What Not To Write On Your CV: 6 Tips From The Experts

Your CV should definitely be considered a make or break aspect of your job search, after all it’s usually the first thing potential employers come into contact with, therefore it needs to be pretty much perfect before it lands in their hands.

If you’re wondering what not to write on that important document here’s a quick guide based on what the experts think:

1. Leave out anything negative
The Caterer Jobs site, specialising in hospitality and food industry roles, recommends that you don’t feature any information that could be perceived as negative, even if you just want to be brutally honest. This includes: ‘failed exams, divorces, failed business ventures, reasons for leaving a job, points on your driving license.’ They confirm that you’re not lying, but this information doesn’t need to be out in the open if it isn’t going to affect your application.

2. Don’t include anything that could jeopardise your application
Senior Careers Consultant at the University of Warwick, Claire Leslie, recommends you leave any information that could sub consciously jeopardise your application off your CV, she said: “You should not include a date of birth or any other details which could lead to discrimination (such as ethnicity).”

3. Don’t copy and paste
It’s immediately obvious to an employer when you’ve simply copied and pasted elements from your CV into an application. Your CV should be tailored to the job role you are applying for and the company the position is based at, you need your employer to recognise that you took time over your CV and application, which will immediately put you in a positive light.

4. Avoid clichés
John Lees, career coach and author of nine careers books, said: “Too many profiles are badly written and full of empty adjectives and clichés. Phrases like ‘self motivated’ and ‘team player’ simply suggest you have nothing special or different to offer. Don’t try to impress by claiming things that employers take for granted in good recruits such as ‘hard worker’ or ‘punctual’. Focus on particular skills rather than making sweeping statements that suggest perfection, and don’t make bigger claims than your evidence allows.”

5. Don’t put reasons for leaving a previous or current job
Corinne Mills, a career coach and author, wrote in the Telegraph: “Don’t put a ‘reason for leaving’ on your employment history, and list dates by month so that prospective employers can’t see exactly when you left a job.”

This information is not required by a potential employer at this stage, they simply need to see your experience and skill base before they call you in to find out more, therefore it’s important you keep your leaving reasons as ambiguous as possible but still remain positive about previous work. “You can often read between the lines as to what an employee’s experience was like… the good jobs are described with positive energy while the bad jobs tend to sound very functional,” Mills confirmed. Therefore, write positively about each one, even if you had a bad experience.

6. Spelling and grammar errors
This one needs no expert to back it up, spelling and grammar might not win your brownie points but it can quickly deduct marks while that potential employer is browsing your CV! Hit spell check and be certain everything is in order for hitting send.

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