CareerCastPersonal Style

20 Things Never To Include In Your CV: By Angel Ojukwu

Hiring managers receive an average of 75 CVs per position they post according to survey. So they don’t have the time or resources to review each one closely and spend approximately six seconds on their initial “fit/no fit” decision. If you want to pass that test, you need to have some solid qualifications — and the perfect CV to highlight them.

Job seekers tend to focus on what to include on their resume, but it is equally important to know what NOT to include on your resume…

What information to include is in your hands, but remember that even small mistakes can backfire and reflect badly on you and in turn hurt your chances of getting shortlisted.

Here are 20 things you should never include:

1. An objective

If you applied, it’s already obvious you want the job. The exception: If you’re in a unique situation, such as changing industries completely, it may be useful to include a brief summary.

2. Irrelevant work experience

Yes, you might have been the “master of making lattes” at the cafe you worked for in during your school years. But unless you are planning on redeeming that title, it is time to get rid of all that clutter. “Past work experience that might not appear to be directly relevant to the job at hand might show another dimension, depth, ability, or skill that actually is relevant or applicable.

“Only include this experience if it really showcases additional skills that can translate to the position you’re applying for.”


3. Personal stuff

Don’t include your marital status, religious preference, or Social Security number (if you’re applying for a job in America).

This might have been the standard in the past, but this information is now illegal or highly discouraged for your employer to ask from you, so there’s no need to include it.

4. Your hobbies

Nobody cares.

If it’s not relevant to the job you’re applying for, it’s a waste of space and a waste of the company’s time.

5. Blatant Lies

A CareerBuilder survey asked 2,000 hiring managers for memorable CV mistakes, and blatant lies were a popular choice. One candidate claimed to be the former CEO of the company to which he was applying, another claimed to be a Nobel Prize winner, and one more claimed he attended a college that didn’t exist.

6. Your age

If you don’t want to be discriminated against for a position because of your age, it’s time to remove your graduation date. Another surprising way your CV could give away your age: double spaces after a period.

7. Time off

If you took time off to travel or raise a family, Gelbard doesn’t recommend including that information on your CV. “In some countries, it is acceptable to include this information, especially travel.”

8. References

If your employers want to speak to your references, they’ll ask you. Also, it’s better if you have a chance to tell your references ahead of time that a future employer might be calling.

If you write “references upon request” at the bottom of your CV, you’re merely wasting a valuable line, career coach Eli Amdur says.

9. Inconsistent formatting

The format of your CV is just as important as its content. Use the format that will make it easiest for the hiring manager to scan your CV and still be able to pick out your key qualifications and career goals.

Once you pick a format, stick with it. If you write the day, month, and year for one date, then use that same format throughout the rest of the CV.

10. Present tense for a past job

Never describe past work experience using the present tense. Only your current job should be written in the present tense.

11. A less-than-professional email address

If you still use an old email address, like or, it’s time to pick a new one.

It only takes a minute or two, and it’s free.

12. Your current business-contact info

“This is not only dangerous; it’s stupid. Do you really want employers calling you at work? How are you going to handle that? Oh, and by the way, your current employer can monitor your emails and phone calls. So if you’re not in the mood to get fired, or potentially charged with theft of services (really), then leave the business info off.”

13. Your boss’ name

Don’t include your boss’ name on your CV unless you’re OK with your potential employer contacting him or her.

14. Social-media URLs that are not related to the targeted position

Links to your opinionated blogs, Pinterest page, or Instagram account have no business taking up prime CV real estate. “Candidates who tend to think their personal social media sites are valuable are putting themselves at risk of landing in the ‘no’ pile.

“But you should list relevant URLs, such as your LinkedIn page or any others that are professional and directly related to the position you are trying to acquire,” she says.

Social media

15. Salary information

“Some people include past hourly rates for jobs they held in the university,”. This information is completely unnecessary and may send the wrong message.

Your CV is intended to showcase your professional experience and skills. Salary comes later in the interview process.


16. Reasons you left a company or position

Candidates often think, “If I explain why I left the position on my CV, maybe my chances will improve.”

“Listing why you left is irrelevant on your CV. It’s not the time or place to bring up transitions from one company to the next.”

Use your interview to address this.

17. Your grades

Once you’re out of school, your grades aren’t so relevant

If they were particularly high, it’s OK to leave it. But, if you’re more than three years out of school, or if your grades weren’t outstanding, ditch it.

18. A photo of yourself

This may become the norm at some point in the future, but it’s just weird — and tacky and distracting — for now.

19. Short-term employment

Avoid including a job on your CV if you only held the position for a short period of time. You should especially avoid including jobs you were let go from or didn’t like.

  1. Avoid giving personal information on your CV

Job seekers tend to include information about their marital status, kids, employment details of spouse/father, religion.

This kind of information creates impressions about you that you have no control over. Suppose a company is not keen to hire a person who is married, why take the chance of getting rejected without a fair chance? Personal data is not compulsory to show. People are keen to know what you can contribute to their organization. So stick to showing your expertise rather than your personal life.

And never mention your religion on your CV. This is often a ground for prejudice and getting rejected.

Thanks for stopping by…

Angel Ojukwu



The author OMAMODA

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