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7 November, 2011 Posted by John G. Self
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18 March, 2019 Posted by John G. Self Posted in Career Coaching, Executive Coaching, Interviewing Skills
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Executive Weakness: Their Inability to Interview Well

Posted March 18th, 2019 | Author: John G. Self

Most executives do not interview well.  We are not talking about their ability to speak well.  No, when I say they do not interview well, I am specifically addressing their inability to communicate their ability to meet a prospective employer’s needs.  They talk well about their experience and most are reasonably articulate about trends impacting healthcare, but neither of those issues deal with how they will succeed in the new job.  

Sharing information without selling the prospective employer that you are the right person to meet their needs typically results in a waste of time — yours, and that of the employer.  

When interviewing for that next position you must connect the dots between your knowledge, your experience and skills, and the needs of the prospective employer.  

The old adage is, in life nothing happens until someone sells something.  The same can be said of the job interview.  

© 2019 John Gregory Self

14 March, 2019 Posted by John G. Self Posted in Career Coaching, Interviewing Skills, Job Search
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The Job Interview: An Extemporaneous Speaking Contest

Posted March 14th, 2019 | Author: John G. Self

A job interview consists of 50, 60  or more questions in an extemporaneous speaking contest.  The secret to success in winning over the interviewer is to master the art of engaging  storytelling in this structured format. 

Most candidates intently focus on answering the questions, providing the information being sought.  Back and forth, back and forth.  Information requested, information provided.  However, when you focus solely on the information and not the style of communication, you are leaving a lot of opportunity on the table, opportunity to engage and connect with a future boss in a meaningful way.  

Remember, when you are sitting across the interview desk in front of the hiring authority, they are looking for a reason to hire you.  How you engage and what you say will be the difference between landing that new opportunity or waiting for yet another “regrets” letter.

To succeed applicants must do more than just show up. 

© 2019 John Gregory Self

11 March, 2019 Posted by John G. Self Posted in Career Coaching, Career Transition/Outplacement, Resume
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Beware of Promises from Resume Writers

Posted March 11th, 2019 | Author: John G. Self


I am not a big fan of resume writers.  As an executive recruiter with more than 25 years of retained search experience, I have a lot of reasons not to tout this sub-set of the career management industry, but here are my top three:

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  • Changing Job Markets – The job market for industries like healthcare, communications, publishing, manufacturing, retail and others has changed dramatically.  In these industries there are more executive applicants than there are jobs. Employers are more selective than ever before.  These conditions require job applicants to change the way they go to market.  Resume writers seem content not to address these issues, based on conversations I have had with internal recruiters and my colleagues in the search industry.
  • Understanding Your Value – The resume writer will never understand your value as well as you must.  Their job is to create a document, not to lead you on a sometimes necessary journey to help you more deeply understand your value — why an employer should hire you for a specific job.  They do conduct an interview to collect necessary information and data that they can insert into one of their proprietary templates but they frequently skip over this important first step. Applicants who understand their Value Brand Statement, also known as the Value Proposition, a concept created by my former colleague Nancy Swain, tend to be more focused — and effective — throughout the interview process, from the resume to the final meeting.  Executives need to own their resume. It is not  some necessary evil that you should outsource. 
  • Generic Resumes Do Not Differentiate You – With dozens of candidates applying for most job openings, employers prefer job applicants who can specifically communicate how they will add value in their new role.  The one-and-done resume is a relic of the past.  Executives must customize their resume for each job they pursue.  Many resumes we see from the resume writers are not designed for such customization. Since the resume is your first interview for a given job, ask yourself:  Does my resume communicate my value for this opportunity?  Does the information in this resume differentiate me from the dozens of other applicants for this position?  

I am not even going to bother with the web sites whose advertisements guarantee you multiple job offers within a specific timeframe.  That might work in some industries for lower level management positions where there is virtually full employment, but not for executives in industries experiencing radical change in their business models.  

© 2019 John Gregory Self

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