30 things you should immediately remove from your candidates CV

75 CVs per position land on a hiring manager’s desk, according to CareerBuilder.com.

As such, only the best get more attention than the average six seconds it takes for a recruiter to decide the fate of your résumé.

To help you transform a bean into a beanstalk, The Independent compiled 30 things that should be omitted to help craft the perfect CV.

1. An objective

2Irrelevant work experience – "Past work experience that might not appear to be directly relevant to the job at hand might show another dimension, depth, ability, or skill that actually is relevant or applicable.

"Only include this experience if it really showcases additional skills that can translate to the position you're applying for," says career expert Alyssa Gelbard.

3. Personal stuff

4. Your hobbies

5Blatant lies – “[Lies may be a] “misguided attempts to compensate for lacking 100 per cent of the qualifications specified in the job posting,” says Rosemary Haefner, CareerBuilder.com’s Chief HR Officer.

“Hiring managers are more forgiving than job seekers may think. About 42% of employers surveyed said they would consider a candidate who met only three out of five key qualifications for a specific role.”

6. Your age

7. Too much text – use lots of white space and no more than a 0.8 margin, says JT O’Donnell, Founder of Careerealism.com.

8. Time off - “In some countries, it is acceptable to include this information, especially travel,” says Gelbard, but she doesn’t recommend including this information.

9. References – Putting ‘references upon a request’ at the bottom of a CV is a waste of a line, says career coach Eli Amdur.

10. Inconsistent formatting

11. Personal pronouns - “Don't write your CV in the third or first person. It's understood that everything on your CV is about you and your experiences”, says executive career coach Tina Nicolai.

12. Present tense for a past job

13. A less-than-professional email address

14. Any unnecessary, obvious words

15. Headers, footers, tables, images or charts

16. Your current business-contact info - "This is not only dangerous; it's stupid. Do you really want employers calling you at work? How are you going to handle that? Oh, and by the way, your current employer can monitor your emails and phone calls. So if you're not in the mood to get fired or potentially charged with theft of services (really), then leave the business info off", says Amdur.

17. Your boss’ name – only name them if they’re noteworthy or impressive, says Gelbard.

18. Company-specific jargon - “Companies often have their own internal names for things like customised software, technologies, and processes that are only known within that organisation and not by those who work outside of it,” Gelbard says. “Be sure to exclude terms on your CV that are known only to one specific organisation.”

19. Social media URLs that are not related to the targeted position - “Candidates who tend to think their personal social media sites are valuable are putting themselves at risk of landing in the 'no' pile,” Nicolai says. “But you should list relevant URLs, such as your LinkedIn page or any others that are professional and directly related to the position you are trying to acquire.”

20. More than 15 years of experience

21. Salary information - “This document is intended to showcase your professional experience and skills. Salary comes later in the interview process”, says Amy Hoover, President of Talent Zoo.

22. Outdated fonts - “Don't use Times New Roman and Serif fonts, as they're outdated and old-fashioned,” Hoover says. “Use a standard, sans-serif font like Arial.”

23. Fancy fonts - “People try to make their CVs look classier with a fancy font, but studies show they are harder to read and the recruiter absorbs less about you,” says O’Donnell.

24. Annoying buzzwords

25. Reasons you left a company or position - “Listing why you left is irrelevant on your CV. It's not the time or place to bring up transitions from one company to the next”, says Nicolai.

26. Your grades

27. An explanation of why you want the job

28. A photo of yourself

29. Opinions, not facts - “Listing why you left is irrelevant on your CV. It's not the time or place to bring up transitions from one company to the next”, says O’Donnell.

30. Short-term employment

Published: Thu, 12 May 2016 10:30am BST

Stop the Recruiting Insanity

Stop the Recruiting Insanity: Start Sourcing on Facebook with Graph Search

by Stéphane Le Viet, CEO Work4

Stéphane Le Viet, CEO Work4

Let’s be honest: headhunting is a headache. Despite the fact that there are 11.8 million Americans out of work, filling the 3 million remaining open jobs (including many of yours) is not an easy task.

Think about how many hours per week you spend sourcing for key roles. One study puts the number at about 10 extra hours per week for key positions like those in Engineering, IT, and Sales. And that’s probably a low estimate.

Moreover, you’re probably spending a lot of that time sourcing from the same talent pool as everyone else and hitting the same talent acquisition roadblocks--over and over again. Wasn’t it Einstein who said that doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different outcome was the definition of insanity?

Well, it’s time to stop the insanity.

Facebook recently released its much anticipated Graph Search function to all users, and now access to your greatest number of potential candidates for your key roles and hiring initiatives is just a quick search away.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Graph Search function, simply log into your Facebook account and take a look at the search bar at the top of the screen. This search bar is different from any you may have encountered in the past: unlike a Google search, the results you see are not culled from webpages around the internet; instead, your search results are tailor-made, based on people, places, and things within your own Facebook network.

Sourcing on Facebook with Graph Search

In other words, if you do a Google search for “Engineers who have worked in New York City,” you’ll see websites advertising engineering jobs and some professional organizations related to engineering, but you won’t necessarily be able to do anything with that information.

If you type the same query into Facebook, however, you’ll see all of the engineers who have worked in NYC in your own network (denoted by the number of mutual friends you have) or who have made their work information public.

Sourcing on Facebook with Graph Search

How is this different from other methods of sourcing, such as LinkedIn? Consider the following:

- Unlike the case with other tapped out talent pools, you have access to the world’s largest social network (which also includes 8 million tradespeople, 2 million sales and service professionals, 3.2 million health care professionals, 9.8 million clerical staff, 5.6 million managers and administrators and many, many more workers who use Facebook for both personal and professional networking).*

- More than 1.1 billion people log onto Facebook every month, whereas many other networks have fewer monthly active users, so you have a better chance of making a connection with your talent.

- Your search results not only show you members in your network and how you’re connected, but also reveal profiles of others whose public profiles fit the bill.

The sky is the limit when you can search using natural language. This means you can narrow the search by more than work, location, and education history. Facebook lets you search for people who “like” your company, people who might be connected to people who work for your company (so you can facilitate referrals), and people who even have interests or skills related to the position you’re hiring for.

Sourcing on Facebook with Graph Search

I have always been a firm believer in the power and value of Facebook as a sourcing and recruiting tool, and now, even Facebook is backing up that belief by providing the resources to make finding talent easier than ever before. Even Mark Zuckerberg himself admits that recruiting is one of his favorite types of search queries for Graph Search, which, coming from the CEO of Facebook, seems like a pretty significant endorsement.

Now that Graph Search is available to all users, I urge you to give it a try. With whom will you connect when you start sourcing on Facebook?

About the Author

Stéphane Le Viet is the CEO and co-founder of Work4, which powers social recruiting by making everyone a recruiter and everyone a candidate. Work4 recently announced the first recruitment solution built for Facebook’s Graph Search.

* Estimated Reach of professionals with the indicated job role given by Acxiom in the Partner Category Section of the Facebook Ad Platform

What You Need To Know About Working With A Recruiter

What You Need To Know About Working With A Recruiter
Peggy McKee
April 15, 2016

To use a recruiter in your job search, you need to know what the different types of recruiters are, how they work with you, and what you should expect.

Types Of Recruiters

There are two basic types of recruiters: Internal and Contingency (third-party) Recruiters. Internal recruiters work for the company they recruit for. Typically, you’ll find them at large corporations.  Contingency recruiters (third party) work for themselves or for a recruitment agency, and are paid by a client company when that company hires a candidate the recruiter presents. Most recruiters are third-party recruiters.

Myths About Recruiters

The two biggest misunderstandings about recruiters are:

“You have to pay a recruiter.”
This is completely false. Never pay any so-called “recruiters.”

“The recruiter works for the job seeker, and must find them a job.”
In reality, recruiters work for the client company and can only introduce you to that company IF they believe you are a good fit for the job. You then have to interview for the job, just like any other job seeker would.

How Recruiters Help You

Recruiters know about jobs you won’t be able to find. First, recruiters are the ultimate networkers, so they are likely to know about what’s going on in your field and who’s hiring. Second, if they’ve been in business for long, they have developed relationships with companies who don’t like to hire anyone unless the recruiter presents them.

If a recruiter presents you, you have an automatic edge in the process. They know the person hiring at the company. If they say, “Hey, I have someone you need to talk to,” the company will naturally pay attention and be biased to like you because the recruiter already does.

Before you go to the interview a recruiter has arranged, a recruiter will be able to give you insights into the company, and point out a few things you want to bring up or stay away from. He or she will be a fantastic source of advice.

What You Should Do

Find recruiters that specialize in your career space and send your resume. They will put you in their database and call you if they have an opportunity they believe you’d be a good fit for. A good recruiter can be a wonderful networking contact throughout your career.

If they call you, try to call back as quickly as possible, because both recruiters and hiring managers can move fast.

In every phone conversation with a recruiter, remember that you are essentially having a phone interview. If you don’t represent yourself well, chances are that they won’t move you forward and present you to their client company.

Maintain contact with the recruiter. Every so often (maybe when you update your resume or change jobs), let the recruiter know. Regular emails (not more than once per week) will keep you in the top of the recruiter’s mind in case anything comes up.

Predictable Revenue

Why Salespeople Shouldn’t Prospect

by Aaron Ross | May 25, 2015 | Blog | 4 Comments

This article originally appeared on ForEntrepreneurs.com by David Skok.

In this article I interview Aaron Ross, co-author of a new book, Predictable Revenue. Aaron discusses his experience at Salesforce.com starting a new group that used an innovative outbound prospecting approach (involving no cold calls) to create new leads. Aaron’s group came up with several important breakthroughs which enabled them add over $100m in incremental recurring revenues over a few short years. This article reviews some of those best practices which provide a recipe for others to make outbound prospecting a repeatable and predictable revenue generator.


  • As most of my readers know I am a huge fan of using marketing to develop the lead flow for sales people so they don’t have to do cold calling. The main reason for this is the high cost of salespeople, and as a result, the high cost per lead that is created using this technique. However in certain situations, it does make sense to augment marketing with outbound cold calling.


    The right situation is likely to have the following characteristics:

  • Marketing is not producing the right kinds of leads, or enough leads.
  • You have a clear set of target customers that are likely to be the biggest, or best suited, customers for your particular product
  • Reasonably high lifetime value of customer that will justify the higher cost per lead. (If you can make $10k in the first year from a customer, this can be very profitable.)


Many companies expect their sales people to do their own prospecting, which can be thought of as doing their own lead generation. You are very clear that this is the wrong approach. Tell us why?

One of the biggest productivity killers is lumping together a mix of different responsibilities (such as raw web lead qualification, cold prospecting, closing, and account management) into one general “sales” role. This creates significant inefficiencies:

  • Lack of Motivation: Experienced sales people hate to prospect, and are usually terrible at it.
  • Lack of Focus: Even if a salesperson does do some prospecting successfully, as soon as they generate some pipeline, they become too busy to prospect. It’s not sustainable. Any individual that tries to juggle too many responsibilities, will have a much lower ability to get things done.
    Sales people have a reputation for being ADD – how does adding more responsibilities help that? For example, qualifying web leads is a much lower value distraction for sales people than managing current clients. And managing a large current client base is a distraction from closing new clients!
  • Lack of proper training and support: Their company doesn’t train them on how to prospect effectively, give them helpful tools or reasonable goals. Usually the guidance is along the lines of “make more calls!” Wow, that’s helpful.
  • Unclear Metrics: It’s harder to break out and keep track of key metrics (inbound leads, qualification and conversion rates, customer success rates…) if all the functions are lumped into single areas. Different roles makes it much easier to break out different steps in your processes, which means better metrics.
  • Less Visibility Into Problems: When things aren’t working, lumped responsibilities obscure what’s happening and make it more difficult to isolate and fix issues with accountable follow through.


What do you recommend as an alternative?

I believe in dividing up the roles into specialized functions. Here are the four basic functions or themes:

  • 1. “Inbound” Lead Qualification: Commonly called Market Response Reps, they qualify marketing leads coming inbound through the website or 800 number. The sources of these leads are either marketing programs, search engine marketing, or organic word-of-mouth.
  • 2. “Outbound” Prospecting/Cold Calling 2.0: Commonly called Sales Development Reps or New Business Development Reps, this function prospects into lists of target accounts to develop new sales opportunities from cold or inactive accounts. This is a team dedicated to proactive business development.Highly efficient Outbound reps and teams do NOT close deals, but create & qualify new sales opportunities and then pass them to Account Executives to close.
  • 3. “Account Executives” or “Sales”, are quota-carrying reps who close deals. They can be either inside or out in the field. As a best practice, even when a company has an Account Management/Customer Success function, Account Executives should stay in touch with new customers they close past the close until the new customer is deployed and launched.
  • 4. Account Management/Customer Success: Client deployment and success, ongoing client management, and renewals. In today’s world of “frictionless karma”, someone needs to be dedicated to making customers successful–and that is NOT the salesperson!

Creating A Viral Sales Engine Through Branding


You’re struggling with sales.  It’s ok to admit it… you’re not alone.  Scaling sales is the number one challenge most businesses face, and the least discussed.  Whether you face challenges driving lead generation, responding to incoming leads, staffing a sales team, or determining sales compensation, sales likely takes up a lot of your head space.

In truth, we make sales much harder than it has to be.

Brand awareness and brand loyalty are key sales drivers. 

I was once asked, “If you had a dollar to spend on your business, would you spend it on sales or would you spend it on marketing.”  I don’t think the two practices – sales and marketing – can be separated and pitted against each other.  This division of marketing and sales is a common mistake I see in many firms.  The marketing team functions separately from sales and, in some unfortunate cases; the sales teams treat marketing as an afterthought or a nuisance.  In my experience, there is nothing as time-consuming and expensive as muscling through sales without the help of a solid marketing practice to drive brand awareness and, ultimately, lead generation.

Why is a solid marketing practice so paramount to company growth?  Anyone familiar with Lean Start Up principles (the growth hackers Bible!) knows there are three engines of growth for businesses:

I call this the traditional sales and marketing model – throw money at either sales hires or paid advertising to grow the business

Focus on retaining existing customers and growing them

Create brand energy and growth through word of mouth and other non-traditional (ideally, free!) marketing strategies

If you’re a business owner, you may have been advised to focus on one engine of growth at a time.  If you’re trying to go viral, make your product sticky, and pay for customers, it can get very difficult to figure out what’s working and actually driving growth.  However, I’ve successfully utilized both sticky and viral growth engines simultaneously.  And I think you’ll find that working both to grow your existing customer base, while driving new customers virally can easily be accomplished with little overhead.

Clients as brand evangelists are an unparalleled sales force.   Don’t ever underplay the importance of word of mouth to drive sales.

Give To Get

Build your sales pipeline by developing content driven relationships with organizations or individuals that promote your brand.  Offer to curate or moderate a panel discussion at an industry event.  Nervous about getting on stage?  Guest edit an industry publication or offer to blog at an event.  Getting out and in front of people and starting conversations that attract attention and energy to your business is a powerful driver of brand awareness.  I’ve even managed to align myself with editors and conference organizers in “pay to play” situations by offering something of value, be it time, connections or content, in exchange for branding.

Think Of Creative Ways Your Unique Brand Strategy Can Thwart Your Competition

At Decipher, we rolled out a market research survey software solution in a highly competitive marketplace with well-funded incumbents – and without the help of a formal sales team.  It was a struggle at first.  Replacing existing reputable solutions from larger brands was a lot more challenging than we’d anticipated, and we’d underestimated the pain points behind switching platforms.  Namely that transitioning software platforms, required so much ramp up time that clients would have no choice but to license two platforms simultaneously in order to transition without a disruption to their business.  An expensive proposition!

Rather than flounder, my partners and I brainstormed a solution that activated our brand promise and drove a viral marketing campaign.  It promoted a plan that allowed prospective clients to use our survey software free of charge for up to a year while they transitioned from their current platform to ours.  This “Beacon Transition Plan” was so wildly successful that it was perceived as a substantial threat to our competitors.  As a result, no industry publication or organization would work with us to publicize the program for fear of backlash from the behemoths we were competing against.  Better yet, the “Beacon Transition Plan” didn’t cost us a dime to implement (there was little overhead associated with the transition time) or promote through the viral marketing channels we utilized.

Create Emotional Attachment Through Authenticity

Determine your unique brand strengths and creatively exploit them.   Is a viral brand strategy a replacement for a formalized sales practice?  Not necessarily.  But when a traditional sales team is absent due to financial constraints or a lack of access to sales talent, a viral marketing strategy can be effectively utilized for brand activation that drives growth.

What Is a Sales KPI? (You might have it wrong.)

Posted by Bob Marsh on Wed, Apr 08, 2015 @ 09:58 am

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When you think KPIs for your sales team, do you think sales quotas, average deal size or revenue per sales rep? Well, think again. Defining a KPI within a sales organization is often misunderstood and therefore, misused. To better understand how to get this right and build your own KPI-driven sales machine, this post will unravel the fundamentals of a KPI and how to make it work for your own team.

So, what is a sales KPI?

Before we go too much further, KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator. It’s really three things – an instrument to help you meet your end goal, it’s trackable and monitored on a regular basis, and it’s a tangible piece of data to indicate you are headed towards your desired outcome. 

KPI’s can be bucketed into “leading indicators” and “lagging indicators.” This is a very important distinction, as lagging indicators measure the result of what came before it — for example, closed sales, average deal size and sales cycle length. It’s a measure, but you can’t really do anything about it anymore because it already happened.

Leading indicators, on the other hand, are measures that reveal whether you are headed towards achieving your desired result, and ideally, they’re controllable. If you are behind on a leading indicator, you can change your behavior to affect the result. For example, if your lagging indicator goal is higher deal sizes, a leading indicator may be that you are completing ROI evaluations with decision makers, or are always including a certain add-on product to your proposals.

In this post, we’re going to put our attention on leading indicators as it’s the biggest area where sales leaders “swing and miss” when it comes to effective management of their salespeople. For instance, when sales managers jab at their sales team, “We’ve got to step it up. Close 10 more deals by the end of the month,” that’s not really productive or helpful, is it? 

Your salespeople want to close business too, and that’s how they get paid and keep their job. Do you think Olympic coaches tell their athletes: “Run faster so you’ll win!”? No way. So stop doing that to your sales team. As I mentioned in a recent post, stop managing sales quotas, and start managing sales performance.

KPIs shift focus away from the finish line and encourage salespeople to work on the controllable and proactive behaviors that will yield the ideal outcome. KPIs allow a sales team to take a step back to think about what works, see where they are spending their time and recalibrate their plan of attack as necessary.

Been defining your sales KPIs all wrong? I used to, too.

When I started managing a sales team at my last company, ePrize (now HelloWorld), I was that guy who was a quota manager. I would ask my team questions like: “How much are you going to close this month?” or “What will it take to close that key deal this week?”  While those are important pieces of information to discuss, it wasn’t really helping my salespeople and wasn’t going to help us hit our goals next month or next quarter.

That’s when and where I actually created the paper-based version of what LevelEleven has become. It was literally a piece of paper I called the “Sales Playbook,” complete with a sports design and theme, along with a personalized version based on each salesperson’s goals. We filled it with the KPIs my team and I identified as most important to be executing each day to help us hit our overall goals — and they weren’t just making calls and sending emails.

Here’s what we measured:

  • Proactive ideas delivered to customers. This spurred us to think up creative and relevant ideas that would help our clients be successful by working with our company. It would also make them think of us as innovative marketers, versus just another marketing technology vendor. It was just enough information to intrigue the prospect, but not so much information that we spent a ton of time planning each one. We set specific measures on how many proactive ideas would be sent to prospects.
  • Conversations. If you’re in sales, you need to be talking with people. It allows you to learn more about their business, get your ideas out there and uncover opportunities. And if you’re sending out proactive ideas like we were, it should help get meetings. Plus, if you hire good salespeople who are genuine, personable and curious, that’s an asset you want to be leveraging to be in front of people.
  • New Opportunities. The third was to be creating qualified sales opportunities. As you can see, each KPI has a cascading effect on the next, though remains somewhat in the salesperson’s control. If you have a conversation, you still need to make sure you’re creating opportunities out of it. The key is to have a specific goal in mind to be pushing for.
  • Closing sales. And of course, the final and ultimate goal is to close deals!



Now keep in mind, that’s what worked for our sales teams at ePrize. But it’s going to be unique to each company based on your target market, target buyer, deal sizes, sales cycles and the makeup of your sales team. Our sales team at LevelEleven has its own set of sales KPIs, and your team will too.

As you can see, it’s really all about defining the main areas where you want your sales team to spend their time and that are mostly likely to drive the final result everyone desires – winning business. With these measures and all the data you will accumulate by keeping track of them, you and your team will be equipped to build a performance-driven sales team.

So, there it is. Myth busted. Stay tuned for more KPI insights. In the meantime, what is a sales KPI to you, and what approach does your sales team take toward them? We’d love to see your comments below.