7 Things You Must Not Mention On Your Cv
7 Things You Must Not Mention On Your Cv

Your curriculum vitae (CV) plays a vital role in helping you land job interviews and offers. It is essentially the first impression potential employers will have of you as a candidate. However, including certain types of irrelevant or unnecessary details on your CV can negatively impact your application and chances of moving forward in the hiring process. These are 7 Things You Must Not Mention On Your Cv

7 Things You Must Not Mention On Your Cv

This comprehensive guide will cover the 7 most common things you must avoid adding to your CV submission if you want to make a great first impression on recruiters. From personal details to information gaps and more, learn what not to include to have the best chance of standing out as a strong candidate.


1. Do Not Include Irrelevant Personal Details

While including basic contact information like your name, phone number, and email is necessary, steer clear of adding other personal details that are not work-related. This includes things like:

  • Your date of birth, photograph, marital status, or religion. Mentioning these can potentially lead to unconscious bias during the screening process.
  • Social media handles or personal websites unless they are directly relevant to the job role (e.g. for a social media manager position).
  • Full home addresses. Instead provide your city, state/country, or make your location flexible if open to relocation.
  • Hobbies, interests, or goals unless directly tied to transferable skills for the job.
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Recruiters want to know about your qualifications, experience, and fit for the role – not personal details. Keep information professional, positive, and focused on your career achievements.


2. Avoid Mentioning Job/Education Information Gaps

Gaps or periods of unemployment in your work history can cause recruiters concern if unexplained. However, directly stating reasons for leaving past roles or education details should also be avoided. Instead:

  • Only list the dates you were employed at each company, along with your position and key responsibilities/achievements.
  • For education, focus on your qualifications, grades, projects undertaken, and awards/honors received.
  • If you have large gaps, consider relevant volunteering, freelancing, website projects, or coursework that demonstrate continuous self-improvement.

Providing justifications or unnecessary context around past roles risks potential judgment or bias from screening readers. Let your experience and achievements speak for themselves.


3. Never Include Salary Details

Sharing your current or past salary numbers on your CV is information best left out. This is because:

  • Companies evaluate compensation differently so prior earnings may put you above or below their pay scale.
  • Salaries provided in a CV cannot be negotiated the way an offer package can be during an in-person interview.
  • It reveals earnings to recruiting parties you have no direct relationship with yet.
  • International applicants may give figures in different currencies that appear inflated or undervalued.

Let potential employers bring up compensation during the later stages of the hiring process once they have properly evaluated your fit and value. Focus your CV solely on qualifications rather than prior remuneration.


4. Do Not Lie or Provide Misleading Information

Recruiters conduct extensive candidate checks these days, so intentionally misleading or lying on your CV will easily be discovered and damage your credibility. Some common forms of deceit to avoid include:

  • Exaggerating your responsibilities, achievements, or skills beyond reality
  • Inflating the seniority of past roles, companies worked for or qualifications held
  • Claiming expertise with technologies/tools you only have basic knowledge of
  • Falsifying dates of employment, education, or leaving out employers altogether
  • Lying about eligibility to legally work in the job location/country
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Stick to truthfully representing your authentic qualifications, backgrounds, and achievements. Emphasize fit and selling your genuine strengths over dishonesty that will quickly get you disqualified.


5. Avoid Burying Important Information

Recruiters do not have long to review each applicant, typically spending just 6 seconds scanning a CV. Therefore, you must make the most critical pieces of your profile stand out prominently on the page. Things to keep visible include:

  • Your name, in a large, bold font at the very top
  • Contact details below your name
  • Summarized career or education highlights
  • Most relevant experiences and achievements first
  • Skills and keywords summarized clearly

Avoid walls of plain text, faint colors that blend in, or burying key information in lengthy paragraphs or at the bottom of crowded pages. Use formatting purposefully to highlight what matters most.


6. Do Not Attach References

Including a references section and directly stating “References available upon request” takes up valuable space better used elsewhere on your CV. Recruiters will assume you can provide references if asked later in the hiring process. Some additional reasons to leave out references include:

  • You may not want relevant contacts bothered until later stages.
  • Contact details can become outdated but removing them means redoing your whole CV.
  • Screening parties may attempt to contact references without notifying you.

Save providing suitably matched references until later in the hiring process if a background or reference check becomes necessary.


7. Avoid Burying Important Information

Common filler statements to avoid including as an intro or throughout your CV include:

  • “Hardworking, results-oriented professional seeking new opportunities”
  • “Detail-oriented individual interested in a fast-paced environment”
  • “Award-winning sales leader with a proven track record of success”
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While aiming to showcase your best qualities, vague claims that could apply to anyone do not tell the real story of your unique strengths and experience.

Instead, craft a short 2-3 sentence headline highlighting your most relevant qualifications for the role based on the job requirements. Focus on the value you bring through quantifiable achievements and skills.


8. Keep Personal Information to a Minimum

Avoid adding any personal information that does not relate directly to your work history or qualifications. This includes things like:

  • Memberships or affiliations with non-professional groups
  • Health conditions or disabilities irrelevant to job duties
  • Family details like marital/parental status or number/ages of children
  • Visual elements like headshots, logos, or template backgrounds
  • A portfolio or full online profile unless expressly asked for

Recruiters want an immediate understanding of how you match position requirements based on your CV alone. Save extraneous personal details that do not sell your suitability for the role.


Frequently Asked Questions

What if I have gaps in my employment history?

Focus on continuous self-improvement like courses/freelance rather than directly stating reasons for gaps. Volunteering or projects can also boost your application.

Should I always keep my CV to one page?

For more experienced professionals, two relevant pages are fine. Just ensure the content is concise and visually scannable from top to bottom.

Can references be provided later on?

Yes, most companies do not contact references until later in the process so save listing them unless specifically requested upfront.

How do I address changing careers?

Highlight transferable skills and use examples showing relevant experience. Explain genuine interest in a new field and willingness to learn if needed.

What if I have both high school and university studies?

List the highest level completed and additional certifications/training if applicable. Only include other education if very recent or closely related.

Should I tailor my CV to the job role?

Always customize your CV to each job posting by focusing specifically on the skills and experiences addressed in corresponding requirements and duties.

Can I use a personal email on my CV?

A professional email address like [email protected] is best. Avoid nicknames, numbers, or personal details that may reduce credibility.

How long should a CV typically be?

One to two well-formatted pages are usually sufficient to cover your most relevant career background and accomplishments for the role.



Following the guidelines covered here will help you avoid the most common CV mistakes that can negatively impact your candidacy.


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