31 January 2012

There's loads of advice telling you what to put on your CV, but precious little telling you what to leave out. Here are 7 1/2 things that don't belong there.


1. Your age

Apart from leaving potential employers open to age discrimination accusations, your age isn't really important. Besides, they can work it out from your education and employment history.

2. Your marital status

Yes, people really still do put this on their CVs! It doesn't make a difference to your work - unless you're unhappily married because then you'll stay later.

3. That you have a full, clean driving licence

Most people assume this now, and if driving is essential to the job, you can put that in your cover letter. It's OK to include any special driving licences you have if relevant.

4. "Enjoys socialising"

Under 'interests' you need specific, constructive activities that show you have initiative and/or creativity. See also "Watching TV", "Listening to music" and "Travel". 

5. Previous salary or salary expectations

This could lead to you getting paid less, if they think you'll accept it. Or not getting an interview, if you seem too expensive. You can discuss salary later on (usually at the second interview).

6. Why you left your last job, or why you're looking for a new one

Again, this is something that is best discussed at the interview - it's not relevant at CV stage. It's also harder to explain anything complicated on paper.

7. Anything to do with your health

A massive gap in your CV can be explained concisely - and with a positive twist - in your covering letter. Any special arrangements you need can be discussed further down the line.

7 1/2. A personal statement

We wrote a previous blog covering how to write a personal statement. In it, we stated that some people love them and some hate them. If you know the recruiter hates them, or if you can't write a decent personal statement, leave it off. If it's doing you a favour (eg showing what you learnt on your career break), then obviously, leave it in.