In the outside world, employers receive, on average, sixty applicants for every low-skilled job advertised, and twenty for every skilled job. Whether that directly correlates to the turfcare industry is unclear, but it is unlikely, unless you are in or close to a major city perhaps.
What is clear, is that almost half of applicants will be perfectly suitable for the role, but their CV - or curriculum vitae - does not relate that information.
Many a manager will make an instant judgement, rightly or wrongly, based on the content of a CV. So it is all the more important, when attempting to stand out from the crowd, that your CV is not only accurate, but grabs the reader's attention.
There are some golden rules for getting a CV correct, not least accuracy, spelling, punctuation and grammar.
Here are some crackers that ignored the above:
- a lawyer who stressed his "dew diligence"
- an expert "poof reader"
- I was responsible for dissatisfied customers
- I am a prooficient typist
- while working in this role, I had intercourse with a variety of people
- I am a pubic relations officer
- left last four jobs only because the managers were completely unreasonable
- ... and finally, the applicant who ignored commas when describing his hobbies and interests as "cooking dogs and interesting people"
If sending a CV as a hard copy, perhaps along with a job application, then it needs to be neat and typed if possible.
Increasingly, applicants are required to send a digital copy of their CV. Therefore, the first set of "eyes" to see it might be an automated search for key words, so ensure that at least the mandatory requirements in the job advert are included in your CV.
Digital CVs should be in a simple format and font so readability is not affected on different screens. However, be aware that many of the terms used in our industry are not recognised by spell check systems, so ensure that 'auto correct' hasn't got you applying for the role of head goalkeeper!
Tailor a CV to a specific job - it is vital to ensure the text is relevant to each job application, rather than sending the same generic CV.
- keep it simple - it should be easy to read and use active language. Two pages of A4 is usually enough, with a mini profile included in the first half page
- include key information - personal details, including name, address, phone number, email address and any professional social media presence should be clear. A date of birth is no longer needed, owing to age discrimination rules. A photo is not essential, so it is a matter of choice
- showcase achievements - offer evidence of how targets were exceeded and ideas created, but always be honest
- check and double check - avoid sloppy errors, take a fresh look the next day and ask for a second opinion from a trusted friend or colleague
- be proactive - some roles can be gained by directly contacting local grounds or golf courses. If you meet with the head groundsman or greenkeeper, even if they don't have any vacancies at that time, they should remember you when a role does come up
- apply for any roles that you are more than 60% interested in - don't wait for that perfect job to come round, as it may never arrive. By applying for ones that you are more than 60% interested in you will gain practice in completing application forms and attending interviews. You never know, if you did go for an interview, the job may actually be better than it sounded on paper
Once you have got to the interview stage, here are a few tips that might just help land you the job:
- before the interview - do some research into the ground, golf course, company that would be employing you, and always read the job description (if one is available). This will show that you have made an effort in regard to preparation for the interview
- remember to go smartly dressed for the meeting - they are only clothes and do not show whether you are a good grounds person or not, but it makes a good first impression, that you are taking the interview seriously and that you have put some effort into the meeting
- always take questions with you - and preferably not just about pay, e.g. opportunities for progression or training
- if you are not offered the role - after the interview remember to follow the decision up, and ask how you could improve your interview technique or where the employer felt your interview let you down
Whilst CVs have been around for years, their format is likely to evolve as technology advances.
Some employers are now asking for video CVs, where the applicant details their skills and experience via a short video shot on their mobile phone or tablet.
If you are asked to provide a video CV, make sure that you are somewhere private when shooting it; you don't want your dad walking past in his pyjamas half way through! If you are applying for a greenkeeper's role, it makes perfect sense to do the filming on a golf course.
Firstly, write down some bullet points of what you want to say - your existing CV, with a few verbal embellishments as you go along, may well suffice.
Rather than doing it 'selfie style', ask a partner, spouse, colleague or friend to operate the camera, so that you can concentrate on what you want to say. This will avoid highlighting your nose hair or looking as if you are speaking from the other side of a goldfish bowl.
You can cram an awful lot of words into sixty seconds or less, but speak slowly and concisely; basically, don't waffle!
If you are looking for a new challenge, view a selection of vacancies on the Pitchcare jobs page.