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5 things to leave off your CV

Josefine Pope our consultant managing the role
Posted by Josefine Pope
Published on 21 July 2022

When writing your CV, you might agonise over what you should include – what job experiences will catch the Hiring Manger’s eye, what hobbies are relevant and how your personal profile presents you as the perfect candidate.

But have you considered what not to include? There is such a thing as ‘too much information’ when it comes to writing CV and more than half are discarded for being longer than 2 pages long. For in demand roles, hiring managers can receive hundreds of applications, and there are some things that simply do not belong. Here are five things to avoid including to ensure that your CV jumps out from the crowd.

Irrelevant job experiences

Every statement in your CV should lead to the conclusion that you have the right experience for the job you are applying for. Whilst you might feel that adding in older experiences from your teens might bulk out a CV, it is much safer to include those that are more recent and relevant. The length of your CV has a huge impact in the eyes of a recruitment consultant, and on average has around 6 – 7 seconds to make an impression. The general recommendation is to keep yours to around 2 pages and limit your work experiences to the past 15 years with the most up to date experiences listed first.

List of responsibilities

You want your CV to sound accomplished. Whilst you will need to provide background on your duties, position your job responsibilities through what you achieved in the role rather than a list of day-to-day tasks. Your CV is all about selling yourself, and by showing the impact you had as an employee in your previous role will instil confidence in the recruitment consultant. Where possible, use bullet points to break up the bulk of your CV and add interesting texture to your format. The bullet points will also help draw the attention to your achievements which will give you a much higher chance of having your CV added to the 'interview' piles.


Unnecessary personal information

The personal information that you are expected to include in your CV will vary in different countries. For the UK, a photograph, age, date of birth, nationality and marital status are all unnecessary information that you should leave off your CV. Similarly, avoid sharing your personal social media accounts as this could counteract the professional impression you are trying to make. You may want to consider including your LinkedIn details, however, if you have a strong professional presence here. A full name, contact number and email address on your CV should suffice.

Inappropriate language choices

A good tip when writing the statements on your CV is to start them with action words, such as 'engineered', 'created', 'managed', rather than ‘I’. These are powerful verbs that will bring your CV to life, showing you to be a strong candidate. Avoid using 'I', 'me', 'my' throughout - it is understood that your CV is about you and you only and using these personal pronouns can take up precious space. Also, any excess, 'flowery' language added to your CV has the potential complicate your statements and water down the point you are trying to make. Business writing is clear, to the point and results oriented, so ensure that you keep statements as concise as possible.


Solid blocks of text

The main purpose of your CV is to jump out of a crowd of applicants. That is not to say you need to include huge fonts, colourful images and a vibrant colour palette - but you equally need to make sure your CV is not one big chunk of text. Splitting up your content into bite sized sections means that you can organise the information by relevance and direct you reader's attention to the key points that you want to emphasise. A well written and formatted CV will also show to your future employer that you are tech savvy enough to make a digital document more consumable and visually engaging. Typographical features to consider include subheadings, emboldening, bullet points and numbers. Keep the document clean and professional by sticking to one font and text size.

Ask the experts

The main take away from this is – keep it short and simple. But if you are still struggling, you may consider asking the experts. If you are looking for additional support to build your CV for a Life Sciences, Renewable Energy, IT or Data Centre job, then look no further than Quant part of QCS Staffing. Our team are committed to placing candidates in their dream roles and can help you make a CV that stands out. If you are looking for new career opportunities in these sectors, get in contact with the team today or search for our latest jobs here.