When it comes to your CV, what you leave out of can be just as important as what you put in it. A CV written ten years ago will look very different to what’s expected by employers in today’s job market.
Even if you’re not in the market for a new role, it’s a good idea to keep your CV updated and in line with the latest trends.
You should also keep in mind that what might be acceptable in one job market or country might not be acceptable or even legal in another. While the advice below refers to CVs/resumes in the UK, it is very similar to the expectations of employers in Australia, Canada, the USA and many other countries around the world.
So, here’s ten things you should leave OUT of your CV:
1. Age or date of birth
There is no need to include your age or date of birth in your CV since age discrimination legislation dictates that employers cannot discriminate based on a person’s age.
2. Meaningless career objective
One of the things that annoy employers and recruiters the most is meaningless career objective statements. You know the ones: ‘A hard-working individual looking to join a progressive organisation where I can further develop my skills’.
3. Unprofessional email address
4. Lies or misleading information
Avoid embellishing your CV with untruths or little white lies. Not only is it fraudulent, but your dishonesty will inevitably be found out at some stage of the recruitment process or worse, on the job.
5. Colourful and fancy fonts
A CV is not the place to show off your desktop publishing skills unless you are applying for a graphic designer or similar role. Even then, it can be better to stick with a standard, professional layout and direct the reader to an on-line portfolio where they can see your work.
6. Typos and poor grammar
There is no place for typographic or grammatical errors in a CV. It’s very easy to skip over errors when you’ve spent hours developing and refining your CV. Make sure you read, re-read and then have at least another fresh set of eyes proof-read your CV before you send it off.
7. Irrelevant, outdated information
As a general rule, the content of your CV should only include the most relevant and up-to-date skills and experience. If your work history is lengthy, try trimming it down to the past 10-15 years. You can always make a statement about your earlier experience at the end of your Employment History section.
8. Names and ages of your children
Details of your family members should be left out of your CV especially the names and ages of your children. Keep the content of your CV focussed on your professional life.
In some countries photographs are acceptable and even expected. In the UK and most other English speaking countries, photographs are not required unless you are applying for a role where appearance is a determining factor e.g. modelling, acting
10. Religious or political affiliations
It is unnecessary to include your religious or political affiliations in your CV unless divulging this information would be a distinct advantage i.e. if you are a practising Catholic applying for a role as a Teacher at a Catholic school.