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22 Jul 15

What NOT To Do On Your CV

Before you apply for your next job, take a look at your CV to make sure that you haven’t made any of these common mistakes:


what not to do on your cv: lie

It is tempting to pad the truth on any job application to increase your chances of a call back: but don’t do it! You will get caught out, either at interview (which is embarrassing and a waste of time) or more likely, the recruiter will spot the lie straight away and move on to the next candidate. This includes exaggerations and lies of omission. Keep it truthful for the best chance of success.

Be Negative

what not to do on your cv: be negative

Negativity is a real turn off for any recruiter or hiring manager. Taking on new staff should be an aspirational occasion and dwelling on the negative aspects of your career (e.g. saying you left a position because you ‘fell out with your manager’) will only ever reflect badly on you. You want to sell your skills to the person reading your CV: highlighting negative experiences means you will be associated with negativity.

Use jargon

what not to do on your cv: use jargon and buzzwords

Avoid saying things like ‘thinking outside the box’, ‘hard worker’ and referring to your skills as ‘dynamic’. Using these phrases will make your CV blend into the sea of other dynamic and hard working applicants who are unimaginative and ordinary. Why not use words that reflect your best qualities, like ‘conscientious’, ‘polite’, ‘cooperative’ or ‘persuasive’?

Information overload

what not to do on your cv: information overload

Always remember that your CV should be no longer than 2 pages, no matter how senior you are. Streamline the information you want to get across, make it easily digestible and relevant to the job you are applying for you. Recruiters do not need two paragraphs on each of your job placements, the basics (duties and achievements) will suffice. This is even more important to keep in mind when writing your personal statement. Please don’t include details about; your pets, your childhood or your favourite holiday destination. At best it won’t be read and if it is, it will undermine you in a professional context.

Include unprofessional content

what not to do on your cv: selfie

It takes less than 5 minutes to create a new email address and it is infinitely worthwhile; especially if you are still using that address you thought was hilarious when you were 15 years old. Applications that come through with novelty emails will get a giggle but are quickly passed over. If you want to be thought of as a serious candidate, get a serious email address.

The same goes for photos included in CVs. It is not expected of you to include a picture on your CV and choosing to forgo one will not go against you. If you do wish to include a picture, please, make sure it is suitable for a professional environment. No holiday snaps that you have artfully cropped a cocktail out of, no inappropriate clothing and definitely no pouting!

Click here for more career advice from the experts at Flow Caritas