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What to leave OFF your CV!


At a time when the market is full of job hunting candidates, we thought now would be a great time to give you some CV pointers to really make you stand out from the crowd and give you the best chance of getting your CV noticed! We have given you some guidance on what to make sure is on your CV, but have you ever thought about what SHOULDN’T be on there?

What to leave OFF your CV:

  • Personal information – your height, weight, date of birth, religion, or place of birth hold no relevance to your job search and employers shouldn't make decisions based on these factors, and they may be tempted to do so with this information
  • LONG paragraphs – let’s face it, people are busy and want you to get to the point, include clear and concise information and bullet points! If you waffle, the employer may lose interest!
  • Job roles from 20+ years ago – keep it recent and keep it relevant! Temp jobs you did in the 2000s are unlikely to be relevant to jobs you are applying for now.
  • Mis-spelt words –  spell check is your friend – use it! As Recruitment Consultants, there really is nothing worse than reviewing a CV for a candidate who has been unable to find the ‘spell-check’ button, yet have on their CV - ‘Good attention to detale’ (note the spelling error)!
  • Dates of Employment – Be sure to include the months, as well as years! E.G. if you put Jan 18 - Dec 20 this is clearly 3 years, however if you just put 2018-2020 it could be interpreted as Dec. 18 to Jan 20 which is then only 1 year!
  • Third person profiles - A personal statement/profile written in third person e.g. John is, John does, John was etc. This CV is YOU selling YOU! Use ‘I, Me and My’!
  • Email addresses from the 90’s - If your email address is ‘lilmizzsassy@gmail’ you may want to think about creating a new email account for job searching and application processes, for obvious reasons!
  • Photos – Again, employers don't want to be drawn into allegations of discrimination, don’t give a potential employer the opportunity to discount/progress you based on your appearance alone.
  • References & contact information of former supervisors. It is always handy to have a separate list of your references when requested but it is better to include ‘references available on request’ at the end of your CV. Give those individuals a heads up when they might be contacted by an employer, so they are prepared.
  • Poor and unexceptional academic results – Focus on the positives. If you have 5 GCSEs all with a grade F, this could be off putting to an employer, however if you have 5 years relevant experience in the role you are applying for – this should be the main focus!

With this in mind, we have also highlighted a few things that you should always remember to have on your CV!

What should be on your CV?

  • Contact details – This sounds like an obvious one, but it happens!
  • Explanations for gaps in employment e.g. out of work due to Covid-19, maternity leave, or travelling etc.
  • Appropriate fonts and correct formatting – make sure you chose a readable font and your CV flows, check you use the same size text throughout and keep it consistent.
  • Employment listed in date order starting with MOST RECENT employment first – you may be discounted if the more relevant information for the job you are applying for is at the BOTTOM of your CV!
  • A strong personal profile/statement and ways you have added value in past roles. Think about if you have saved a business money or even made them money, or if you have introduced streamlined ways of working, implemented policies etc.

These are just a few things to consider when you are compiling your CV ready to enter into the world of job searching. We would recommend giving yourself a great reach by putting your CV onto the job boards that are free, such as CV Library, Total Jobs and Indeed, however it is always a good idea to register yourself with a trusted and reputable recruiter, who will listen to your requirements and support you through the recruitment process.

Visit our website Compass Point for current vacancies and to identify the right specialist consultant who is best to support you in your job search! 

You can find further information on putting together a CV in this blog: 

If you need any additional support with your CV or would like to discuss your job search, speak to one of our team by calling 01284 765700.

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