10 things not to put in your CV when applying for a job

Published on: 6/18/2020

Your CV is your ticket in for an interview. Pay really close attention to what information you put into it and how long you make it, keeping in mind that recruiters/interviewers are also busy with their day-to-day and might have hundreds of CVs to go through.

1. Irrelevant personal information

Any information relating to your age, height, gender, marital status, appearance, religious and political views, likes and dislikes is unnecesary. Only address these subjects if they have an impact on the role you're applying for.

2. Irrelevant work experience

Focus on what's relevant and keep your CV to the point. If a past job or skill doesn't relate in any way to the position you're applying for, leave it out. Who cares that you can cook when you're applying to be a truck driver?

3. Gramatical errors

Proof-read your CV before you sent it. Sending it with grammatical errors will only show you've rushed it and didn't pay enough attention to detail resultin in a poor quality job. If that's any indication of the way you will do your job, it's not good.

4. Hobbies and oddities

This goes somewhat in line with points one and two. If your friends think one of the skills you like to show off is odd, then others might at well. So skip it unless you're really sure it applies to the role.

5. Unexplained gaps in employment

Try and explain any large unemployment gap with a small note. Two years of unemployment might raise some eyebrows but not if you were on maternity leave, that's absolutely normal. Make sure not to leave any such questions unanswered, it might make the difference between being invited to an interview or having your CV discarded.

6. Lies and misleading information

Don't lie. Just don't. Lots of the information can be corroborated with social media and LinkedIn or even with the HR from your previous employment. Even worse if you end up being invited to an interview just to waste both your time and that of the people interviewing you. Even if you succeed, it's not a good start for your relationship with the company.

7. Distracting colors and clipart

No Comic Sans either. Unless you're applying for a creative role, then use all the glitter that makes sense. Also, stop using Europass. Chose a format that looks clean and modern and keep it two pages max.

8. Meaningless introductions

Your CV might be one in a pile of a few hundred. The bigger the pile, the less time the person sorting through them will give your CV to impress. Make sure you surface the stuff that makes you fit for that role and leave any meaningless introductions out.

9. References

Have them ready, but don't include them. Mention that they are available on request.

10. Negative language

Be careful about what kind of language you use. Be politically corect. Companies looking for people that fit in their culture will pay attention to that.