Annie Walton Doyle, from Inspiring Interns, shares her thoughts on what candidates should remove from their CV to land their dream job
1. A ‘career objective’
If you’re using your CV to apply for a job, it’s pretty obvious your immediate aim. And adding in some faraway goal is unlikely to make you seem ambitious and hardworking – more just unprofessional. Try to stick to the facts.
2. Totally irrelevant experience
It can be true that any work experience can be useful, particularly if you manage to connect a skill learned at a job to an aspect of the person specification. However, if you’re simply putting that you worked in a coffee shop with no further information, it’s not likely to look that impressive.
3. Personal pronouns
You don’t need to indicate who your CV is about – that much is obvious. Writing in the third or first person looks informal and a bit too try-hard.
It sounds obvious, but never lie on your CV. At best, you’ll get a job under false pretences that you may not be truly suited for, and at worst, you get found out. And often employers are more open minded than you think – if you’re honest about what you lack but explain how you make up for it in other areas, you could very well be in with a shot.
5. Personal information
Facts about your religion, marital status, sexuality, age, or health may be necessary for a job application – but wait until you’re asked. It can end up making employers question why you’re so eager to volunteer this info, and in some cases it’s illegal for employers to even ask about.
Unless they have a very explicit link to the job you’re applying for, they don’t need to be there. It takes up valuable space, wastes employers’ time and makes you look unprofessional.
7. Too much text
If a job has a large number of applicants, CVs which look like an impenetrable block of text can be tossed out before they’re even read. Keep things look neat and streamlined to avoid this happening to you.
8. Things that should be a given
Claiming knowledge of social media when applying to social media position is not only moot, but it could cause the employer to question the truthfulness of your claim. Similarly, claiming knowledge of Microsoft Office is so standard as to be expected, and thus takes up unnecessary space.
9. Too much social media
Unless the job you’re applying for is reliant on your web-presence, try to stick to only professional social media links, such as LinkedIn.
Annoying buzzwords, such as ‘thinking outside the box’, tend to have a vague meaning and indicate a lack of real substance. Similarly, if you use overly specific jargon from the company you’re working for, you’re unlikely to properly covey your experience and skills.
11. Opinions without facts
Saying things like ‘I’m an excellent problem solver’ are almost totally useless unless you provide a specific example to back it up.
12. Cover letter information
You shouldn’t take up CV space with any explanation of why you want the job, or what particularly makes you a great fit for it. All of this information should be in a separate cover letter.