About John G. Self

John is an executive recruiter & speaker sharing his thoughts on healthcare, recruiting, digital technology, career management & leadership. 

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The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
America's Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Backroom Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System
7 November, 2011 Posted by John G. Self
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19 June, 2018 Posted by John G. Self Posted in Career Management, Resume
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Academic Credentials:  Top or Bottom of the Resume?

Posted June 19th, 2018 | Author: John G. Self

I am finishing my MBA at a well-known East Coast University.  I am currently employed but I would like to attend the school sponsored career day sessions that will be attended by a couple of dozen corporate recruiters.  This brings me to my question:  Where should academic credentials be placed in the resume? My graduate college placement office requires that we use their resume format —academic credentials at the top of the document — or we will not be allowed to register for career day interviews. I have more than nine years of work experience, two years as a member of an executive team. Our Chief Human Resource Officer said academic credentials should be placed at the bottom of the resume. That makes more sense to me because most of my classmates do not have the same amount or level of experience that I have. I want to highlight my experience to differentiate myself from everyone else who will be attending the fair.  Who is right on this issue?  What say ye?      Event/conference planner, New York

The rule of thumb is fairly straight forward:  If you are a new graduate without much work experience, then placing your academic credentials and certifications at the top of the resume is considered to be appropriate. Absent experience, recruiters are hiring your education and your personality, not your record of achievement, hence the top-of-the-resume placement.

Executives with practical work experience, which appears to be the case in your situation, should not give the academic credentials top billing.  Executive recruiters are more interested in your professional summary and relevant experience.  That is not to say that your MBA is not important, because it is. It just does not rise to the level of importance of that which we are more interested in experience that is pertinent and your history of accomplishment.  We want to know if you can meet our needs, fix our problem or address whatever other reason we may be recruiting you.

The top of any resume is very valuable real estate.  Recruiters without the help/hinderance of an automated applicant tracking system (ATS) must quickly, visually review resumes. Having a Professional Summary at the top of the resume helps the recruiter quickly determine whether you should be advanced in the search or sent a “regrets” email.    

Now, as far as your graduate school career office is concerned, while they may be wrong about this particular resume issue, it would be foolish to argue the point.  Follow their rules and attend the job fair.  You might well find your next better position.   Once out of the door, with your degree in hand, then change your resume to be more recruiter/real-world friendly. 

If you have a question, you can contact John at AsktheRecruitert@JohnGSelf.Com.


© 2018 John Gregory Self

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16 June, 2018 Posted by John G. Self Posted in Career Transition/Outplacement, Uncategorized
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Starting A Job Search?  Three Points to Consider

Posted June 16th, 2018 | Author: John G. Self


If you find yourself in the job market all the good economic news to the contrary, do not despair. You are not alone.  

In healthcare, once considered the layoff proof industry, health systems, hospitals and other providers are frantically working to realign their organizations to meet the demands of a changing business model. This means making some tough calls on expense reduction and layoffs. 

Black Book, a market research firm, predicts that by the year 2022, healthcare providers, primarily health systems and hospitals, must reduce their overhead, on average, by 24 to 25 percent just to break even. Chief Executive Officers have heard the warnings and they are busy trying to get their organizations ready for this reality.

So, even though our national economy is booming in terms of employment, there are business sectors where life is not so rosy; transformation is driving consolidation and expense reduction.  The evidence for this change can be found in the number of senior executives who are now in the job market for the first time in five to 10 years, or longer.  

What they are finding is a startlingly new world when it comes to looking for a job. The rules of the road from five years ago are vastly different.

If you are beginning to get organized for a job search, here are three important points to consider:

  1. Does your resume clearly reflect your value?  Your  value is the sum of your experience and your accomplishments that will clearly show the prospective employer that you help them.  Do not send a generic resume. Customize the Professional Summary to specifically tie your value to the needs of the client as outlined in the on-line posting or in the job summary document provided by their recruiter.  When you send a generic resume you are essentially telling the employer or the recruiter,  ‘I am qualified so you figure it out.’  When you take that approach,  you are wasting everyone’s time.  You probably will be eliminated
  2. Highlight your relevant experience.  I can almost hear the prospective employer now: “OK, so you have 25 years of leadership experience.  How does that benefit my specific needs?”  Remember, you are not the only one looking for a job.  There are probably 20 to 30 other executives sniffing around the same deal.  You improve your chances for success fly differentiating yourself from everyone — connect your relevant experience to the employer’s needs. Spell it out for them! 
  3. Are you prepared for the tough questions?  Why were you selected for the layoff versus someone else? What were your deficiencies? What skills or competences would have spared you from the chopping block?  Here is a hint for these types of questions: The least good time to develop your response to those types of questions is when they are asked.

 If you have questions or would like more information on our highly regarded career Transition/Outplacement service, email me at CareerTransitions@JohnGSelf.Com   We are here to help you.

John G. Self is Founder and Managing Partner of JohnGSelf + Partners, and executive search and career transition advisory firm based in Dallas.  

John has advised dozens of healthcare executives on career management and transition strategies, including some of the nation’s highest profile leaders

For more than 20 years, Mr. Self has led high-profile executive searches for hospitals across the mainland United States, Hawaii and Alaska.  He has recruited in seven countries on four continents, including Australia, South Africa, the Republic of the Philippines and the United Arab Emirates. His search work includes hospitals, health systems, home care and hospice, and pre-hospital/mobile healthcare and traditional EMS providers.

He has held healthcare leadership positions in the not-for-profit and investor-owned hospital management field, including Hermann Hospital in Houston where he served as the first director of that organization’s famed Life Flight program. Prior to joining Hermann in 1976, John worked as a crime writer and investigative reporter for The Houston Post.  

He is writer, blogger, author and an award-winning speaker. Over the years has dedicated countless hours to coaching executives and graduate students regarding career transitions and personal brand management.  

In 2010 he was awarded the American College of Healthcare Executives Regent’s award as the senior healthcare leader of the year in North Texas.

© 2018 John Gregory Self

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14 June, 2018 Posted by John G. Self Posted in Career Management, Current Affairs, Healthcare Innovation
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Consumerism and Its Impact On Your Job

Posted June 14th, 2018 | Author: John G. Self


This is another hot topic that seems to be sweeping the healthcare industry.  

Healthcare executives are beginning to talk about the concept but not everyone is completely comfortable in terms of defining what this really means or how it will impact the way we market and operate our businesses. This actually reminds me of the confusion that reigned when the term Population Health Management was first introduced. A lot of people bandied it around without fully understanding its meaning.  In fact, there are people still debating what that phrase will ultimately mean. My working definition, which is simplistic but still gains nods of approvals, is: A form of case management for a community or specific population cohort.

Today I want to provide you the best definition of consumerism that I have found thus far, and then take pause and look at how this new wave of change will impact the job market and your career management.

“Healthcare consumerism transforms an employer’s health benefit plan, putting the economic purchasing power and decision-making in the hands of plan participants. In short, healthcare consumerism’s goal is to enable patients to become wholly involved in their healthcare decisions,” according to DataPath, a Little Rock consultancy that works in the benefits management space.

According to NRC Health, from the provider’s perspective, healthcare consumerism is designed to:

  • Foster closer communications and cooperation between doctors and their patients
  • Increase patient buy-in and compliance with treatment recommendations
  • Increase patients’ knowledge and awareness of lifestyle and wellness practices
  • Focus more on preventative medicine by encouraging healthy activities and habits

Consumerism fundamentally changes how patients see their  responsibility in the healthcare system and this change could, probably will, impact how hospitals and other providers will manage their enterprise.

It is relatively safe to predict that consumerism, as another pillar in a broader effort to shift from a fee-for-service model with a sick-care orientation to an approach that funnels more information and decision-making power to consumers, will impact how we organize and staff the healthcare delivery platforms — from hospitals to ambulatory care interactions.

Consumerism and other innovations will require leaders who are open to, and understand, change, and who can bring a different set of competences/skills to the leadership table  to harness the attendant innovation. 

Healthcare organizations are finding that the tide of interest in consumerism is driving innovation, according to a report in Modern Healthcare.   In some organizations, it is driving disruptions in the leadership ranks,  “We are finding a lot of innovations can occur without the use of technology but with changing the team and changing the thinking, “ said Dennis Murphy, Chief Executive Officer of the Indiana University Health System.

If you feel you are coming up short in know-how and skills department to adjust to these events, now is the time to invest in mastering these new concepts. Now is not the time to dig in your heels on change.

© 2018 John Gregory Self

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