By Lisa Parker

While in the emergency room clutching your chest, you’re presented with three heart surgeons. Your very existence is on the line and you have to choose one of the three to hire for your procedure. Before you make your selection you get to ask one question.

The question…”Why should I hire you to operate on me?”

Surgeon #1: “I’m a detail-oriented, team player with good listening skills and the ability to see the big picture.”

Surgeon #2: “I’m an award winning chef known for my knife skills. I have a variety of culinary certifications and an assortment of  quality cutlery that’s sharp and ready to go. I’ve done more with roasts, but don’t worry. I can do this. ”

Surgeon #3: “Sir, you are having a heart attack and need an experienced surgeon to stabilize your heart, remove the obstruction, repair resulting damage and properly close the surgical site. I’ve been operating on hearts like yours for over a decade and have successfully navigated each step of the process. As proof, I have a long list of healthy and living patients to show for my efforts. I’m board certified, patient approved, competent & experienced in your very area of need and able to make my operating room available to you immediately.”

If those were your 3 options, which would you hire?  I hope you’d pick Surgeon #3.

Guess what, the reasoning that lead you to Surgeon #3 is the same reasoning employers use to choose their next employee. When you’re selling yourself to employers in their moment of need, which surgeon are you? If your argument isn’t as convincing as Surgeon #3 your chance of landing the job you want is DOA.


Lisa joined the Michigan State University Alumni Association as Director of Alumni Career & Business Services on May 1, 2012. Her primary focus is to develop effective networking and resource channels for experienced alumni interested in professional development and job search strategy assistance. Additionally, Lisa works directly with corporate, education, foundation and government partners seeking to attract qualified talent, retain and develop good employees, and establish collaborative relationships in line with their established goals and objectives.

With 15+ years’ experience in third party recruiting, Lisa offers a balanced understanding of both employee and employer perspectives.

Lisa is a firm advocate of the networking process and considers it a vital element in a successful job search. In addition to helping job seekers develop and best utilize networking contacts, Lisa shares her knowledge and insight-gained aiding corporate recruiting efforts-to give Spartan job seekers an edge in terms of lead sourcing, resume presentation and interview strategy.

Among Lisa’s notable accomplishments: Prima Civitas Foundation Scholar; Michigan Works Association Volunteer of the Year; Pink Slip Mid Michigan Planning Committee; career content blogger.


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