or Remote.con?

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I recently received an invitation from a former colleague of mine to connect with him on a platform called Remote; the website states it will be “Connecting 2 million+ professionals with remote and freelance jobs using artificial intelligence” and it continues to refer to current buzzwords and phrases such as “The power of the network effect” etc.


My experience, however, is quite different! 

The main issue is the requirement to complete 80% of your ‘Profile’ before you can access the job search functionality of the platform. This ‘completion’ requires you to part with sizeable amounts of personal and professional data along with your LinkedIn contacts – which you are encouraged to action quite quickly through a combination of prompts to complete your profile and ‘oversized buttons’ directing you to this action.

With regards to the LinkedIn connections; I now understand why my former colleague sent me an invitation to this platform – or in actual fact, he didn’t as it was automatically done for him. He (like me), probably wasn’t aware this action had happened until (like me) he started getting friends and colleagues messaging me asking me what the Remote platform was and why had I invited them.


Naturally, I’ll be encouraging this former colleague not to bother signing up at all. 

Having completed every section of my ‘Profile’ with details and adding my social media channels AND adding my LinkedIn connections, my profile complete percentage was STILL (!!) only 70%. Where did this elusive 10% come from I started to wonder…

…so, I emailed the Remote team back on their ‘feedback‘ email address. See below:


The response? – Nothing!

So, I went onto Twitter…again – Nothing!

Then I permanently deleted my account. A pretty definitive action wouldn’t you agree? – well, clearly, the Do Everything AI Bot @ called Kira Roboz didn’t agree as she sent me this email (after I’d instructed them to permanently delete my account).

And what did she want? – you guessed itmore data from me! 


With the increasing number of SaaS propositions being created for the talent acquisition and recruitment market, it is quite frustrating when you encounter a proposition that – on the face if it – appears to offer credibility by association (connecting you with fellow and former colleagues and friends). However, in truth, it’s simply an exercise in data collection to enhance the proposition and offer very little value in return.

So, the question I pose is it or Remote.con?

Addition to original post:

A friend and former colleague highlighted to me that Remote.con (*the name I will now use) appears to have started its mass data-gathering fraud in the USA last year; she sent me a Medium post by New York Time journalist, K.J. Dell’Antonia, who wrote about her experience of Remote.con and how the platform accessed and contacted her network without authorisation – or at least without making it apparent that was the intention.

Read the full post here: Why You Shouldn’t Accept My Invitation to Join Me on (Because I Didn’t Send It)

I’m very happy to hear from anyone at to discuss this initial opinion I have formed of their proposition. Equally, it would be great to hear from anyone else that has used the platform and had a different or similar experience to me.


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It’s Not You, It’s Someone Else…

We’ve all been there…we’ve received the generic ‘Sorry, your application didn’t progress’ or ‘We offered the role to a more suitable candidate’; or even, you’ve been one of the many people that takes time and energy out of their day to attend an interview and you’ve received zero feedback! Nothing! – a virtual ‘feedback blackhole’.

So why do the majority of companies, and more specifically, Hiring Managers / Leaders still find it so difficult to provide feedback; extend a simple professional courtesy to another professional? – I mean, there is advice out there if you’re worried about the implications of providing feedback to an individual you don’t intend to offer a role.



…you’re focusing your time and energy on the person you intend to offer and that process is your top priority…you’ll get round to the rejected individuals when you’ve got your ‘chosen one’ secured? – it’ll take 5-10 minutes out of your day to make a call and provide feedback, however, the impact of this action will be positively received by the individual. 

…there is a potential disconnect between you (Hiring Manager/Leader) and the in-house HR/Recruitment team and the feedback hasn’t been passed along or got lost in a whole host of hiring activities the in-house team are managing? – it should be the Hiring Manager/Leader’s responsibility to prioritise the feedback activities with the in-house team and follow-up to ensure is has been actioned. 

…the fear of disappointing another individual and you’re a perpetual ‘pleaser’ and you’d lie awake at night worrying about what that person might be saying about you across social media? – leaving an individual with no feedback leaves the door open to speculation and a greater sense of rejection. In short, inaction has had the complete opposite effect.

…the Recruitment Agency that introduced the individual and the feedback hasn’t been passed back because the Agency lost interest as soon as they knew it wasn’t ‘their candidate’ that was to be offered the role? – again, it should be the Hiring Manager/Leader’s responsibility to prioritise the feedback activities and request confirmation that it has been actioned. 

In all these potential scenarios, the responsibility, or delegation of responsibility, for providing feedback sits with the Hiring Manager / Leader in my opinion. Specifically linked to this are the concepts ‘Candidate Experience‘ and ‘Brand Advocacy‘.


What’s your baseline? 

When any client asks me to assess their ‘Candidate Experience’, I start with the purpose of answering one question – ‘How do they treat the people they don’t hire’? – that’s my baseline. Interestingly, I often find that the data and information available for the individuals that haven’t been offered a role with a company is often sporadic, undocumented and very inconsistent in approach from one Hiring Manager or team to another.

Many have asked, why bother with the people we haven’t hired? 

My counter to that question is, if the experience for the people you haven’t offered is really engaging, the experience for the people you do hire must be amazing!

The net result of an amazing offer and on-boarding experience correlates to a reduction in the loss of individuals to counter offers or other opportunities. 

The obvious result from an engaging experience for individuals you do and don’t hire is brand advocacy and that could lead to referrals and that will lead to a boost to your talent pipeline! Also, you may not have hired the individual today, however, what about in another 6, 12 or 18 months time?

What is your Candidate Experience baseline?

If you’re the hiring manager, team leader, company or HR / Recruitment professional about to embark on a overhaul or improvement programme focused on your Candidate Experience (CX), please let me offer some advice;

  • your current CX is only as good as the last negative feedback you received
  • data is important, however, stories of human experience are more valuable
  • focus on the individual and build the process around them
  • personalisation should underpin your CX journey
  • build your CX vision, don’t replicate
  • be creative and be brave

it's all about you

Reject me, just don’t ignore me!

Recruitment Marketing – ‘The Post’

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Digital Sinkhole

LinkedIn is a constant stream of news, opinions, sales material and job adverts; we have no end of information at the touch of a ‘New Posts’ button. You may linger on posts from friends and current or former colleagues, there may be posts that LinkedIn’s (rather inept) algorithm has pushed your way based on previous engagement, however, I’d venture the average user will actually engage with less than 10 posts a day. By ‘engagement’ I mean, click on the link, read the article and / or make a comment. LinkedIn just doesn’t have the same pull-factor as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or even YouTube.

My point is this, if you’re going to get discovered as a Recruitment Agency or Talent Acquisition professional, you have to stand apart from the generic (often lazy) “Great opportunity” and “Contact me to discuss…” posts. A ‘call to action’ post is a perfectly reasonable option, however, if you’re providing zero reason for that individual to engage with your post, it will just disappear down their digital sinkhole.

With this knowledge, and I know it’s a known fact – why do SO many recruiters persist with the same generic posts!?!

And folks, the evidence is there…


…these posts seem to be typical of the ‘standard’ recruitment post. I’m not 100% sure what the thinking is behind this type of post, however, I’d take a guess that time versus return on investment is a factor. I appreciate, after 12-years of recruitment agency-side, that the feeling of never having enough time is still present in most agency environments. Having said that, a 3-line post, a couple of token hashtags, a ‘smiley’ and a contact number is not going to be enough to encourage the, often talked about, ‘passive candidate’ to rush to their phone to contact you.

Your post(s) need to have some thinking behind them….or at the very least, a basic understanding of your ‘target audience’.



If you want to attract individuals to your post, I would suggest at least having a template for your post content; to be more specific, I’d suggest answering the following questions:

  • What message are you trying to communicate? (i.e. call to action, brand awareness, engagement)
  • Why would an individual respond to your post? (i.e. action to take – ‘click here’)
  • Where does the link/hyperlink take the individual? (i.e. another website, blog post, event page etc)
  • What image are you using and why?
  • What time will you post? (i.e. check out this helpful post for timings)
  • What hashtags are you using and why? (*research your hashtags)
  • What key information should be detailed? (i.e. location, salary/daily rate, client name, job title)
  • Can you / will you use the company logo? (*do you have permission/consent?)
  • What contact details will you provide? Are these channels right for your audience? (i.e. individual, group mailbox)

: these are some basic questions that will help shape your thinking about the post template; also, once you have a template, it becomes easier to create them and look for relevant content (i.e. images, text).


As you become more of a digital native, there’s a high probability that you will start to get more creative in your posts; this may lead to actually configuring posts for specific social media channels – how many posts do you see with the image cut-off or where it doesn’t fully fit the image window? – this is not rocket-science to address, there are plenty of SaaS products to help you with this – I use Canva – it’s a great tool for creating channel specific posts and even provides you with templates to get you started.

Another tool in my locker is Adobe Stock – while you build your portfolio of images for your client, you can use Adobe Stock to bridge the gap in the interim; it allows you to licence images on a monthly basis and provides a vast entity of images for all subjects (*this is far better than scouring Google Images for pics and then trying to right-size them into your post).

Another consideration are the hyperlinks you use for you post; you can use the auto-generated one’s that are provided by Twitter for example. Personally, I use Bitly because (once you sign-up for an account), you can customise your hyperlinks. A nice little added touch that sub-consciously reassures the hyperlink is still linked to the post subject.


These are just some basic suggestions from my experience and I have found the results very pleasantly surprising and so have my clients. The next step – just go do it and please share your feedback, ideas, improvements and suggestions.

Getting my doodle on!



It started with the introduction to Artefact Cards (*kudos and thanks to Matt Ballantine*); a simple, pocket-sized-small canvas upon which I could imprint my many ideas, ‘nothings’ and doodles. As someone who invested a ‘Higher’ and ‘Further’ education in design & creative subjects, to not pursue this career in any form, a return to my first-love has been liberating.

What did I do instead of transforming the world of design you might ask? – you might not give a shit; (*for those that are interested*), I actually became a cleaner…of the local hospital mortuary…not quite the vision I had for myself I must admit.

…back to the subject…

Having a canvas-at-hand transforms the tube / train / bus journey, the 5-10 minutes between meetings, replaces the 3rd or 4th listen of that album you’ve been playing on repeat…it even takes your attention from the allure of Netflix. Drawing is like being extracted from the ‘digital world‘ and transported back to a time more simple and less restrictive.

This might sound nostalgic, Luddite or the whimsical notion of a Gen X’er, however, I would (firmly) argue that the simplicity of drawing embalm you in a calm and simple action that is really fulfilling and without boundaries (i.e. functionality restricted by tiered levels of access at a cost, user-errors and/or the incessant bombardment of adverts). It’s completely free!


For anyone that might have found my graffiti hunter alter-ego @lastnamejesus on Instagram or have noted one of my other blog posts on Blek le Rat or Barcelona’s graff scene, you might already have concluded that I’m a ‘visual person’. I am drawn to graffiti and street art because of the social and political commentary, pop culture and the sheer fact that it is free from restriction in terms of subject matter.

Artists such as minty and Sub Dude (see above) are prolific around the East London / Brick Lane area and I find the combination of humour-infused social commentary both striking and thought-provoking.

Some more inspiration from this week’s graff hunting…

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Another source of recently discovered inspiration is….

I mentioned Matt Ballantine at the top of the post and he get’s a second mention here as he is the co-creator of DrawPod, alongside Natalia Talkowska; a podcast for and about drawing, doodling and being creative. Give it a listen.

Draw Pod

The Day Job

The timing of this renewed joy for doodling has coincided with an increase in the demand on my creativity in the day job; infographics, imagery and logos are all part of a progressive, engaging and well constructed talent strategy. In the process of designing this strategy, I am starting to find that companies (and my clients) have zero assets to use other than stock images and tons of text!

Some of the material I have been presented over the last 5-months could only be likened to a 1980’s school report or a leaflet for funeral services.

Being presented with this opportunity to develop new graphical content and visual assets/logos for clients is fuel for my inspiration. My thought process was centred on trying to represent text in a more visually engaging way and providing functional information in a way that is memorable.

As the average person spends less than 8 seconds scanning a post they actually like and less than 2 seconds on one that doesn’t grab their attention – the challenge is obvious! 

On my current assignment, the creative work has been produced using a number of different sources, however, all of them started with doodles and sketches that have been worked-up into a more a more formal piece of content:

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: my plan is to continue to share the work I produce on a weekly basis across my social media channels…which for the newly acquainted are:

Twitter: @GlennNetworks

Instagram: glennnetworks

LinkedIn: Glenn Martin

: and I’m also sharing photos on a public album on Google called: Drawings, Sketches and Doodles

Why? – you might ask. Well, taken from one of Blek le Rat’s pieces of work and slightly paraphrased

“One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotes”

For me, the pursuit of original ideas is my motivation.







Hey Ho! C’mon Textio!

He Ho Let's Go

In my pursuit of learning and trying all things tech that in the talent acquisition and recruitment market, I have encountered products and platforms on a range from MVP stage through to fully deployed into the market. In previous blogs I have mentioned propositions such as Cyra and Sniper AI which I have yet to see gain market momentum. In contrast, there are products such as Job Pal that have gained serious validation through the on-boarding of major clients – I had the pleasure of meeting the CEO and Founder of Job Pal, Luc Dudler, back in 2016 and I could tell then that he knew where the future of recruitment and talent acquisition was tracking.

The latest platform I am working with is Textio – “an augmented writing platform”; these fine folks are so confident that I’ll continue to use the tool, they gave me a free trial to begin with and then extended the trial for a further 2-weeks after I’d received a further induction on the full operability of the tool. Kudos to you Textio!

A little background….

Textio was co-founded by two people – both former Microsofties and both worked on the MS Office suite of products; this will become evident in the UI and orientation around Textio – it’s familiar and easy to use. The first person I spoke to in a v-meeting was Anthony Serna, one of the Product Specialists – cool guy and maybe a Seattle-based Chicago Bears fan.

Textio’s entrance into the UK market was catapulted by a round of investment reported back in June 2017 – they managed to secure $20 million from existing venture capital and investors. Quite a springboard!

Combine this to having active advocates such as Katrina Collier, The Searchologist – the person that made me aware of Textio – I think the team should be confident of more adoption and interest across the wider UK talent acquisition and recruitment community.


When I cut-&-paste a recently created job specification into a new ‘Job post’ window, I’m instantly drawn to the score collating in the top-right hand corner and I start to have a growing sense of competition! – I need a higher score! The ‘Textio score’ is how you track your progress and I am also informed that ‘Textio is currently comparing your writing to 4,954,652 recent job posts in the United Kingdom’.

Upon reflection, this is a really simple, however, very clever way of keeping users engaged and motivated to want to continue to modify the job specification through creative writing, implementing the ‘tips’ and ‘guidance’ provided such as; too much bulleted content, sentences are too long, uses repetitive wording and not enough verbs. Additionally, there is a barometer for the ‘tone’ of the job post which informs you if you have a overly masculine or feminine tone or if your job post has a neutral tone.

I was actually quite surprised by one job post I added as Textio awarded it a possible ‘2 out of 100’ score and stated the post was “really bad”; it had an overly masculine tone, used repetitive wording, it was using very corporate language, the sentences were too long and it had too much bulleted content. A challenge had been set!



Fast-forward a day and half of intermittently redrafting the aforementioned job post whilst travelling on the train, between meetings and in the evening as part of my downtime; I managed to increase the job post Textio score to 81 which I was informed was “Strong” with a “feminine tone” and I’d managed to introduce more ‘we’ statements, add more positive statements that increase job post interest and phrases that attract more female applicants. The difference between the original post and the one that was produced by using Textio was very evident.

Why is it important?

Diversity in the any team and business will increase creative, collaboration and successful business and personal outcomes; however, building diverse teams starts with a considered discovery, attraction and engagement strategy. Understanding the person(s) you want to engage and actually finding out what is important to them is the beginning of your discovery phase.

Equally, the generational shift in the workforce from the Gen X to the Millennial majority demands attention as the juxtaposition between ‘traditional approach’ and ‘new world of work’ to talent acquisition is a key consideration. I’ve blogged about part of this subject in a previous post.


Taking action

I’ve been an advocate for the Tech Talent Charter since my first workshop back in 2016 and I continue to promote the awareness of the Charter’s unpinning goals in the context of recruitment. I would recommend reading the material contained in the Charter if you work in HR, Talent Acquisition or recruitment. 

One of the key components of the Charter is the ‘Rooney Rule’ which aims to ensure that at least one female applicant is shortlisted for interview, thus, improving the potential female candidate pipeline within technology companies.

It’s also pleasing to note that the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport announced its commitment to promoting the Charter in its capacity as the UK Government’s Department for Digital.


Buyer beware

One final note on Textio, as the sub-title suggests; the 14 Day Free Trial and the extended trial (available if you asked for it), is incredibly generous and certainly helps to ensure you become suitably reliant on the tool. HOWEVER….

“Textio subscriptions are company wide, last for 36, 24, or 12 months, with the price being based on the number of open roles on an organisation’s career site. Currently, we don’t offer individual licenses or user-based pricing.”

….this was an incredibly frustrating discovery! I’m hoping that the Textio team will take into consideration the mass-adoption that could be driven through single subscriptions – as an independent business (of one person), this tool has vast potential for my business and end clients.


Joining the gig economy?


Into the unknown (or is it?)…

After a career to date where I have always been a permanent employee, I’ve been presented with an opportunity to go freelancing. Why leave the stability of a permanent job? – my rationale, what is permanent these days? Since the financial crisis of 2007-2008 the dynamics of the employment market have shifted; it’s still the progressive growth of the the gig economy and a multi-generational workforce that no longer finds satisfaction (or a work-life balance) in the standard 9-5 job.

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The Gig Economy

Definitions of freelancers range from ‘mercenaries’ to ‘riders of the gig economy’; to those actually working as a freelancer or in the gig economy there is a clear distinction between the two. A recent study by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) created a working definition in consultation with the Institute for Employment Studies;

“The gig economy involves the exchange of labour for money between individuals or companies via digital platforms that actively facilitate matching between providers and customers, on a short-term and payment by task basis.”

And don’t be fooled folks, regardless of the polarising press attention relating to flag bearers such as Uber and Deliveroo, the gig economy is thriving.  In the UK, press reports state that there were over 5 million people working in the gig economy, and that number is growing. Work


Whilst the definition of a freelancer can be articulated as a self-employed person offering services, usually to businesses and often to multiple clients at a time. The type of work freelancers do varies, however, it can include marketing, social media marketing, copywriting, and publicity, writing, such as articles and blog posts, technological support, such as web programming and design and creative works such as graphic design.

The why

Back to the question of why would you make the change from permanent employment to freelancing, I think many will be surprised to learn there are a number of very good reasons and these include;

  • Set-up is quick and easy: Establishing your own Limited Company in the UK is a pretty straight forward process and you can often have the company name registered within 24-hours on the Companies House website.
  • Stability through diversity: By growing and expanding a diversified portfolio of clients and companies you are engaged by, this becomes more secure than one employer as you are beholding to the changes by that one employer.
  • Tools to deliver: If you’ve been working in your chosen profession or have been training to start in it, chances are you already have the tools to delver for your clients. Whether this be software (i.e. access to social media or online software tools/packages) and the tech kit (i.e. laptops, smartphone, digital equipment), you invariably have everything you need to start.
  • In demand: While the marketplace of freelancers is competitive, the need for quality, reliable freelancers is growing. Many businesses don’t have employees and instead have a team of freelancers.
  • Work-life balance: Because clients typically focus on your outcomes and deliverables, there is less emphasis on ‘when’ you do the work as long as you hit the deadline. For this reason, whether you’re a ‘morning person’, or you prefer to work late into the night or on the weekends, you can structure your schedule to meet the target date/deadline; this can allow more flexibility for those ‘life’ activities that might only be available at 10.00am on a Tuesday morning or start at 3.30pm on a Thursday afternoon.
  • Choose the clients you want to partner with: While in the beginning you may take any client that will hire you, as you grow and your reputation affords you the opportunity to partner with people, clients and companies that really interest you and share your purpose driven goals, your portfolio becomes full of great people and interesting project work. Additionally, you can choose not to take on difficult clients and even fire them!
  • Deliver your way: While you need to deliver what the client asks, how the work is done is up to you. As you have been engaged by a client, they clear have the confidence in your ability to deliver what they need.
  • Learning new skills: Working in one company, you become reliant on the training on offer by the business; as a freelancer, new skills and being able to utilise new software / tools is essential to the development of your service offering. Investing in your skills is valuable and not a ‘tick box’ exercise.

And the why not

Of course, there are always acknowledged challenges and potential downsides to freelancing and these can include, taking time to build a portfolio of clients willing to pay for your services and this can lead to inconsistent periods of being in work. Additionally, the economics of simply earning the right and reputation to charge what you think you’re worth compared to the market may take time, alongside managing multiple clients and delivering consistently. However, if you are pragmatic and balanced in your approach, you should be able to mitigate against these potential pitfalls through active networking, doing what you say you will do, ensuring high levels of quality in your work and delivering on time.

Final thought

My personal motivations combine all of the aforementioned positives with an acknowledgment that the negatives may impact me at certain points through this journey. I’m confident the former reasons will sustain me through the latter challenges…I’m ready to jump! 

Thanks to RR and CG for the opportunity!









The Death of the Curriculum Vitae (CV)

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“…and if you can send me an updated copy of your CV…”

Fellow recruitment and talent acquisition professionals will have made this request so many times, it’s likely that you don’t even think about it when you utter the words anymore…

This call to action typically leads to a delayed response irrespective of the fact that the individual is actively or passively looking for a new career opportunity; I don’t have access to any stats on response rates, however, in my experience, less that 5% of the individuals you request a CV from send it immediately. So what happens…

…as the Consultant, you move onto other calls, emails and conversations with colleagues – and more importantly – other individuals also looking for a new career opportunity. By the end of a sustained period of effort, to identify awesome individuals with the key skills, experience and knowledge to stun your client into an ‘impressed silence’; you end up waiting…for a CV!

As you wait, your client waits.


As your client waits, the business waits.


As the business waits, outcomes and deliverables wait to be actioned.


Time is a precious commodity

Some of the most successful new companies we all use, as consumers, give us back the commodity of time. Uber gives us time back through the flexibility of its market of drivers competing for our fare, Amazon gives us back time by allowing us to order products from the comfort of our own sofa; Apple gives us back time through a unique and intuitive user experience when using their products and Google gives us back time through the immediate access to increasing brontobytes of data.

As recruitment and talent acquisition professional, time is a commodity we often ‘sell’ to our clients in the context of also being able to save them time in their search for that ideal individual. So with that in mind, wouldn’t it be great to be able to send a CV to your client immediately after you’ve spoken to ‘that person’? 

I ask that question rhetorically as I’m confident the majority of recruiters would answer ‘yes’. 

The real question is ‘how‘? 

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Tech-enabled solution

For the user (or in this case, the individual looking for a new career opportunity); the thought of updating their CV is probably as appealing as filling out a tax return or some equally boring administrative task. Hence, it’s usually something people will put off unless they are actively looking for a new opportunity; even in this scenario, the updated CV often requires more information. 

Now imagine a piece of software that can ‘create’ your CV through the provision of information about your career to date; you can provide it your previous CV iterations, job specifications from previous roles, summary notes you’ve typed up while brainstorming your ‘duties’ and ‘responsibilities’ from other roles and other sources of information once you link your LinkedIn profile and social media channels to it. Essentially, a learning algorithm that can provide you with a ‘digital footprint’ of your career to date that can make suggestions on ‘job titles’ and ‘use of business terminology’. 

Would that make updating a CV easier? 

On the other side of this equation, the recruiter and talent acquisition professional now can be granted access to an updated CV immediately, through a GDPR compliant platform where the user has control of what and how their personal data is shared and hosted. More specifically, they can share this information immediately with you – and you in turn, can share this much more quickly with your end client. 

Would that take the pain out of waiting for a CV update? 

In essence, I think this was partially the aim of LinkedIn with the functionality to ‘share‘ profiles, however, unless the profile is complete – the lack of information invalids the need to share. Job-boards have the option to send CV’s to other people, however, this is another under-utilised functionality. Other platforms such as Github promote collaboration, however, introductions are typically through work-collaborations as opposed to ‘formal intro’s’.

With the advent of both Hire by Google and Workplace by Facebook the death of the traditional CV and how it is created is probably not far away. I, for one, will not shed a tear for the MS Word / PDF format CV…