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Top 10 things not to include on a CV

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Knowing what not to include on your CV can sometimes be more important than knowing what you should include. Confused? Check out Top 10 list below for the reasons on what you should definitely not include on your CV:

1. Lies: This is a no-brainer really, but some candidates still don’t seem to get it. Human Resources (HR) Staff are professionally trained to spot lies, deceptions and “untruths.” They are further helped with a number of tools and resources available to them such as pre-employment and background checks, requesting the original diplomas/certificates and by scrutinising suspicious claims during the interview stage. Is it worth the risk being rejected for your dream-job because of that one silly lie you included on your CV?

2. Political, religious or sporting affiliations: These are common things that some people feel very strongly about and it is therefore not a good idea to include on your CV (Unless, of course, you can guarantee that the employer reviewing your CV is a “Conservative” “Evangelical Christian” supporting “Manchester United”).

3. Photograph (or shall we say, mug shot?): People can be very prejudiced and judgmental at times. Having a personal photo on your CV can result in it being rejected faster than you can say “cheese!” Furthermore, it also puts the prospective employer in an awkward position because it is illegal for companies to discriminate based upon appearance… anyone fancy a lawsuit?

4. Irrelevant information: Cluttering your CV with irrelevant details about your primary school, unrelated Saturday jobs and unrelated hobbies can make your CV very difficult to follow. Employers tend to spend less than a minute looking at each CV. So, please: avoid writing every minute detail of your life story to date. Keep it short, clean and relevant.

5. Unprofessional email addresses: [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected] obviously do not qualify to be deemed ‘Professional.’ Seriously, how hard can it be to follow the formula: [first name] + [surname] @ [gmail/yahoo/hotmail].[com/co.ke/net]?

6. Jargon: What do TCO, ALT and ITIL all have in common, besides that they all contain the letter ‘T’? Answer: they’re all technical jargon which should be omitted from your CV (unless accompanied by some sort of description)!

7. Jokes: I know, I know; it’s very tempting to try to mirror your lovely personality across to the employer by making an innocent little joke on your CV. However, HR Managers are serious people and a CV is used as a formal document to shortlist candidates in the recruitment processes – definitely not the right place to try to be funny! You’ll have all the chance in the world to effectively reflect your personality at the interview stage.

8. A selfish career objective: Some candidates make the mistake of coming across as self-centred by listing self-serving goals in the Career Objective without making any mention of the positive contribution they can make to the organisation! It’s like saying: “Hi, I’m looking for a temporary job to gain some experience and earn some money. Then, I’ll leave and find a job that pays more and where I can have more fun. Thank you for your consideration!” Rather, focus on how you can contribute positively to the team and organisation. Essentially, what does the company pay you for? What do they get in return? What do you bring to the table that can contribute towards the further success of the organisation?

9. Current salary or salary expectation: Making any mention of your previous, current or expected salary will always harm your chances of securing a good deal for yourself. Think about it; you are basically giving up all your bargaining power by disclosing it, as employers will take advantage of this information to pay you the bare minimum (which you are also unlikely to turn down in the current economic climate).

10. Your company’s telephone number: If you’re currently working in an organisation, you should never – ever – include that as your contact number! For three simple reasons; (1) it is temporary, (2) it isn’t personal and (3) it is considered to be unethical to use your company’s resources for personal, non-work related matters.


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