Don’t mess up your CV

by | 03.03.22

A professional CV is key to your job search. It must highlight your skills, experience, work history and important accomplishments so that the person who is recruiting can determine whether or not you are  qualified for their job. What you may not know though is that there are a few things that don’t belong on your CV. Things that might lose you the chance of getting the job. So, what could mess up your CV – well here are some things that definitely could:

Personal Stuff

Don’t include your marital status, whether you have children or not, your religion or any indication as to what your religion is. This type of information may have been normal in the past but it is now illegal so there is no need to include it.

Your Hobbies

Believe it or not nobody cares what you like to do in your spare time. Some hobbies could actually alienate an employer, for instance if you are a mad Chelsea FC supporter and they support Arsenal they may not consider you for the role. If its not relevant to the job you’re applying for it’s a waste of space.

Blatant Lies

Anyone who works in recruitment will tell you that the worst thing that a candidate can do a CV is lie. Most lies are easy to spot by an experienced recruiter. To claim you are working as an Accountant when all you do is purchase ledger is not hard for a seasoned recruiter to identify as a lie, nor is a made-up College or a qualification you simply could not have obtained.

Your Age

If you don’t want to be discriminated against for a position because of your age it’s time to remove the date of you graduation. Your age is irrelevant to your ability to do a job therefore there should be no indication of it on your CV.

Time off

If you took time out of the workplace to travel or raise a family, we don’t recommend including this information on your CV. By saying you enjoyed a year-out to go travelling an employer could consider you self-indulgent. To admit taking time out to raise your family is disclosing too much information about your personal life.


If an employer wants to obtain a reference for you, they’ll ask you for your reference details. It is also better if you have a chance to tell your referees ahead of time that a future employer may be contacting them. Also don’t bother writing “reference upon request” at the bottom of your CV, your merely wasting valuable space.

Rubbish formatting of CV

The format of your CV is as important as its content. The best format to use is the format that will make it easier for the Recruitment Manager to read your CV easily and to pick out your qualifications and work experience. Once you pick a format, stick with it. If you write the day, month and year for one job use the same format throughout the rest of your CV.

Using present tense for a past job

This shows real laziness. Never describe a past job using present tense. The only job that should be written in present tense is the one you are in now. If you use present tense in jobs you are no longer in it just shows you have been to idle to update your CV.

An unprofessional email address

If you have an email address  line or it’s time to get a new one. Nothing is more off putting to a potential employer than a ridiculous email address. Using these ones for instance paints a picture of a larger lout or a loose woman. Do you really want to be seen as either of these?

Unnecessary, obvious words

For instance, there is no reason to put the word ‘phone’ in front of your number. Its pretty silly, anyone with a brain cell can see it is your phone number you are stating the obvious. The same applies to email addresses. You don’t want the Recruitment Manager to think that you think they are thick, do you? 

Your telephone number at work

This is not only dangerous – it’s stupid. Do you really want a potential new employer calling you at work? How are you going to handle that? Oh, and by the way most employers can monitor your emails and phone calls. So, if you’re not in the mood to get the sack, or potentially charged with theft of services, (Really! Yes, this possible if you misuse your employers equipment) then leave all business into your CV.

Your boss’s name

Don’t include your boss’s name on your CV unless you’re OK with your potential employer contacting him or her. Even then why do you want your boss’s name on your CV? The only reason this could help you is if they are someone noteworthy i.e., Boris Johnson, then it could be really impressive.

Company-specific Jargon

Companies often have their own internal names for things like customized software, technologies and process that are only known within that organization and not by those who work outside of it. Do not use words on your CV that are only known or used by your current employer.

More than 10 years of experience

When you start including jobs from before ten years ago you risk boring the pants off the Recruitment Manager. Your most relevant information is from the last ten, so a potential employer only needs to see this. On the same note never include dates of education.

Salary information

Never put your current salary on your CV. This information is completely unnecessary and may send the wrong message. You also shouldn’t put your desired salary on your CV, there is nothing more off putting to a potential employer. A CV is intended to showcase your professional experience and skills. Salary comes later in the interview process – if you get an interview that is.

The reason you are leaving your current job

Sometimes people think if you explain why you are leaving your current job maybe this will help your job application. Well, they are wrong. Putting why you are leaving your job is irrelevant and shouldn’t be on your CV. Its not the time or place to bring up why you want to move on. Use your interview to address this.

A photo of yourself

Some people think this is normal but actually its just weird, tacky and distracting. It also allows people to form an opinion of you before they see you and frankly if they don’t like what you look like they won’t see you!

So, there you go – don’t mess up your CV by putting information on if which is either irrelevant of could be potentially damaging. Having a CV is no use to you unless it is working in your favour by properly highlighting your skills and the value, you’d bring to a company so make sure you get yours right.

Good Luck

Angela Burton