What NOT to put on your CV


You don’t need us to tell you about the importance of positive first impressions. Your CV is often the first impression you’ll make on a prospective employer, and with recent figures suggesting that each graduate vacancy receives no fewer than 85 applications, you need to ensure you – and your CV – stand out among the mountain of rival candidates.

Submit a CV littered with errors and irrelevancies, and it will quickly journey from the employer’s desk to the bottom of the waste paper basket. To help you avoid this eventuality, here is our heads-up of five key things to leave off your resume…

Irrelevant information

The phrase ‘quality, not quantity’ applies here. If your career history contains many different periods of employment, stick to the most recent ones, and indeed those boasting the most relevance to the post you are applying for. If you are seeking a position within the financial field, for example, then that job you held as a teenager as a fuel pump attendant, though showing conscientiousness, will be of little relevance – plus it will take up unnecessary space.

Immaterial achievements

Clearly, you want your CV to relay the best possible impression of you to a would-be employer, and submitting notes of past achievements is one way of accomplishing this, right? Well, yes it is – but only if the achievements themselves are relevant. That time when you were voted ‘Employee of the Month’ at your past job – sure, put it down. That award for eating a record number of chilies in five minutes, though? Yep, leave it out…

Political and religious affiliations

It is often said that the two topics you must never engage in during small talk are politics and religion. So whether you’re a hardy blue or a dedicated red (sound like boy band members, actually), or whoever you pray to, it’s best not to communicate this information to an employer. It could well influence their decision on whether to take you on or not and thus ignite discrimination.

Spelling and grammar errors in CVs

We discussed in a blog a while ago the graveness of ensuring your CV possesses adept spelling and grammar, and how misspelled words and ill-judged apostrophes can mean the difference between a foot in the door and a cab ride home. So get it checked and proofread (over and over) to ensure no errors.

CV Falsities

This should hardly need explaining – but you’d be surprised at just how many candidates are prepared to lie on their CV in order to gain that dream job. Research earlier this year uncovered the eye-opening revelation that 46% of resumes boast false information, while even more worryingly, 70% of college students admitted to being prepared to tell porkies to get the job they want.

It really isn’t worth the hassle, as you’ll likely get caught out if the employer performs a background check. Besides, over-exaggerating talents in a certain field will only leave you coming up short when tasked with duties in that area.

With an employer taking only a matter of seconds to review each CV, you cannot afford to get it wrong. Avoiding these faux pas should boost your chances of hitting the spot.