We’ve been working with employers and job seekers for so many years, and we’ve received so many curriculum vitae that we’ve become pretty good in understanding what works and what, instead, you should really avoid. So, today, we’ve decided to provide you tips on how to write a curriculum vitae, but, in particular: what you should never include!
What we do not like in a resume is something that employers don’t appreciate much either, according to the talks we’ve had with so many of them over the years.
Let’s make a compilation of the worst things you should really avoid in your CV:
- A chronological description of everything you have ever done. If you have a 10+ years professional experience, or if part of it is not relevant to what you’re applying now for, please omit it.
- Don’t provide unrequired personal information ( if you are married, have kids etc). It’s not relevant and can create unconscious bias.
- Keep your LinkedIn profile updated. It’s not optional anymore. And don’t write the exact same as on your LinkedIn. Gear your resume towards specific roles. Eg. If you are applying for a role to be a manager, create a category in your resume highlighting everything you have done as a manager/lead in the past, going back to college. Think of your resume as having a number of your avatars represented.
- Resumes listing 30, 40, 50 + technologies listed in them are not believable. You cannot be expert in all of those and they’re surely not all relevant to this specific job application.
- Gaps in your resume: Employers and managers are familiar with courses and freelancing periods, so try and explain any gap, putting a positive spin on them.
- I know it could sound obvious… but it’s not. Incorrect contact information on your curriculum vitae is not good.
- Same applies to spelling and grammatical errors. They will stand out, and tell the recruiter that you are careless and not attentive. You can easily avoid these mistakes.
Here are some more DON’Ts to remember when planning how to write a curriculum vitae:
- Leave excess empty space on your resume
- Include a picture of your face (unless for any reason they require it)
- Use an automatic resume generator
- Use bizarre colours and fonts
- Repeat words in an unnatural way
- Use Company specific jargon
- Talk about your ‘goals’ in the summary section…if you don’t have any, create it, please.
- Include references (it is not the place)
- Include an interests section (really, nobody has the time or interest in that…)
- Use an unprofessional and outdated email domain
When you will be revising your CV, bear in mind that recruiters spend on average approx. 6 seconds reviewing a resume before deciding whether or not a candidate is a good fit for the job they are trying to fill and that 80% of that time (an even briefer 4.8 seconds) is spent on: name, current title/company, previous title/company, previous position start and end dates, current position start and end dates, and education.
Try and get inside the typical recruiter’s mindset, which will reflect what is in the job description and you will enormously improve your resume.