Often, job seekers are more concerned about what to include on their CV, while they should also know what not to include. For instance, a recent survey reveals that recruiters strongly recommend replacing generic words and phrases like ‘go getter’, ‘hard working’, ‘result driven’ and ‘detail oriented’ with more targeted action verbs like ‘increased’, ‘achieved’, ‘managed’ and ‘improved’ on a CV.
Remember, you only have a few seconds to impress your employer with your resume. If you want to make a killer first impression, here are seven things you should never include on your CV.
1. An objective
It is not a smart idea to begin your CV with an objective statement that says, “Seeking a job in senior manager position with a company where I can….” Employers are less interested about what you want and more about how they can benefit from hiring you. It’s obvious that you want this job, because you applied for it. You don’t have to repeat it. Simply remove the objective statement. If, however, you’ve a unique situation, for instance, when you’re moving into a new career, you may want to include a short summary.
2. Irrelevant work experience
Just because you worked as a pizza delivery boy after your graduation doesn’t mean you have to mention it on your CV. Only include jobs that are relevant to the position you’re applying for. Recruiters look for relevant work experience and stability. While it’s okay to omit some jobs from your resume, some employers do not like to see a gap in your work history. You can handle this by creating a skill-based CV, where the focus would be on your skills rather than on the timeline of your professional career.
3. Personal details
Recruiters simply need your name, address, email and phone number, so that they can contact you. Do not include any additional personal details, such as, your age, marital status, religion and political affliction. Some experts suggest you should not even mention your year of graduation or any work history more than 15 years old. That way, you may unknowingly allow your employer to predict your age. Also, do not include a photo unless specifically asked for. At this stage, employers simply check whether you’ve the necessary skills, qualification and experience for the job. If required, they can collect more details from you later.
4. Achievements without any concrete results
Do not simply list your achievements; show the results to back your claim. For instance, rather than saying “worked on many email marketing campaigns”, you can say “helped improve open rates of my company’s marketing emails by 20 percent.”
If your recruiters need references, they’ll tell you. There is no need to provide references, unless they ask for it. Also, you do not write “References available on request” on your CV. This is too obvious to state.
6. Colourful fonts and creative formatting
While it is important to format your CV and highlight the most important parts, you should not make it look clumsy by using distracting colours or clip arts. Keep the formatting simple and consistent. Consider using professional fonts like Georgia or Arial. Also, use aligned headings and a structured layout and provide enough white space to help employers scan your CV more easily.
Typos and formatting errors are the two most common CV mistakes, says Google’s former head of People Operations, Laszlo Bock in one of his recent articles. According to another survey, nearly 60 percent of CVs have typos and grammatical errors. While most jobseekers identify typing errors as a common CV mistake, only a few take the necessary steps to rectify them. Ideally, you should have someone else read your CV. A new pair of eyes can spot any typos more easily. Alternatively, consider reading it yourself after a break.
Some other common mistakes include revealing confidential information like your salary or bank details, making the resume unnecessarily lengthy and listing your hobbies on the CV.