golf and turf industry. Résumé is too long. This one can be diff - cult, particularly if you have been in the golf and turf industry several decades. We are often asked by GCSAA members, "How do I con - dense all my experience into a one-page docu- ment? What is an acceptable length?" The an- swer is based on many factors, including years in the industry, number of past employers, pro - fessional involvement and the level of job you are seeking. Typically, one page is enough for student and assistant superintendent résumés, but once you have been in the industry 10-15 years, it is acceptable, and probably necessary, to have a two-page résumé. More information is not necessarily helpful. Is it realistic to ex - pect a hiring committee that receives 100-plus résumés to take the time to read several pages of yours? The key points and qualities you have to offer will be lost in too much text. Listing only employmen istory. Résumés are marketing tools, not just a list of past em - ployers, job titles and duties. Be aware that all the other candidates will have the same, if not more, experience performing similar tasks and holding similar job titles. Instead, use the ex - perience section of your résumé to set yourself apart, convey your achievements and the qual - ities that make you uniquely capable. Also in- clude a section at the top of the résumé that highlights what you have to offer, particu - larly with points directly related to your target employer. Typos and/or grammatical errors. In a busi - ness where attention to detail is paramount, your career documents are an important way to demonstrate this skill. If you list "detail-ori - ented" on your résumé, but have an error that could have been easily corrected with proof - reading — what do you think the reader will believe? I recently spoke with a superintendent at a top-50 course who had just received a ré - sumé from a candidate who spelled the name of his golf course wrong in the cover letter. That candidate may have been a top contender for the job, but understandably was never con - sidered. And don't trust a spell-checker since it doesn't fag incorrect word meanings. Emailed résumé as MS Word fle. When emailing any career documents, always con - vert to a PDF and only send the PDF fle. This guarantees the recipient will view your docu - ment exactly as you formatted it. MS Word fles can look different on various computers, the printing can be off dramatically, and the document can be altered by the recipient. Unprofessional email address. Be certain that your contact listings are professional. I rec - ommend getting a free email account with a professional listing to use for career purposes if your personal email address is questionable. And don't forget to have a professional voice mail message. Avoid these pitfalls and you will be well on your way to using a résumé as a marketing tool, not an obstacle, to set yourself apart in job searches and ultimately advance your career. Carol D. Rau, PHR is a career consultant with GCSAA and is the owner of Career Advantage, a career consulting frm in Lawrence, Kan., specializing in golf and turf industry careers. GCSAA members receive complimentary résumé critiques by Rau and her team, résumé and cover letter creation for a reduced member rate, along with interview preparation and portfolio consultation. Avoiding résumé pitfalls I have analyzed thousands of résumés and have found that, although most professionals know the importance of a résumé, it is the most glaring example of a career tool becoming an obstacle for professionals seeking a job. (Career) Carol D. Rau, PHR careeradvantage@sunfower.com 040-043_March14_Career.indd 40 2/18/14 1:45 PM

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