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Creating a Candidate Career Brief and Appraisal After an Interview

After a candidate proves suitable in the interview the next step is to create a written candidate report (If you are using an executive search firm to assist you, it should present you with a complete written report before you even see any candidates.)

The written presentation basically reflects the interviewer's observation about the candidate and his or her fit for the position. This presentation consists of two parts. The first part is a detailed career brief, which is basically a very detailed resume, fully written out.

A candidate career brief

This document is filled with facts and includes extensive details about the work history. It is always helpful to start out by writing the career brief to ensure that you get the basic information documented first. Make sure that sufficient information is included.

Always be very specific. Every sentence should be short and precise. The career brief should include the following information on the candidate (in chronological order):
  • Age, marital status
  • Full name and address with phone numbers at home and work
  • Educational background (degree, institution, location, month and year finished)
  • Professional experience (for each position):
  • Name of company
  • Sales dollars or number of employees
  • Department or division size (sales or number of employees)
  • Company products or services provided
  • Most important accomplishments (put in bullet points-a minimum of three for each position)
  • Dates for starting and ending each position
  • Compensation (complete information on what the salary package includes)
Career appraisal of a potential job candidate

The second part of the candidate presentation is the career appraisal, which in a story-like way takes you through a person's life from cradle to grave. This is a more personal way of giving the client insight into the candidate, including personal observations of the candidate's personality. The appraisal normally covers the following four areas.

First section of a career appraisal

The appraisal should start out with a paragraph that introduces the candidate, to help the reader to understand where he is coming from. It basically means to follow in the footsteps of the candidate from childhood to the finish of his higher education. Try to answer:
  • Where did he grow up?
  • What was the family situation?
  • What did the parents do?
  • Where did he go to college, and why was this decision made?
  • What did he study and why?
  • How did he do in college?
  • What interests did he have outside of school?
Second section of a career appraisal

The middle paragraphs review highlights and accomplishments in the candidate's career that are not included in the resume. These paragraphs normally include tasks and achievements relevant to what the client wants (matchup in requirements) in the position for which he is searching, why the candidate made employment changes-essentially the highlights of the candidate's career. It is important to finish by explaining what the candidate is presently doing, and if not presently employed, why. You should also include comments on why the candidate might want to leave his or her present company (if employed) and why he or she is interested in this particular position. When writing this paragraph start with the first job and finish with the present one.

Third section of a career appraisal

The next paragraph should summarize your personal impressions of the candidate in regard to strengths and weaknesses (relate this to the particular position for which the candidate is being considered). This is your assessment based on your interaction with the candidate. Start out by listing the perceived strengths and finish with the perceived weaknesses.

Last section of a career appraisal

The last paragraph is about personal attributes and characteristics, such as personality, mobility for the position, and any obstacles: the candidate's wishes or expectations (what will make him or her accept the position), and the candidate's own perception of his or her own weaknesses. Information on the candidate's family situation should also be included with information on what each member is doing.