Digital career tools

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Carol Rau mugshot

Carol Rau

Carol D. Rau, PHR, is a career consultant with GCSAA and is the Owner of Career Advantage, an employment consulting firm in Lawrence, Kan., specializing in golf and turf industry careers. GCSAA members receive complimentary resume critiques by Rau and her team, resume and cover letter creation for a reduced member rate, along with interview preparation and portfolio consultation. She can be contacted at careeradvantage@sunflower.com.

By Carol D. Rau, PHR

What if you needed to start a job search today? Are you prepared to conduct a successful job search in the digital age? Are you using digital tools to enhance your current role and better position yourself for future advancement? In this month’s column, I will identify some digital career tools and tips you can incorporate to enhance your career and conduct winning job searches as a professional in the golf and turf industries.

As we work with GCSAA members, we often field questions regarding the trend of creating a career website. A career website, also known as an online portfolio, is simply a website or blog with information about your experience, achievements and qualities as a professional. It is an excellent way to tell your story and describe your career achievement with context beyond the traditional career documents. In the golf and turf industry, it can be challenging to convey your skills through traditional metrics. A career website with photos can be a powerful tool as you demonstrate your value visually to a prospective employer who perhaps doesn’t want to know the science behind great turf, but can easily relate to a photo of perfectly manicured greens.

In addition to job searches, career websites can be a marketing tool for your current employer to enhance its competitive edge. As part of your facility’s advertising to its target audience, your professional skills and expertise can be showcased to prospective customers. In this application, avoid putting your résumé on the site. It can also be linked to your employer’s website and any communications sent to golfers/members/customers.

Have you ever thought of using PowerPoint or Keynote to create a power-packed presentation to accompany your interview? What about using it as a visual reminder of your achievements during an annual job evaluation with your supervisor? Remember to take before-and-after photos, which can be particularly effective for any type of digital presentation or online media.

GCSAA members frequently ask me if LinkedIn is a necessary part of career strategies. The answer is yes! In addition to using LinkedIn as a networking tool, it can be helpful in validating your qualifications with a prospective employer. A recent study found that 63 percent of employers conduct an online search about prospective employees prior to offering a job. LinkedIn is typically one of the top listings in any search engine. The good news is that you can control and manage your information on this site. Block off an hour in your schedule soon to create a LinkedIn page, upload a professional photo, and complete at least the basic sections (title, summary, experience, education). It is free and could play a key role in helping you advance your career.

Need additional information about digital career tools? My team and I will gladly help you navigate career advancement in the digital age.