If you are applying for jobs, you likely know the importance of a well-crafted CV. They are the gateway to Human Resources’ or a recruiter’s perception of you. It is just as worthwhile to consider the value of what you shouldn’t include as well as what you should. Negative additions can be just as, if not more, noticeable than positive ones – and can ultimately impact the reader’s overall opinion of your suitability. That’s why we have compiled a list of 10 things you should avoid including in your CV when you write it.
Unless you have worked as a freelancer or temp, we suggest avoiding the mention of roles in which you did not spend much time. Not doing so will give the employer a reason to doubt your ability to hold down a stable position within a company. Referring to a company you worked in for a short time will also open unwanted interpretation as to why you left and could lead to some awkward questions.
Depending on why you were not in a long-term position, the sensitivity around the subject can change. This is a moment in which to strategically balance honesty and discretion. If you took time out to travel, for example, keep the description brief and include any benefits the experience offered, such as an enriched independence or perspective. Alternatively, if you have recently recovered from a bout of illness that kept you out of work, ensure the employer that you are back to normal health.
Although a CV should be written as to lobby the best possible image of your professional life, your skills and experiences should be detailed in an objective tone. Any information that comes across as an opinion, such as your ability to engage with stressful situations, should be backed up with evidence instead of simply ‘excellent under pressure’.
The creativity of our teenage years often follows us in the form of an email address; although firstname.lastname@example.org may be the only way to access your social media, we cannot recommend that it be written on the top of your CV.
If you are in the first few years of your professional life and are looking to bulk up your CV with past jobs, it may be tempting to include the student years during which you worked as a bartender or cashier. Unless you are planning to work in similar roles or industries, such as hospitality or retail, these jobs will not interest the employer and draw attention to lack of relevant experience.
Unless your social media is an extension of what you can offer to a role, such as a passion for menswear through photography, your profile names do not need to be on your CV and can take up valuable space from other information.
Recruiters can go through over 200 CVs for just one role – to make a reading of your CV as easy and stress-free as possible, keep your words precise and your sentences short.
The pressure to stand out from the masses can lead to some elaborate creative choices when it comes to the aesthetic of your CV. Remember the phrase ‘less is more’ when it comes to the formatting of your experience and skills. Like the previous point, make it as easy as possible for the recruiter to identify your value.
Gone are the days when employers could dismiss someone because of their age, marital status, gender, race and religion. Therefore, this information does not need to be on a CV.
An obvious – and yet common – mistake to make, faults in writing, such as typos, can easily be rectified through proofreading. Do not allow yourself to come across as careless because of a missing letter.