There is a lot of advice out there on what should be included in your CV, but not much on what should NOT be in your CV. So I have put together some DON’Ts and clarified the few grey area of what should be included in your CV.
Photograph: This is expected for some European countries, but in the UK this is not standard practice unless you are an actor or a model. Having a photo on your CV can be distracting and how you look is not relevant to your ability to do the job (make sure you have a good professional photo on your LinkedIn as some employers will look for your profile there).
Date of birth: This used to be a requirement. However, due to legislation relating to age discrimination it is advisable not to include this. Focus on your experience and skills: that way you can’t be discriminated for being older or younger.
Marital status: There is no place for marital status on your CV. Whether you are single or married has no effect on your abilities to perform your job. It is just taking up valuable space in your CV.
Unprofessional email address: This is a big no. Ensure it is just your name, no football names or nick names. Keep it professional. It is advised just to have your first name and surname in the email address. Some people choose to abbreviate their name, especially if it is quite long or complex. This can be a good idea as your full name may encourage spelling mistakes and may inadvertently prevent you receiving relevant email correspondence.
An explanation of why you left each job: Keep this information for the interview. This is irrelevant and should not impact on the employer offering you an interview or not.
Every single job: If you have over 20 years’ work experience then it not advisable to include every single job. The employer is most interested in your current, most applicable experience. Including every historic job you have had merely deflects from your relevant experience.
References: It is advisable to include ‘references are available upon request’ at the end of your CV. However, you should not put full names, addresses and phone numbers. This could lead to your referees being contacted unnecessarily which can be irritating and may result in an unfavourable reference, especially if they are personally contacted after being pestered several times unnecessarily. This also takes up valuable space on your CV.
There are obviously different requirements in different countries. For instance, in some countries the expectation is to include a photograph (for example, Hong Kong) or include your date of birth and marital status (for example, the UAE). Therefore please remember when applying for jobs outside the UK to research what is expected to ensure you give yourself the best chance possible.