16 Things To Remove From Your CV In 2021

cv writing tips

The importance of a CV is understated in the job seeking adventure and there is a need for your CV to be as brief and relevant as possible, these 16 things must be removed from your CV


  1. Career Objective – When you start your CV off with a Career Objective, it shifts the focus away from what YOU can do / why they should hire you / what problem you can solve.

Most career objectives are generic and only provide the reader with what YOU are seeking or looking for. “Seeking a role that will enable me to utilise my skills within a growing company”. Sound familiar?

Do not make the intro about what you want, but rather what makes you the best candidate in relation to the role you’re applying for. The only time I would include a Career Objective is when you’re making a career pivot. (I’ll touch on this later).


  1. Personal Information – This includes your Home Address, ID Number, number of dependents, health info, date of birth, marital status, religion, etc. What else am I missing?


  1. Photo. Unless a huge part of you getting the job is dependent on your looks, then leave this off. Recruiters, like everyone else, have inherent biases, and you don’t want to be a position where the focus is drawn on your appearance, rather than your actual skills, experience etc
  2. Additional documents. DO NOT combine any documents such as your certificates, copy of your ID to your CV. Your CV should be a file on its own. If the job application requests the docs to be sent, then attach them as separate files.
  3. Buzzwords. These are words that, as a result of being over-used, have now lost their impact. Words/phrases such as, “hard-working, “motivated”, “punctual”, “diligent”.

Imagine when Hiring Managers/recruiters have to scan through dozens of CVs, and every candidate claims to be a “hard-working and motivated individual”? It does nothing to help you stand out from other candidates

  1. Graphics such as logos, charts and tables. These might be great for a human to look at, but not for the robot (ATS) that needs to initially scan your CV when you’ve applied online. These kind of graphics are unreadable to the ATS (depending on which ATS it is).

The file will look like it got corrupted with random characters everywhere and that’s what a recruiter will see if they find your CV in the system.

  1. Unnecessary fluff. Your CV does not need a cover page and it doesn’t need the title, “Curriculum Vitae of…”. Recruiters spend less than 6 seconds reviewing each CV. You’ve got 6 seconds to show them that it’s worth their time to continue reading. Get to the point!
  2. Long paragraphs. These will make your CV hard to read. Your intro summary should be 2 – 3 sentences MAX. Your responsibilities should always be in bullet point form. And please, DO NOT copy all that text from your cover letter and include it on your CV.
  3. Social media links. Unless it’s a link to your Linkedin profile, other social media channels you include should be done so with the purpose of showcasing your skills and professional abilities that align with the role you’re applying for.
  4. References. This is a preference more than anything, so to each his own. However, I would recommend not including these if you’ve gathered quite a number of references over a long career span.

Some references might be great to specifically speak on or your sales skills, for example, whilst others can speak directly to your skills as a Supervisor, so, not including them gives you time to choose which references you’d like to pass along for each role.

  1. Your life story. Your resume should not resemble a Wikipedia page, with details of every single thing you’ve done throughout your existence. Essentially, it should resemble the landing page of a website.
  2. E-mail address from your current employer. It really is unprofessional, and more than that, leads the recruiter / Hiring Manager to believe that you apply for jobs during company time.
  3. “Responsible for” in the duties section. It sounds passive. It sounds like you did the bare minimum, and not at all like someone who drove impact within their previous roles.
  4. Salary information. (Current/Expected salary). #1 rule of negotiation: First person to give away their number, usually loses. An interview is a much better opportunity to demonstrate your value and attach a number to it.
  5. Inconsistent formatting. Make sure the spacing between paragraphs and the font size for the body and headings are the same throughout. If you’ve made some headings bold, make sure this is also consistent throughout the document.
  6. “Criminal Record – None”. It’s not like they’ll take your word for it. They’re still required to run checks.

Related: 15 Reasons Why You Are not Getting Called For An Interview




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