Golf Course Management

MAR 2015

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 03.15 References. Sounds pretty basic, right? Just list your last three managers and you're all set. No! If this is what comes to mind when you think of references, then please read on! Refer - ences are extremely important and can be an invaluable part of a successful job search in the golf and turf industries. Just like other career tools, the primary goal of references is to help set you apart. In this month's column, we will explore references and hopefully unlock some ideas that you can apply the next time you con - duct a job search. Send references wit your résumé. We strongly recommend sending a reference list with your résumé. The golf industry is known for being a tightknit community of turf pro - fessionals and being very well connected. Su- perintendents have a strong network, and if there is any chance the reader knows someone on your reference list, it can be a huge help in getting your foot in the door. Format correctly. References are typically an extra page at the end of a résumé, with the same font and formatting as the résumé. We recommend three to fve listings, and listing each reference along with title, company, ad - dress, email, best phone number to reach the individual and, if necessary, an explanation of how you are associated with that individual. Include letters and testimonials. Another op - tion is to include a reference letter or testimoni- als along with your résumé and reference list. A few optimal times to include a reference letter are if the person or facility listed is well-known and could be of interest to the recipient, or if the letter is short and power-packed with a glowing recommendation. Another option, which can be customized to focus on the tar - get audience's specifc needs, is to include some shorter quotes from references instead of a full letter. Testimonials are key in current business marketing strategies and can be useful as part of your career tools — marketing you! Represent all aspects of your career. Think of your career from all perspectives — agronomy and turf conditioning, leadership, fnancial management, staff management, budgeting, customer/member relations, facility contribu - tions and renovations/construction. Consider the target audience and the key qualities they are seeking. Who can support your claims in those areas of your professional career and tal - ents? Consider golfers/members, committee chairs, PGA professionals, golf course archi- tects, contractors, vendors, agronomy consul- tants and colleagues. Customize for ea arget golf facility. Your reference list will change depending on the tar - get audience. For example, if you are seeking a role in constructing a new golf course, you would want to ideally list a person who can di - rectly authenticate your experience in renova- tions or construction, such as a contractor or architect. If your target audience is not inter - ested in your construction background, choose other references instead. Remember: Your strategy is to base the reference list on what you think the reader is seeking. Leverage all connections. Instead of wait - ing and hoping for hiring committees to call your references, be proactive and utilize your network to stand out. One tactic that can get you to the top of the stack is to ask someone to place a call to the target facility on your be - half. Yes, this strategy should not be overdone and should be thoughtfully employed, but it can be powerful. This is when networking can be critical in prompting the hiring committee to anticipate receiving your career documents, providing a great introduction and ultimately supporting your case as a strong candidate. Stay connected. The frst step in mak - ing references a key part of your career plan starts today — build your network and stay connected to your potential references. Re - member: Networking starts with your sin- cerely reaching out to help others. Reach out to folks in your network a few times each year to touch base. Send Christmas cards. If you read an article written by someone you know, or learn about an achievement or promotion, drop them a note. Show that you value the rela - tionship and genuinely care about that person. Then when your dream job opens up, you will be ready with plenty of options to make your references count. 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, references, cover letter and LinkedIn creation for a reduced member rate, along with interview preparation and portfolio consultation. References: Make them count Leverage all connections. Instead of waiting and hoping for hiring committees to call your references, be proactive and utilize your network to stand out. (Career) Carol D. Rau, PHR twitter: @CareerGolf

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