13 Things not to put on your CV

I know us Brits like to talk about the weather a lot, but I’ve found we are not the only ones that don’t like the rain and complain it’s too hot! Up in the mountains now in the North of Thailand it’s a cauldron during the day but at night it gets a lot cooler than anyway where else I’ve been in Thailand so far.

As you know at the beginning of the year I set up www.virtualdemon.com. This is a virtual assistant and administrative online business focusing on the recruitment sector in the UK. I am making this bigger and better.

I have been doing some work looking at CVs again lately and thought back to some absolute shockers that I’ve seen in the past. These are things you really should not put anywhere near your CV in my opinion and some of them are quite humorous where others are just a complete disaster This is meant to be for candidates at the beginning of their careers but these points should still be applied for people with more experience as well.

                                    Don’t ever put this on your CV

Most of these are from my own experience. Some of these are from ex-colleagues that I have spoken too or things that I’ve heard of from other offices.

  1.  Lies, lies and just plain lies about where you’ve worked and what you’ve done


I am always amazed at the new and wonderful ways people can find to lie on their CV. Be that about where they have worked, what they were doing when they worked there and large gaps in the CV. But it could also be about things such as clearances/certificates they say they hold. I remember once being passed a CV of someone who said they had worked at a company I had worked for in the past at the same time that I was there. They had never worked there and we received a quick apology from the agent that had put the candidate forward. Do not lie on your CV you will be found out by a recruiter or in an interview.

  2.  Lots of pictures of yourself/friends


1 picture is bad enough, but I’ve seen a cv once which was just a collage of pictures in various poses. You don’t need to add any pictures to your CV unless specifically asked to do so in the application instructions.

  3.  Wingdings and other formatting nightmares


Just why do people think that an obscure font will help. It does not help at all. Hiring managers and recruiters want to be able to see the information clearly and quickly so there is no need for special fonts, special characters and other special formatting.

  4.  Tirade of abuse


It’s never good to attack previous employers, but I have seen a CV before which used a lot of flowery and at times offensive language to attack the recruitment industry and hiring/application process. Not advisable if you want to get the job and why waste your time doing it in the first place. 

  5.  Add-ons


Make sure it doesn’t include irrelevant application forms, previous CVs and anything else from an old job application. It should just be your CV unless the application process requires something specific that they have asked for.  

  6.  Big gaps


It’s interesting this one as if you look at this topic on the internet there are a variety of viewpoints. I believe that your time on your CV should be accounted for even if that was in a job you didn’t like or you were travelling. If there is a big gap there you are going to be asked about it anyway if your CV interests the hiring manager or recruiter but why not already have that covered off.

  7.  Irrelevant information


You don’t need to include personal information like marital status and what you like dong in the evenings and at the weekend. You don’t actually need to include your age and for certain people it might be an advantage to remove your date of birth. But it depends on what kind of role you’re going for.

  8.  References


I’ve always been an advocate of putting the line “References available upon request” at the bottom of the CV. But you can go without that now as very few people expect references up front. You just need to have a few references ready for when the hiring manager or recruiter asks for them.

  9.  Professional names for contact details


Look at your contact details and your link names to social media and if they aren’t professional then change them to something that is.

  10.  The wrong social media


Check that the relevant social media links are on your CV. Normally this won’t include Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter but more likely LinkedIn or similar. But it does depend on the role you are applying for.

  11.  Previous Salary information


There is no need to include previous salary information or what salary you are looking for. This should be discussed with the recruiter or hiring manager.

  12.  Reasons for leaving your job(s)


The recruiters and hiring managers will ask you this if they want to know. Typically, this is asked if you have been in a role for a short period of time.

  13.  Images, charts, tables


Depending on the layout of your CV and how busy it is headers and footers I think are acceptable. But images, charts and tables can make CVs difficult to read and difficult to find the relevant information as in the modern age your CV typically goes through some kind of CRM before being flagged by a recruiter or hiring manager to look at.

I hope this has been informative, interesting and you liked reading it.

That’s all folks this week but I’ll be back again next week. Please subscribe to my Virtual Demon blog and I look forward to your comments and feedback.