Why did you apply for this job?

Set yourself apart with a résumé tailored to your future employer. 


Filed to: resume, Job search

Man in suit celebrating successful job interview

Conducting a job search can be a daunting task. As you prepare your documents and message, it can be easy to get caught up in the complexities of facts and figures. However, we can’t miss opportunities to voice a simple, memorable case for why you are an ideal fit with the leadership team at a particular golf facility.

A great starting point is to answer one of the underlying questions in the interviewers’ mind: Why did you apply for this job? Your answer to this straightforward question can be a powerful way to set yourself apart in a competitive job market. So how do we do that? In this month’s Career column, we will unpack three tactics to tell your story in a way that will show how you are indeed an excellent fit with a specific golf facility and leadership team.

Cover letter: The No. 1 goal of a cover letter is to answer the question of why — why are you applying for this job? That has been my encouragement to GCSAA members for many years, and it still holds true. When we consider how to demonstrate fit for a particular job and golf facility, the first place to start is in your introduction. What are the connectors between you and their leadership team? All qualified candidates will have similar experience to offer, so it is critical to share meaningfully why you are interested in being part of their organization.

In your cover letter, don’t jump right into listing all your achievements and talents. To gain the reader’s attention, first give some insight into why you want to work there. What is special about their golf facility, golf course and people? This instantly provides a sympathetic framework to your story, particularly for hiring committees at private golf clubs who undoubtedly love their golf club and want to hire leadership team members who share their passion for the club.

Résumé and portfolio: As you update your résumé and portfolio to fit a particular job posting, read your information through the lens of the reader. What are their priorities? What makes their golf facility unique, and how do you, as a leader, team member and person, fit with furthering those priorities? When you select points to highlight at the top of your résumé, choose achievements and qualities that directly relate to your target audience. Do the same for your portfolio and use it to provide context around your story and how it leads to their particular golf facility.

For example, if you are applying to work at a pro tournament host site, then you would feature your experience and passion for hosting high-profile tournaments. Do the same for your portfolio, including a section with descriptions and photos documenting your leadership and experience in tournament preparation, management and success.

Interview: Incorporate why you want to work at their specific golf facility into your opening answer. For example, odds are high that the interview will begin with a question such as, “Tell us about yourself,” or, “Introduce yourself to our committee,” or, “Why did you apply for this job?” This is your golden opening to show how you connect to their particular golf facility, customers and leadership team. Introduce yourself and your career with your story that leads to why you are sitting in that chair. Bring the ending of your answer back around to their golf facility and why you would be a uniquely great fit to advance their goals. Use your research to your benefit and thread it into your answers so your first impression is one of genuine interest in them and their golf facility rather than just describing your experience.

The next time you conduct a job search, begin by formulating a strong narrative to articulate why you are a great fit for that specific golf facility and leadership team. By conveying authentic, compelling reasons that you were drawn to apply for the role, you will be well on your way to winning that job.

Carol D. Rau, PHR, has been a career consultant and speaker with GCSAA since 2005 and specializes in golf and turf industry careers. Rau is a frequent speaker at national, regional and local GCSAA conferences and teaches GCSAA webinars.