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10 things to leave off your CV
12:16pm Wednesday 8th June 2011
Everybody knows that in most situations, less is more.
Job seekers do themselves a disservice when they send out CVs with too much information. Employers don't have the time or the patience to sift through irrelevant, extensive and false information. Just stick to the basics and you're good to go.
Here are 10 things to leave off your CV and why:
1. Your picture
Unless a job posting specifically asks for your picture (and very few jobs will), don't include it just for fun because your looks are irrelevant to your potential as an employee.
2. Interest and hobbies
Unless your interests and hobbies have something to do with the job you're applying for, there's no reason to include them. In general, make any applicable connections between your hobbies and the job in your cover letter. Better yet, save them for the interview when you're asked what you like to do outside of work.
3. Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors
Most employers assume that if you're OK with sending out a CV littered with typos and mistakes, you'll have the same lack of concern for the work you do as an employee at their company. While spell check picks up most errors, it can miss something major -- did you work the late night shift? Or did you forget to include the "f" between "i" and "t"? -- so have several eyes look over your CV before sending it out to employers.
4. Personal attributes
Similar to sending a picture with your CV, your height, weight, age, race or religion are all unimportant to an employer. Though it's illegal for employers to discriminate against applicants because of any of these factors, some will do so, regardless. Keep everything on your CV pertinent to the job, and you'll be fine.
5. Minute details
Hiring managers don't need to know the details of every task you've ever done in every job you've ever had. It's just too much information, and usually half of that information isn't relevant. Employers want to be able to see at first glance that you're a great candidate, so pick out those details that are most relevant to the job for which you're applying and omit the rest.
6. False information
Plain and simple, no one wants to hire a liar. Don't say that you have a master's degree if you've only earned your bachelor's; don't say you're presently employed at a company if you've recently been fired; don't list your salary history as 20 percent higher than it was. Everything you tell an employer can be verified, so play it safe and be honest.
7. Crazy colours and fonts
No one wants to look at a CV on fluorescent paper, covered in crazy fonts and symbols. Use a font that is clear to read in black colour. Anything else will make your CV hard to read and chances will be high that it won't be read at all.
8. Information that is too personal
Links to personal web sites, your photo-sharing site, or strange e-mail addresses can also be left off. Employers are less likely to respond to firstname.lastname@example.org than just DMiller@email.com.
Never put anything negative on your CV. Don't include your reasons for leaving. If you left the position due to a layoff or you were fired, for example, bring it up only if asked. Never write anything bad about a previous employer. Don't explain gaps on your CV by stating that you were in prison for 10 years. Keep your CV all positive, all the time.
10. An objective that is too simple
Employers are trying to determine whether you're a good fit for their organizations, so everything on your CV should point to your experience. Employers would rather see a summary of qualifications that displays your accomplishments and background than a generic objective statement like "To get a full time position at a financial institution".