Three things to leave off your CV

Three things to leave off your CV

A study of recruiters using eye-tracking behaviour software has shown that recruiters spend a mere six seconds making their initial evaluation of a CV. Space on your CV is limited and you want to make sure that everything on there is adding real value to your application. You don’t want any of those vital first six seconds to be wasted looking at redundant information which is irrelevant to your application. Here are three things that we think you should leave off your CV in order to make the best possible first impression.

1) Photograph

Whilst some specific jobs – such as casting for modelling or acting gigs – do require a headshot, on the whole we would strongly advise you to leave the photograph off your CV. For the most part, it is just wholly irrelevant to your application. What you look like plays absolutely no part in how well you will perform in a role so there is no need to include a picture.

In some cases, inclusion of a photograph may actively put employers off. There are strict laws in place to prevent any kind of prejudice during the recruitment process. In line with these, employers are not allowed to ask anything about a candidate’s age or ethnicity, or any disabilities or health issues they may have. By providing a picture of yourself, you are giving a good insight into a number of these factors. To avoid any accusations of discrimination in either direction, an employer might simply toss your application to one side and overlook it altogether.

The space a photograph takes up can be used to much better effect highlighting your achievements or experiences.

2) Details of every job you have ever had

As your career develops, you are going to have an ever increasing history of past employments but you don’t need to include the details of every single one of these jobs. You don’t want a prospective employer to be wasting their time reading about your paper round when you were 15 if, instead, they could be reading about how you managed a team of ten people whilst smashing your targets every single week.

Equally though, a consistent work history without any unexplained gaps is likely to impress an employer, demonstrating a strong work ethic and sense of commitment. A good way to convey this without including irrelevant information is to opt for a skills based CV. Outline specific experiences in relation to skills such as marketing, communication or leadership, then under your work experience section perhaps simply include job title and dates of employment.

3) “I want this job”

Don’t state the obvious. The fact that you are applying for a role should tell the employer that you want it and there is no value in simply repeating this fact. Instead, talk about why you want the job. Talk about specific areas of the role which interest you. Talk about why you would be great at it. Talk about all your relevant experience and skills. Be passionate and precise rather than generic and vague.

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