Not Just What You Say [Career Coach]

It’s not Just what you say, it’s how you say it

Author: Don Oehlert

Man in suit jacket standing beside projector screen, presenting publicly. It's not just what you say, it's how you say it that counts.
Photo by mentatdgt on

When it comes to communicating, it’s not just what you say, it’s also how you say it. Steve Jobs was (arguably) one of the best public speakers of our time. He used to work on his presentation verbiage over and over and over again until it came out just right.

His art was impeccable speech communications. In my 16 years with Apple, I saw very good presenters as CEO, and I saw Steve. You might even say I “drank the Kool-Aid” while he spoke. You’d probably be right, because he could find a path to the depth of your being. And that is a singular talent.

When he introduced a new product, you had to have one – no matter what it was. Yes, it was almost as if you were spellbound.

Now, I’m not asking you to become a “Steve-level communicator” when you write your resume, or when you go on interviews, but I am saying you need to be able to put your absolute best foot forward.

In every exchange with any stranger.

Talk to them as if they were your good friend. Speak (and listen) to them as if they were the only person in the world right now that was making a difference for you. If you can do that, they will walk away from your discussion feeling special. Utilizing conversation beyond words is an amazing skill, don’t you think? A back and forth is not always about the topic being discussed, but the feelings exchanged. This is why it’s important to realize it’s not just what you say, but how you say it, that is important.

Portrait of Maya Angeolou. Represents the quoted text "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." She makes clear the idea that your words have impact and not just what you say.
Maya Angelou

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

― Maya Angelou

If you can make the right people feel that way during your job search and in your interviews, you have an improved shot at the position.

This is where a career coach can help tremendously. We have the “outside set of eyes” that is needed in the preparation of your elite set of tools, and in your interview practice sessions. We are not too close to the content as to miss the forest for the trees. In some cases, it’s actually the trees for the forest, depending on the writer’s habits when writing. After all, it’s not just what you say, but how you can effectively utilize it.

Thought for the post

Communicate as if your life depended on it. In the case of your job search, your living certainly does.

Author: Don Oehlert

#careercoaching #resumewriting #resumes #gethired #legal

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