The Self-Assessment Profile for The Executive Search Firm |

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EP 1372 If you want to play in the big leagues, you will probably need to change your thinking about the self-assessment the executive search firm sends to you.

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I want to talk with you folks today, particularly if you are a senior professional, and are working with an executive search firm. To be clear, I'm not talking about a contingency firm that is saying to you, "we do executive search, too." I'm talking about the real deal firms. You're up for an SVP role or a C suite position of some kind and you're dealing with "the big boys," and "the big girls." Often, they will send the document to you that requires a self-assessment. How do you respond to this?

I had a conversation with someone I coach received a three-page document that he was asked to complete before he met the partner who is responsible for the search. His 1st reaction was to blow through it pretty quickly. I said, "Stop! Your job here is to make the case for your candidacy. They have developed a specification for the client. They sat down with them and met them. You spoken with the head of corporate HR prior to speaking with them. You have an advantage over some of the others. But, at the end of the day, they use this is a legitimate screening tool AND it can be used as the basis for their presentation of you to their client for how you fit. Why would you blow through this?"

I decided and persuaded him to take this three-page document and turn it into 7 - 8 pages in length. It's more than 100% increase in length, not being on the questions that seem pretty straightforward (questions like, "what's your compensation?" How long is that going to take? 3 lines? 4 lines?") but on questions that go to the heart of your ability to demonstrate how you fit the role and demonstrate your communications style.

If you want to blow through that, you are not ready for the big leagues. If you want to look this is the eyes of how the search firm is going to view you, not just simply by what you say but by what you don't say, but what you communicate, by what your style of communications is, then you are ready to play at this level.

Don't give short shrift to this because in the past you were less experience than thought this was a trivial exercise and thought someone should call you and talk to you. To play in the big leagues you have to deal with how the big boys and big girls want to be dealt with. They want your best take on how your background fits in. You're going to take the time to reflect and answer the questions in detail to give them great material to make the case for why you fit this role.

DON'T BLOW IT because there is nothing worse from your vantage point, then to not take something like this seriously and then wind up losing an opportunity because you were dismissive of it. That's a mistake. Don't make it.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1300 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council. “No BS JobSearch Advice Radio” was recently named a Top 10 podcast for job search. was also recently named a Top 10 YouTube channel for job search.

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

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