Top 10 things not to put in a CV
CVs, their layout and content have changed dramatically in recent years to ensure they maximise your potential and correctly showcase your key skills, experience and attributes. What you put in your CV is important but equally important is knowing what not to put in a CV.
Here is a short guide on which items not to put in a CV.
In the UK, you do not include your photograph in your CV unless you are in a career such as modelling or acting on the stage or screen. The only other time you should include a photograph is when specifically asked to do so by the recruiter.
2) Reasons for leaving a job
This information is not required on your CV and can be covered during the interview. If included, it could attract a negative reaction and do want to avoid having your CV rejected.
3) Getting too personal
Whilst you do need to ensure your name and contact details are prominent on your CV, preferably at the top of the first page, there is much other personal information which is not necessary. You do not need to include details, such as: nationality, religion, marital status, dependants or your age and date of birth.
4) Use of the first person
We recommend you avoid using ‘I’ or ‘me’ anywhere within the CV. Your CV is a formal document and should focus on how your skills and experience would benefit the company reading your CV. Using ‘I’ and ‘me’ can appear a little self-centred.
5) Irrelevant information
Do not include anything which does not add value to your application or, anything which could be considered a negative point.
6) Decorative fonts, fancy borders, etc
We would avoid against the use of anything other than bold for specific titles. Whilst swirls, borders, lines and embellishments can look rather pretty, they do not present a professional impression and can be very distracting for the reader.
7) Salary details
You do not need to include details of your current and past salaries as this could work against you; eliminating your application and a waste of a stamp.
8) Hobbies and interests
This is a one of those sections which we would say include if you are starting out in your career as it demonstrates more about you and your interests; perhaps team or organisational skills. However, as you progress your career we would avoid inclusion unless there is something specific, which would enhance your application or support your skills.
9) Industry jargon and acronyms
Whilst you may understand it, you must remember that many CVs are first vetted by human resource departments or, sometimes specialist scanning machines. As such, they will not understand the terminology and again, you do not want to risk declination of your CV.
10) Spurious or irrelevant achievements
If you are going to include achievements, ensure they are realistic and current. Just because you were once a prefect or a team captain, doesn’t mean it has to go in your CV because it’s not a valid achievement unless you’ve just left school and have no work experience. Where possible, include notable professional achievements or those attained whilst fulfilling a voluntary or community-based role.
Please reinforce your claims with key facts and figures and make sure all achievements are relevant to the job you are applying for.
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