10 Things NOT to Include in Your CV That are Crucial


Tanja Šket

HR specialist

One of the key factors in job hunting is the Curriculum Vitae. I admit, there are some rumors people got a job without one, but I strongly advise you to have one (just in case). Keep in mind that there are rules as to what to include in your CV. But even more important is what you should leave out.

Searching for employment can be like making a cake: books, the internet and people around us can provide so much information and recipes for making the best one. But we never know whether or not a certain recipe will give us the wanted result.

Moreover, you have to be aware that having the right recipe alone will not be enough. Ingredients, appliances, and the person making the cake all play an important role in the process. As well as the person(s) who will be eating the cake.

Not everyone is fan of chocolate.

One of the key factors in job hunting is the Curriculum Vitae (or CV, for short). I admit, there are some rumors people got a job without one, but I strongly advise you to have one (just in case).

There are many forms of CVs.

Some preformed, some creative, some written by hand. People dealing with CVs are not really on the same page which one of them is the best. Just like with cake, right? Each person dealing with job-seekers is in a different situation (prefers a different flavour). Nevertheless, there are some DOs and (in our case) DON’Ts.

I have handled many CVs in my life. From an essay spread out over six pages to a picture signed: »I have beauty. I can work.« What bothers me the most is that a salesperson is not selling himself, a designer is not designing and a secretary is not organised. They should incorporate these skills into their CV.

The form and the content should be customized for every occasion. And in any case remember: whoever will be reading your CV must be convinced that they found something they were looking for in every part of your presentation.

This site offers you an amazing template that lets you design your CV. It really helps you make a transparent and relevant overview of yourself.

However, the content is still your responsibility. Take your time, think about what to write and in the meantime check out which mistakes you should avoid while coming up with your CV:

1. Do not make grammar mistakes!

It is hard to believe you are meticulous person if you don’t even read what you write. Use your eyes, a spellchecker or a friend.


2. Do not use long sentences

Keep the information about yourself short and sweet. When I have time to read, I will grab a book, not a CV.


3. Do not write details

The purpose of the CV is to get an interview, not to write an autobiography. You can talk about yourself during the interview, right? At least the things that your potential employer wants to know about.


4. Do not write about your responsibilities

Write about your successes. Remember the cake? Would you rather be person A (“My mom asked me to bake a cake for my grandmother’s birthday. So I did. And also one for my cousin.”) or person B (“The cake I made for my grandmother’s birthday was so good, there was not a crumb left after five minutes. Now my cousin wants one, too.”)?


5. Do not make it too short or too long

A short CV can either indicate your lack of effort or it can be a sign you have nothing to tell. A long CV can be boring, full of ballast, and will take too much time to read through.


6. Do not introduce your parents and your dog

Also, primary school is not really relevant. This kind of information can lengthen your CV, and we know that is a no-no by now. If you  include it make sure it is  relevant (if you apply as a producer for a cat food commercial, having a cat called Bud can give you some leverage over your competition).


7. Do not include experience that is irrelevant (for this job position).

Example:you have written a six-page CV and three of the pages cover only your job positions. That’s too much. I don’t care that you’ve worked as a mover in your student years if I’m looking for computer programmer. Just leave it out. Or combine some of them.


8. Do not lie

Or exaggerate. Everything you have  written will be challenged at some point (if you get the job, that is). If you state that you possess some social competences, then you better have some. Some things can be checked during the job interview and you will have to prove some later on.


9. Do not include a bad picture

If you decide to include a picture of yourself it should not be in a bad resolution, showing you as a serial killer  or posing with a cocktail in your hand during the summer  holidays or cut from another picture (with a friend’s arm still wrapped around your shoulders).

Klemen's note: If you need professional photos, check this deal I've arranged for you.


10. Do not do it in one minute

Take your time. Think. It should be good. Really good. This is the first impression that you will be making. Like the first date.

One important thing: do your CV as soon as possible. And subsequently, add new experiences, competences and knowledge. When you are an experienced professional it is hard to remember everything you have achieved in life. And be sure to take a lot of advice when making it. But in the end, the CV has to show your potential employer who you are. So read the article again, think about your angle and do it.


By the way: my first cake was terrible. Dry, hard, without any taste. It looked like something I forgot to take out of the fridge for a month. Since then I have made hundreds of cakes. And yes, I know they are good. Otherwise, nobody would ask me if I plan on making one each weekend.


Entrepreneur, business teacher and HR specialist at employment agency Atama