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Career Advice

What not to put on your CV

Preparing a CV takes time, effort and quite a bit of planning to get it right. From the words that you use through to the order that you use them – it all matters. Of course, there are certain things that never should be included, no matter what. We’ve highlighted just a few of those here – “What not to put on your CV.”

Any untruths
The fact of the matter is that if you lie on your CV, you will get caught out. Employers and recruiters do verify exam results and do check out references. If you declare false grades, or incorrect dates of employment, they will find out. Deliberately falsifying information on your CV will do you no good in the long term. It might momentarily make you appear to be a better candidate on your CV; however once the truth is established it will make you appear to be far from that. Don’t sabotage your opportunity for employment by lying.

The personal stuff
Whilst of course an employer wants to find out all they can about you from your CV, that generally means all they can about your skills, your work history, your qualifications. They don’t need to know about your personal life – your marital status, your religious or sexual preferences  etc. Many candidates reveal perhaps a little too much about themselves on their CV and in so doing, do themselves no favours. Whilst of course this ought not to have any bearing on any shortlisting procedure, it unfortunately sometimes can. Give yourself the best chance possible by leaving it off your CV.

Unprofessional Elements
You and your friends may laugh at your “coochie-coochie-la-la@xmail.com” email address, but an employer won’t. Unprofessional email addresses like this don’t particularly convey a good impression to prospective employers and that after all is exactly what you are aiming to do with a CV. Create a work-friendly email address that you can use for job applications. It does matter. Also, in the hobbies and interests section of your CV, perhaps refrain from listing any less than savoury or unprofessional activities you get up to on a Friday night. Admittedly, what you do in your own time is your business; however by including it on your CV, you are providing the information to an employer in the first place and thereby are making it their business.

Irrelevant information
Many candidates make the mistake of going into storytelling mode on their CVs, giving long verbose accounts of everything they have done, in virtual essay format. No recruiter or employer wants to see that. Firstly, they don’t have the time, and secondly they simply want to know the key facts. Make sure you include only the details that matter. Likewise, there is no real necessity to list every module that you ever studied in a subject or every single duty listed on your job description. By including what is quite frankly irrelevant information, you are perhaps leaving out what could potentially be very useful information, which would be doing a better job of helping to ‘sell’ you as a candidate.

The early days
A recruiter does not generally need to know about every job you ever did. This all depends of course on how old you are. If you’re a recent graduate, then of course your employment history is going to be more limited, therefore including work experience gained whilst at school or college is a must. However for older candidates, there is really no necessity to go back further than say, 10-15 years. The fact that you had one week’s work experience in a local solicitor’s office when you were 16 is no longer relevant now you are 35. Make sure that you only detail the recent and the relevant. Listing anything and everything that you ever did will not do you any favours.

We hope that these ‘what not to put on your CV’ tips prove to be useful when you are preparing your next CV. If you feel however that there are others that we should have included, why not let us know via the comments section below.

CV ready to go? Why not send it to the professionals and get a free CV review before you send it to the employer or recruiter?



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