Photo Credit: www.open.ac.uk

Photo Credit: www.open.ac.uk

We have written a lot of posts on how to produce a stellar CV. Most of these posts have focused on what to do, what to include and how. For this post, we are going to focus on the ‘don’t’ part of creating a CV that will get you noticed (for the right reasons). So, without further ado, here is a rundown of what not to do when you are perfecting your CV.

Do not link to your Facebook page

Or any other social media platforms you use. You might believe that it will give a recruiter a better sense of who you are, but it is rarely a good idea to do this. For one thing, it shows a terrible understanding of the divide between work and play. It breaks down established professional barriers, and these are there for a reason.

However, that said, there are certain circumstances in which linking to your social media accounts is acceptable. For example, perhaps you have a professional Twitter account, or a professional showcase on one of your social media platforms. In this case, linking directly to it, with an explanation of why you are linking to it, is OK. However, we would still advise you keep platforms like Facebook and Google+ out of the picture and rather use more conservative platforms like LinkedIn, or slideshare, for example.

Do not include a photo

Unless expressly advised to (and if this occurs, always question the request), it is not a good idea to include a photo. Though some countries see it as standard practice, SA is not one of them. Including one may make you seem inexperienced and work against you.

Do not leave unexplained gaps

Gaps in our work history happen. Most of us have periods in which we didn’t work and that’s OK, as long as you explain it. Don’t leave any gaps on your CV that you haven’t accounted for. It’s OK to say you were travelling, or spending time with family, or even in poor health. Do not be tempted to stretch out how long you were with a company for in order to cover the gap. A recruiter or HR manager won’t automatically assume that you’re a bad candidate because you took some time off. They will assume you’re a bad candidate if they discover a lie, however. So, be honest and explain any absences.

Do not lie

Ok, so this is a no-brainer but we’re not just referring to flat-out false information, we’re talking about stretched truths, little fibs and white lies. You may not get rumbled if you stretch a truth on your CV, but why run the risk when the repercussions of getting found out are so severe. You can be completely written off by a company that might have provided a wealth of career opportunities for you, simply because you weren’t honest. Don’t risk it – be truthful.

Do not use ‘fluffy’ language

Keeping your CV succinct and to the point is a skill you need to hone as a jobseeker. This means cutting out the flowery adjectives like ‘hardworking’, ‘intelligent’ and ‘driven’. Just because you say you are, doesn’t mean a recruiter is going to take your word for it. What they are going to look at, is what you’ve achieved and, if you’ve presented it correctly, they will believe that you have all these qualities – telling them you that do is not going to hold much water. Add to this, the fact that it simply takes up valuable space on your CV.

There is a lot that goes into creating the ‘perfect’ CV, but there is also a lot that stays out. Be mindful of this when you next take a look at your CV and make sure what is on there is doing you justice, rather than hindering your chances of success.

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