Recruitment specialists since 1980

Wednesday Oct 12

From fancy fonts to blatent lies, Woodland lists the 10 things to avoid including in your CV.


We have taken a look in an earlier blogpost on what to include in an outstanding CV, but it is just as important to understand what you should NOT include in your CV.  Even the most minute of mistakes can reflect badly on you, and affect the likelihood of you getting shortlisted for a position.


1)    Irrelevant personal information:

You may take pride in the fact that you participated and excelled in the London marathon, or that your favourite fast food spot is KFC. But unless this information is relevant to any job that you are applying for, refrain from putting it in your CV. Furthermore, don’t put in your NI number, your religious beliefs or your marital status.


2)    Photographs

Including your photograph in your CV is tacky, as well as distracting. Why waste your time trying to find that perfect picture for your CV when someone might reject you for no reason because of how you look? If you have one in there, remove it.


3)    Errors in spelling

This is a very obvious, but sometimes overlooked point. The amount of CVs we receive that are laden with spelling mistakes is alarming. Vet your CV THOROUGHLY before applying for any position. Why not get a close friend to vet your CV for a second opinion. If you cannot get spelling correct in a document where you are essentially selling yourself, no recruiter or business will take you seriously.


4)    Facts, not opinions

The proof is in the pudding. Facts sell you better than you using subjective words to describe yourself such as “I am an excellent communicator,” or “I am extremely organized.” Recruiters will make the decision on those things after they meet you, facts are all they are interested in.


5)    Silly fonts

You may think that your CV will be a cut above the rest with a font that looks cool, but recent research has found that they are far more difficult to digest and consequently a recruiter will absorb far less about you. Our recommendation is to go for a standard sans-serif font like Arial.


6)     Lies

The cardinal sin that should be removed from all CVs is dishonesty. A misguided attempt at trying to compensate for the lack of skills and qualifications can ultimately unravel at the interview stage. You will be surprised at how far being completely transparent can get you. A recent survey by CareerBuilder found that 42% of employers said that they would consider someone who met only three out of five key qualifications for a role. Recruiters are not dumb. They look out for discrepancies such as inflated qualifications, salaries, and job titles.


7)     References

Remove the line “references available upon request.” If your potential employer wants to progress your application further, they will ask for your referees. It is also an opportunity to let your references know that a potential employer may get in touch with them.


8)    Irrelevant Social Media Links

Links to your Twitter handle, SnapChat or personal blog have no place on your CV. However, relevant URLs such as your LinkedIn profile, or pages that you have worked on in your previous positions that are related to the position you have applied for are acceptable.


9)    School Grades

Unless your grades in a specific subject are high, and relevant to the position you are applying for, avoid including your grades in your CV. The recruiter may ask for photocopies grade certificates at a later date, once you have secured the position, but until then refrain for wasting valuable CV space.


10)  Objectives

It is quite apparent, when you apply for a position, that you want the job, so don’t include an “objectives” paragraph. However, the only exception to this rule is if you are choosing to move into a completely different industry altogether, in which case it would be a good idea to write a brief overview on why. If you have already mentioned this in your covering letter, then do not include it at all.


To summarise, the first step is ensuring that the above is not included in your CV. But your wording has to sell you enough to get a recruiter to interview you. With competition for roles forever increasing, even the smallest mistake is enough to scupper your chances at getting a job. If you would like advice on writing or editing your CV, Woodland can help!

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