13 things that should never be on your CV

CV? More like A* V

Cv piotr cegielski eng
  1. 1 The letters "CV"

    Kicking this off with a bit of controversy, here, with the claim that the letters 'CV' should never, ever, ever be on the top of your CV (unless your initials are 'CV', we guess. Whatever).

    Why? Because it's bloody effing obvious that it's a CV, that's why (and if it's not - you're really doing it wrong).

    Instead, just have your name in a nice big font at the top and your contact details just below that. Sorted.

  2. 2 An overly-long bio

    It's nice to include a little descriptive line about yourself on the top of your CV (called a 'profile'), as it is a great way for employers to immediately get to know you, your past, and what you're about.

    But this line should be super short. For example, under your name it could say, '2:1 Business graduate with 2 years experience in digital marketing, and events co-ordinating'. You shouldn't include generic statements or hobbies, but instead create a concrete, concise statement of your achievements and goals.

  3. 3 "References available upon request"

    This is a needless space waster, and another line that falls under the 'duh' category. Hiring managers already know you have references - you don't need to say this overused and pointless phrase.

    Either include your references straight out, or leave 'em off entirely.

  4. 4 Irrelevant experience

    Sorry kids, but you've got to tailor your CV to every. single. job. you. apply. for. If you're applying to be a writer, no one wants to know you used to work down the Chippie.

    Always cut off old and irrelevant work experience, unless of course, you're applying for your first job in that field. Then it's naturally important to show you've worked before - but you'll still want to start your CV with information that might be more relevant, such as your education, or why you want to pursue a new career.

  5. 5 Your hobbies

    No one cares if you play football. No one cares if you ride a horse. No one cares if you did Grade 4 Piano. No one cares if you can do all three at once (okay, wait, maybe then we'd care).

    Don't overburden your CV with your hobbies (unless they're relevant to the job), instead keep it as a crisp profile of your skills. If you have any truly impressive pastimes - for example if you raise money for charity through running marathons - they can go under the 'Achievements' section of your CV.

  6. 6 A photo of your face

    Please don't do this. (Unless you're in a profession that might require it, like acting.)

    It's unprofessional, a bit strange, and can lead to accusations of discrimination. Most importantly, statistics show the rejection rate for CVs with photos on is a whopping 88%. Leave it off. You ain't that hot.

  7. 7 Spelling mistakes

    Duh. Sort it out, chumps.

    Always, ALWAYS, get another real live human to proof your CV. The Red Wiggly Line cannot be trusted. He lies to you.

  8. 8 A third page

    Unless you are Bill Gates or the Dalai Lama or whatever (hi guys), we don't want to see a third page on your CV. CVs should be 1-2 pages, and, to be honest, if you're a recent graduate you should stick to just the one.

    Can we just repeat this? YOU. ARE. NOT. SPECIAL. It's highly unlikely you have two pages worth of incredible experience. Plus fitting it all on one page helps an employer to see your value straight away, by hitting them with a concentrated dose of your awesomeness.

    If you really have done enough to warrant two pages, fine - but organise it properly. No one's going to flip to page two if page one was just full of your hobbies and education. Start with your strengths and experiences.

  9. 9 A list of every single GCSE grade

    Bitch, you did like nine of those things.

    If you have a degree and A-levels, you can most likely miss your GCSEs off entirely, unless you're applying for roles that require them such as legal, tax or consultancy positions.

    If you want - or have - to include them, don't list every single subject and grade, but group them together neatly.

    For example: "3 As, including English and Maths, 5 Bs, including Science, 4 Cs."

    English, maths, and science are the key GCSEs employers will be looking for, though always point out any grades that are relevant for the role.

  10. 10 Generic descriptions of your past job role(s)

    Everyone knows waitresses take orders, polish cutlery, and handle money. Instead, provide specific, concrete examples of skills learnt or areas where you thrived.

    For example, 'trained members of staff', 'appeased difficult customers', 'managed time effectively in a fast-paced environment'. If you managed to 'upsell' food or drink or always get hefty tips - mention it.

    Similarly, if you had work experience in an office, don't just list 'sent emails' as a responsibility. Highlight what you achieved, not what you did, e.g. 'organised a weekly mail-merge to 300 recipients', 'made Barry's tea so well that he didn't send it back'.

  11. 11 Generic descriptions of yourself

    What do the words "analytical", "outgoing", and "ambitious", have in common? They all mean shit all, that's what. Describing yourself in this way is absolutely useless unless you can provide examples, plus it's incredibly overdone.

    For tips on how to describe yourself properly, read this Forbes article about the best words to use on your CV.

  12. 12 Negative words

    It's really tempting to write sentences like "despite my lack of experience" in your CV or covering letter: it seems like a good way to admit your faults whilst balancing them with the skills you do have.

    However, in reality it's a fast and easy way for employers to find out which CVs to bin.

    Other negative words and phrases that will send you straight to the NO pile include: "uncompleted", "failed", "fired", and "butthole".

  13. 13 Your Duke of Edinburgh

    Bitch, get out.

    Disclaimer: Please be aware that this is general CV advice, and you should always read up on how to tailor a CV for your specific field. Also, you can put your Duke of Edinburgh on really. We're just bitter.