Few things are worse for job seekers than being turned down before even getting an interview. While applicants shouldn’t expect to be a prime candidate for every position they pursue, consistent failure might not be a problem with you as much as your presentation. Learning how to craft an appealing CV isn’t just about showing off important information about yourself, it’s also about knowing what to cut and what to never include on your professional CV.
Pictures and biographical information
There are some exceptions to this rule, but most CVs should not include any kind of picture or biographical information about the person. This includes any details regarding gender, ethnicity, religion or physical stature. While including this kind of information on a CV is usually a bad idea, linking potential employers to professional social media or networking pages can be an acceptable alternative.
Long sentences and paragraphs
Walls of text and huge paragraphs can turn readers off of a CV before they even see the content. Formatting is only one of the factors that determines overall readability, but it’s still incredibly important. You should cut text down to bullet points and use direct, descriptive language as long as it doesn’t detract from the core message. Professional CV writers and consultants can help job seekers who are struggling to present their CV with acceptable formatting, word choice and grammar.
Generalising past contributions or achievements
When it comes to referencing past achievements, nothing is more persuasive than actual data regarding the results. This is particularly important on an executive resume where applicants are expected to illustrate the value of their contributions to previous projects or organisations. When quantifying achievements in financial terms isn’t a realistic option, applicants should consider other ways to show the positive impact of their actions.
Many job hunters make the mistake of chocking their CV full of any kind of skill or experience they can remember. This may create a more impressive list, but it can also detract from the impact and relevance. CVs should only include education, experience and achievements related to the position in question. Applicants should at least frame their skills and experience in a way that’s relevant to their potential employer.
Creating an effective CV is one of the most important things you can do to get a head-start on job hunting. Learning what to leave out is essential for creating a positive first impression that helps you get more interviews and eventually land a job.
What else should you never include on your professional CV? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.