How to Present Yourself on the Executive Search Market

How to Present Yourself on the Executive Search Market

Executive-level roles are highly competitive so presenting yourself in the best possible light through your CV, social media, and networking is crucial to securing a top position. In this blog, we’ll explore some key strategies for positioning yourself effectively on the executive search market.


Understanding the Executive Search Market

Executive search firms, also known as head-hunters, specialise in finding and placing top-level executives in organisations. These firms work on behalf of companies to identify, evaluate, and recruit the best candidates for leadership positions. They focus on senior-level roles such as CEO, CFO, CMO, CTO, and other C-suite positions. Here’s more on how executive search firms find candidates.


An infographic depicting "The Retained Search Process". There is an arrowing showing the progress of each of the stages from "Identify" to "Approach" to "Assets" to "Internal Interview" to "Shortlist Presentation" to "Client Interviews" to "Negotiation" through to "Completion".


How to Present Yourself on the Executive Search Market

Craft a Compelling Executive CV

Your CV is an essential tool for presenting yourself on the executive search market. It is your marketing brochure, and it should clearly highlight your achievements, skills, and experience.


1.     Know Your Numbers

As Fortune 500 CFO, Tomas Horejsi puts, “without financial intelligence, [executives] are less informed and therefore less effective as leaders.”

Embed key business performance metrics, such as sales figures, profit margins, cost savings, and productivity improvements throughout your CV and prepare to discuss them in further detail at interview. This will show potential employers that you have a results-oriented mindset and that you are able to deliver measurable outcomes.


A dark-blue saturated image of a person stood talking to a crowd. Wrapped in quotation marks is the quote: “without financial intelligence, [executives] are less informed and therefore less effective as leaders". The quote is by Fortune 500 CFO, Tomas Horejsi and the source is medium.com



2.     Demonstrate Your Commitment to Growth

Showcase your ongoing commitment to learning and development by highlighting any relevant courses, training, or qualifications you have obtained. You should provide specific examples of how you have applied your new knowledge or skills in your work.

If you haven’t undertaken any formal training recently, try to provide anecdotes of different strategies you’ve applied in practice, their outcome, and what you learned from taking this new approach. This shows that you’re open-minded to adopting new ways of working in a continual effort to maximise quality and efficiency.


A graphic showing the stages of the CPD Cycle. Showing the progress from "Identify and plan" to "Act" to "Reflect" to "Apply" to "Share" to "Impact" and indicating that these steps repeat over and over again.



3.     Highlight How You Have Influenced Senior Stakeholders

Another way to impress executive search consultants is by demonstrating your board-level influence. This involves showing the support you have given to your board or senior management team (SMT), and how you have made their lives easier through your role. This will demonstrate your ability to work collaboratively with senior leaders and make a valuable contribution to the success of the organisation.


People sat around a table in a meeting, one man is stood up and the others look engaged in what he's saying.



4.     Showcase Your Successes

When it comes to showcasing your achievements, it’s important to focus on the outcomes that add value to the business. This could include customer wins, transformational projects, acquisitions, or any other significant achievements that demonstrate your impact on the organisation. Be specific about the contributions you made and make sure they are relevant to the position you are applying for. By doing so, you will demonstrate your ability to deliver results and make a positive impact in a new role.


5.     Tailor Your Experience

At the executive level, a one-size-fits-all approach to your CV is unlikely to be effective. Each industry sector, role function, and business has different requirements, so it’s important to tailor your experience to each market. This will ensure that your experience is presented in the most compelling and relevant way for each potential employer.


Build a Strong Online Presence

In today’s executive search market, your online presence can be just as important as perfecting your CV. With 94% of executive headhunters using LinkedIn to source candidates and 84% of employers recruiting via social media, you should ensure that your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date, detailed, and well-connected. You should also ask your colleagues and industry contacts to endorse you on LinkedIn.

Additionally, you should set any other social media platforms you use to their highest privacy settings, so as not to undermine your professional image.


A close up of a keyboard with a blue button which says "Update profile".



Network, Network, Network

Having a robust network can give you a significant advantage over other C-suite candidates. Networking helps you to establish relationships with people with valuable insights and information about the industry, company culture, and potential job openings. It also allows you to showcase your skills, experience, and expertise to a broader audience, which can lead to potential job opportunities. Additionally, having a strong network can provide you with valuable referrals and recommendations from people who know and trust your work.


A gathering of professionals in business attire clustered in small groups networking.



Key Takeaway

In conclusion, presenting yourself effectively on the executive search market requires a range of skills and strategies. By knowing your numbers, focusing on how you can add value, and having a strong online and industry presence, you can stand out from the competition and attract the attention of executive search consultants and potential employers.


Browse our current executive opportunities here, or contact Lee Bhandal on 07590 529 274 or email l.bhandal@parkinsonlee.com to discuss your next C-suite role.

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