At KOPPLIN KUEBLER & WALLACE we see thousands of resumes every year. We see some that have us shaking our heads at how well they are done and some that just miss the mark. We’ve seen extremely qualified candidates with resumes that are not nearly as professional as we would expect them to be that do not adequately draw a picture of the candidate’s integrity, experience and skills. It may be that for some people, it’s uncomfortable to write about themselves, and it may feel to them like self-promotion. Discussing and writing about yourself accurately to help a club determine if you will be a good fit for them is what you owe yourself and the club.

Look in the Mirror

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • How much time did you spend crafting your resume?
  • Did you have assistance?
  • Did you have it critiqued?
  • Have you revised it materially in the last year?
  • Do you think that your resume is excellent?

The purpose of these questions is self-explanatory, and they are presented to make you think hard about how much time you spend on this aspect of your career. If they made you a little uncomfortable then you’ve got some work to do. Sometimes, we all need to just stop and focus on the things that are important…and this is one of those things. If you haven’t put in the time and effort to maximize the potential of your career development and that next step, that dream position, then maybe you should sit down and evaluate your career goals and strategy. At our client clubs, we help create mission statements, vision, and strategic plans and processes to take clubs to that next level, but we rarely see candidates use the same tools to set their careers on track. Invest time in your career!

What are Clubs Looking For?

Clubs are looking for leaders! It really is that simple. Clubs are looking for leaders with honesty and integrity first and then they’ll look at the great experiences and skills as necessary complements to that leadership. They are looking for someone that they believe can lead the club and the management team, and can provide them with that superb membership experience.

Does your resume tell the club the kind of person you are, the kind of leader you are? If your resume is noticeably silent to your leadership and character, then you’ve done yourself and a prospective new club/employer a huge injustice. You haven’t given the club the material they need to decide that they want to talk to you.

Expressing your Character and Leadership

If we are to believe what we hear and read every day, our attention spans are shorter than ever before. If that’s true, then to make an impression with your resume, you need to get the reader’s attention immediately. One of the things that gets my attention and heightened focus is when a resume starts out with some sort of personal statement. That statement can be your Core Values, a Personal Statement, or something of that ilk. What better way to let a prospective employer know who you are than to simply spell it out? Put it in writing. Clubs hire people that they can believe in, so give them a reason to believe you and be interested in you.

Remember your Audience

The biggest mistake that I see with resumes is that candidates forget to focus on what is most important to members, the club and the board. Many resumes focus on all sorts of things that your peers would find interesting. But think about this: what does a club member or a board member care about at the club? Finances, visibility, leadership, whatever you think those important factors are, that is what you should be focusing on, not what you and your peers find interesting. A little bit of homework can help you learn about and target those specific issues and relate your experiences in dealing with similar issues.

Your Employment History

List your present and prior clubs’ city and state and add a link to their websites. Not everyone will agree with me, but early work history matters. If you started out washing dishes or in the bag room, or bussing tables, or raking bunkers, or in housekeeping, it matters. It tells us that you’ve been in the industry from the bottom up. It tells us that you’ve done these jobs and understand them and can relate to your team members more directly. You don’t need to go into detail about your early experiences, but do mention them.

When describing your present club, state key performance metrics that you’ve improved. Membership satisfaction survey improvements with F&B and other amenities are significant and tell a story that go beyond just numbers. When discussing financial improvements, utilize dollars not percentages in describing gains in revenues or loss reductions. Include staff retention and training, all those things that you’ve done to help improve the club and member experience.

If you’ve been through renovations/improvements, discuss the planning, presentations and successes that you’ve had coming in on budget, on time, and the impact on membership and revenues that the project had. You can even discuss the challenges and how you’ve dealt with them.


We are seeing more portfolios these days, and one of the things that we’re beginning to see being done successfully is to have a password protected online portfolio that is shown as a link in your resume. This allows you to demonstrate significantly more of your work product and skills without cluttering up your resume or overwhelming a committee.


Save your education and certifications for the last item on your resume. Again, remember your target audience and that many of the committee members won’t know what these various acronyms and designations mean, so explain them.

Resume Accuracy

Always represent every aspect of your resume honestly. Misrepresenting employment gaps, education, and other experiences is inexcusable and will absolutely disqualify you from consideration.

Armen Suny is a Search & Consulting Executive with KOPPLIN KUEBLER & WALLACE. He can be reached via email: