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10 More Things to Leave Out of Your CV

Here's another list of 10 things to leave out of your CV compiled by our professional CV writers. Including these things can cost you job interviews.

1. Lists of publications

Without wishing to belittle the significance of publications they do tend to be specialised and sadly not very entertaining to read given the amount of space that their descriptions frequently take up - often a full page of text at least.

If the CV is of a medical, research, academic or scientific application this might be acceptable if asked for. However remember the purpose of a CV is to raise interest and win an interview invitation. Ask yourself if a long list is going to achieve this.

Like many things that you may feel compelled to include in your CV, they are less entertaining to read about by someone that does not know you - they are interesting to you because you are proud of them and you were there when they happened!

2. Very personal information

In the UK there is legislation regarding recruitment and employment that prohibits discrimination against certain personal information.

Age is an old favourite - too old or too young can introduce prejudice on the part of a reader and a Date of Birth is no longer considered relevant for a job application. Decisions to employ should be based on ability to the job and not age.

Clearly there are other issues like marital status, number of children, state of health, etc - none of these are your new employer's business and certainly will not influence a reader of your CV to invite you for interview.

They could however prevent an interview invitation - so do not include them.

As always please remember this information could get into the hands of identity thieves if your CV is floating around cyberspace!

3. Jargon and abbreviations

Our CV writing service frequently receives CVs from clients that contain jargon and abbreviations that won't be understood by a potential employer. Avoid using any information that won't be understood by someone outside your job or organisation. The exceptions to this are abbreviations recognised industry-wide.

If you apply for a job via an advert being dealt with by a recruiter it is likely that the first reader of your CV (the gatekeeper) will not understand the job you have applied for or be looking to do you any favours. Baffling them with jargon will not help your case!

KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid is the mantra to remember.

Anyone that reads your CV should be able to understand the significance of what is written and be impressed by it - IT CVs are particularly prone to baffling the reader with jargon. Try to include whatever jargon was requested in the advert but keep the rest to a bare minimum.

4. Poor photocopies

This only applies if you are presenting your CV as a paper copy in person.

In some countries this is customary - in the Gulf States it is not unusual to use a CV like a business card. Clearly presentation in this respect is critical.

Always use good original laser prints. Poor quality copies suggest you're sending the CV out to lots of companies because you're desperate.

Also ensure that you use high quality paper stock.

5. Mistakes and typos

Always check your CV for incorrect spellings and factual errors, as any errors make you look careless and disorganised, which will put off employers.

You don’t even have to go to the trouble of finding a dictionary, as you can use the built-in spelling and grammar checker. Of course, make sure it is set to the correct language / country, most are US by default, which is incorrect if you are in the UK for example.

Proper nouns such as employers' names will not be picked up by electronic spelling checkers, so read you CV 3 times and then get 2 other people to read it again.

While you are at it make sure the document is properly formatted and contains the correct fonts and sizes. Better to be safe than sorry!

6. Excessive wordiness

A CV is not a transcript of a face-to-face conversation.

It must relay information that is compelling, headline style that will be both quick to read and understand, and also impress the reader.

Waffling is not an option!

CVs are scanned very quickly from left to right with the eye - each word is not laboured on. As the author you might think you are missing something that will cost you an interview, so you fill 6 pages with drivel - stop to think how this will impact on a very busy complete stranger.

You only have 30 seconds to impress - presenting the reader with waffle will not help your cause.

7. Negatives

Don't be apologetic over what you believe may be missing from your CV. Focus on your positive attributes.

8. Irrelevancies

Don't include your gap year travel history (if this was a long time ago), previous managers' names, the middle name that you never use, etc.

Only present information that will win you an interview.

Irrelevant information may cost you interviews and it will add to the length of your CV - more to read equals less chance of securing an interview!

9. Exaggerations

Stick to the truth. You never know when misleading statements might backfire and catch you out. Ensure that you can fully support any claims that you make on your CV at a job interview.

10. Length of CV

Try to aim for a 2-Page CV, some careers may merit 3 pages, but they will be rare. More pages means you will be compelled to fill them - with waffle! The Mission Statement of your CV is to ‘raise interest and win an interview’.

Do you really think 6 pages will do this?

A busy recruiter will have literally thousands of CVs to read each week - all they are interested in is whether they can earn a fee out of your CV - if not, it will be conveniently parked on their database and forgotten forever!

They will approach it with a mindset that says ‘I am looking for a reason to reject this’. Why give then that reason.

There is nothing guaranteed to demotivate any reader than too much boring text to read. They won’t really want to bother with anything on page 3 onwards, never mind pages 4, 5 and 6.

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