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Things not to include in your CV

7 months ago by Daniel Stargatt
Things not to include in your CV

We have written a lot about what you should include in your CV, but in this article we take a look at a few things you shouldn’t include. A CV is 9 times out of 10 the first thing a recruitment consultant or hiring manager will see, so it’s really important that you make a good first impression. 

We’ve talked about the importance of numbers on your CV, how to present project information and even a complete guide on how to write a CV, but it is very easy to go off piste when writing a CV, so we have put together the key things you don’t need to include in your CV.

Here goes…

Irrelevant previous jobs

It’s important to look at what jobs you are including when writing your CV. This point depends on a number of factors, including the job you’re applying for, how many years you have been in the industry and how many jobs you have had. It’s important to keep in mind that you want to keep your CV to two pages if possible, as the longer it is the less likely people will read it all.

So for example, if you have progressed in your career from an Assistant to a Management position you will be better off going into more detail about the more recent senior roles rather than the Assistant role. So if you find yourself in this situation we suggest you include the Assistant level role but only include the top level information such as the company, position and time in the role.

Essentially, the point we are trying to make here is that writing a novel won’t help you secure an interview, think about what you write and how relevant it is to the job you are applying for.

Use professional formatting

We see a lot of CVs every day and the best advice we can give you is to keep the formatting simple, easy on the eye and consistent. A CV is essentially a marketing tool for your job search, so it’s important to make sure you make it as easy to follow as possible for the person reading. We have seen some really interesting CVs from the likes of Architects and designers and although they look great they are a lot harder and take a lot longer to read and digest.

So, when writing a CV don’t try and make it look like a piece of art, back your experience, skills and knowledge and let them speak for themselves!

Keep it real

The thing to keep in mind here is that if you are successful and you reach the interview stage you are going to be asked about what is on your CV, and if you have embellished certain achievements or responsibilities in your CV then there is always a chance that you will be found out. The best thing you can do is keep it real when writing your CV.

Another thing to consider is that you will be asked for references, so you don’t want to say one thing on your CV and the person giving a referencer to say another. It’s better to just be honest.

Don’t include a photo

It really is unnecessary to include a photo in your CV. A CV is all about your experience, knowledge and skills, not about how you look. Plus, including a photo of yourself will only take up valuable space. Remember, most employers and recruitment consultants will visit your LinkedIn page, so they will see a photo of you there.

Spelling and grammar

There are two reasons why using correct spelling and grammar is crucial. The first is simple, poor spelling and grammar will show your lack of attention to detail and just doesn’t sit well with recruitment consultants and line managers. The second is because it will make it harder for your profile and CV to come up in searches across job boards. Searches on all job boards are built purely on keywords, so if you have misspelt keywords in your CV then there is more chance that your CV will be missed by recruitment consultants when running searches.

With all the technology available to us, there is no excuse for poor spelling and grammar, so before you apply just make sure you have one final read through.

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