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What to leave off from your CV

  • July 5, 2018

Over the past few months we’ve been giving our advice on all things recruitment, how to nail any assesment methods, how to master the interview and even how to deal with the first 3 months at your new company. But one thing we haven’t covered yet is what information you should actually leave off your CV. Here are our top tips.

You should always keep in mind that you’ve got limited space to work with and any CV longer than two pages is probably too much, unless you’ve had a really extensive career. This means there’s no space to keep in anything that doesn’t directly improve your chances of securing the role that you’re applying for. For example, everyone knows that a candidate’s references are available on request, so you don’t need to say it and take up valuable space. The same applies with putting ‘salary negotiable’. Unless you’re applying for a remarkably unique role almost every position will have a negotiable salary so you’re just wasting space which could be taken up with information that aids your application.

Along similar lines, it also makes sense to leave something to talk about when you actually meet the company so don’t include too much detail about your personal life. The interview should be your chance to elaborate on your CV and to show a bit more of your personality so unless you’ve climbed Everest or crossed the Atlantic on your own, it’s probably a good idea to leave out that you enjoy ‘swimming, reading and socialising.’

Ultimately, you should leave out generalist information and tailor your CV for every single role you apply for so it mirrors what the company is looking for and touches on the skills mentioned in the job description. A sure-fire way to get your application binned is to send an application that you’ve used for numerous jobs. Remember, we do this every single day and it’s easy to spot a CV that hasn’t been edited for a specific role.

You should also try to avoid clichés wherever possible. Almost every CV contains some combination of phrases like ‘hard working and a people person’ or ‘possesses strong communication skills’ and unless you can actually back the points up with examples, they’re essentially meaningless. Recruiters see these phrases on numerous applications every day and as a result don’t necessarily respond to them unless the applicant can produce evidence of times they’ve shown these skills.

This also means that you can’t afford to even suggest that you’re only making a speculative application or that you’re not entirely confident about your ability to do the role in question. As we’ve just touched on, firms want to see a tailored CV that shows you’re a great fit for the job in question and if they don’t receive that, they’re not likely to continue with the application. Businesses want talent that stays with them for as long as possible and they’re not going to go ahead with a potentially expensive application and assessment process if they don’t think you’re completely right for the role. This is particularly true when you consider that the cost of replacing a departing employee is generally around 1.5 times their salary, so if you’ve even hinted that you’re not quite right for the role on your CV or are unsure where you want your career to go, it’s unlikely your application will go much further.

What information do you think jobseekers should leave off their CVs? Leave your thoughts on this topic below.

Next up, the interview stage. Read our blog for some tips on Nailing you interview here.

Want further tips/advice or a good read about the Recruitment world? Visit our News & Insights page for more.

Or, if you want to speak to one on our experts, call us on 01772 259121.

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