We all want our CVs to stand out from the crowd. After all, we want to show we’re a human and not a robot. However, if not done correctly, or by oversharing personal details, this can sometimes mean straying into online dating profile territory.
Your CV should be a taster of your professional experience. It needs to make the hiring manager want to know more about you and your suitability for the role. And, ultimately want to bring you in for an interview.
With this in mind, here’s a list of some of the top details you should never include in your CV. They’ll only put recruiters off and they’re completely unnecessary!
Marital status and dependents
Your marital status doesn’t affect your ability to do the job; whether you are married with three kids or single with 15 cats. As such, it’s a personal detail that should never be in in your CV.
In fact, it’s now illegal to discuss a candidate’s marital status under the Equality Act in the UK. Therefore, it’s best to not include them at all.
Age and date of birth
Does your age affect your ability to do the job you’re applying for? It’s unlikely, and by including it you are opening yourself up to age discrimination. The only dates that need to be included are the dates of your employment to showcase your experience.
We know in some countries its standard practice to include an up-to-date photograph of yourself on your CV. However, in the UK, it’s one of a few personal details that you’re better off removing. It takes up valuable space and doesn’t add anything to show how well you perform. It can also open the recruiter up to unconscious bias.
Details of ‘personal circumstances’
If you’ve got a gap in your employment history, especially a recent one, it is best to include the dates that you were out of work. However, there’s no need to go into a lot of detail about what you were doing in that time.
For example, it’s perfectly acceptable to put ‘out of work due to personal circumstances’ if you were caring for a relative; or, you can even state you were ‘travelling’. Whatever the reason may be, there’s no need to go into more detail than this. If the employer wants more information, they’ll ask for it or bring it up at interview.
Social media handles
Unless you use social media in a professional capacity it’s best to leave personal details like these off your CV.
If a recruiter or potential employer wants to find you on social media, they’ll conduct a quick google search as a background check. Make sure any public profiles don’t have anything which could be deemed as incriminating; and if they do, make sure they’re private!
LinkedIn is the exception to this rule as it’s a professional network, so if you have an up-to-date profile it is fine to include this.
Every grade for every exam you’ve ever taken
If you’ve been in the workplace a few years your school grades become irrelevant. Especially if you’ve moved onto further education or have professional qualifications.
The best way to include grades is to cover your most recent education first, such as professional qualifications. Then, move backwards including fewer details as you go.
There’s no need to list all your GCSE grades and subjects individually. Instead, just say ‘10 GCSEs grade A*-C’. Your recruiter won’t care what grade you got in English GCSE if you’ve got more relevant experience. As such, make sure to keep this section short, as it takes valuable space away from more important personal details.
Reasons for leaving a company or position
Your CV is a place to sell your experience and ability to do the job. There’s no need to include reasons why you left your previous jobs. If the employer wants more information, they’ll bring this up during your interview. So, be prepared to answer questions about it then and leave it off your CV for now.
Hobbies and interests
This can be controversial as it’s a great way to inject some personality. The issue is, if you haven’t got anything of interest to say (everyone likes ‘socialising with their friends’), then it’s best to leave it these personal details out.
Including hobbies and interests work best if you can make them relevant to the job. For example, if you’re going for a marketing job and you write a fashion blog or if you’re going for an engineering role and you restore vintage cars in your spare time.
By including your current or previous salaries, you’re giving the recruiter or hiring manager ammunition to pay you less for the role. Especially if the salary is a lot more than your current wage.
Your current salary should have nothing to do with the potential wage for your new role. If a hiring manager wants more information or details about your salary, they will contact you and ask. However, if you get to the interview stage, salary discussions are likely to happen then; so, be prepared.
Skip these personal details on your CV!
The most important thing to ask yourself when deciding what personal details to include or omit from your CV is: ‘does it earn its place’?
Space on your CV is valuable. If the information you include doesn’t explain why you would be perfect for the job, then it probably isn’t necessary. So, drop these details and use the space for something more important.
Image: Alexander Dummer on Unsplash