10 things that shouldn’t be on your CV
We spend so much time focusing on what needs to be on our CV that sometimes it’s easy to forget that there are also things that have no place there!
With many recruiters scanning CVs for keywords and specific skills you may find that you pass the first draft, but fail at the second hurdle when a closer inspection reveals things that don’t necessarily portray you in a good light.
Here are 10 things that you should not include in your CV:
It may seem obvious but you would be surprised at the number of times we hear recruiters complain about grammar mistakes and typos. They can often signify a lack of attention to detail, something which doesn’t go down well if you’re trying to portray a professional, capable image. In fact, sloppy grammar and typos is the biggest turn-off on a job seeker’s CV, according to 21.3% of employers who took part in the Bayt.com ‘Hiring Practices in the MENA’ poll, February 2012.
Always read and re-read everything you write, then get at least two other people to read it for you. There’s little point producing the perfect Mechanical Engineer’s CV if you leave your job title as Mechnical Enginer!
2. An unprofessional picture
Be very careful of the picture you choose to go with your CV: make sure that it’s professional, and that you’re attired appropriately.
3. Information copied verbatim from elsewhere
You should never copy any block of information on your CV verbatim from any other CV or a web search. Make sure that every word on that CV truly represents you, your career aspirations, your skills, and your experience. Remember employers are interested in what makes you unique so highlight your own individual traits and skills and experiences.
4. Poor vocabulary
Your CV needs to be clear, concise and easy to read. You want to make it as easy and pleasant as possible for everyone to get a good grasp of your skills, whether they are the technical manager, the HR expert, or possibly the office administrator. So be clear and include all industry terminology expected and needed but cut out any excesses! Remember in the digital age with most employers using online recruitment methods and online screening and filtering and sorting tools, its all about keywords, so make sure your CV is rich with the exact keywords employers in your target industry are actually looking for.
5. Unnecessary facts
Excessively long rants and personal opinions and details that don’t relate favorably to your career prospects have no place on a CV. However while some companies do not want to see a long list of hobbies and interests on your CV, sometimes these may strike a favorable chord with the employer especially if they are relevant to the role. For example, if you are applying to work at a sporting goods store, you could list your interest in particular outdoor activities or highlight your personal reading and writing pursuits if you are interested in a communications role. You need to strike the right balance so you reveal just enough information about your skills and interests and experience to portray you as the multi-dimensional, unique, prolific professional you are.
Clichés such as “team player, detail-oriented, and willing to learn” won’t always cut it in today’s highly competitive job market. Hiring managers have typically seen those “strengths” on many CV’s, so you have to think of a more original way of selling yourself. Shine a light on your own individual career and character and professional profile and skill-set and try to showcase it in the most original, factual and positive manner you can.
7. False information
Dishonesty and any fabrication or exaggeration of facts is never permissible on a CV. It goes without saying that your CV has to make you look worthy of the job. It is one of the most essential tools you have to sell yourself to the employer but bending the truth is never the way to go about it. Including false information, exaggerating facts or bragging about things you haven’t done will get you nowhere. According to the Bayt.com ‘Hiring Practices in the MENA’ poll, clear exaggerations are among the most common mistakes job seekers make on their CVs, and sooner or later, the employer will realize the truth.
8. Very low GPAs
College students and recent graduates often include their GPA in their CV. If you are worried about a very low GPA, simply leave it off your CV. You can still include your school, graduation date, and any awards received.
Some information is best left out of the CV, to be revealed in the interview when you can discuss such incidents more thoroughly. For example, if you got laid off your last job, your CV doesn’t need to say that. Another mistake that professionals make is mentioning their weaknesses on their CV. For instance, some would say they’re good in MS Word, but they need improvement in other MS applications. Always focus on your strengths. Don’t give the employer a chance to reject you right away without even an initial interview.
10. An ultra-thin experience section
The employer is very interested in what you have done and how/where/when you have done it so getting skimpy with the experience section is not advisable. Be artful but not excessive in fleshing out exactly where your career has taken you and don’t worry if some experiences seem rather less relevant than others; rather concentrate on communicating your transferable skills which you will have accumulated throughout your career. Remember employers are looking for hunger, drive, stamina and a solid work ethic not just technical skills, so convey the full picture of your career in the experience section with heavier emphasis on recent roles and successes and those that are most relevant to the positions you are targeting. Remember, you can have more than one CV on Bayt.com, and you can target them depending on the industry and job you’re applying to so you can hone in even more closely on requirements of your target jobs.