Imagine wiping your sweaty hands on your trousers as you rise to enter the interview room. On entering, you see a panel of serious looking corporate men and women seated behind the table They are noticing every single move of yours from how loudly you close the door behind you to your ramp walk from the door to your seat. You are repeating those lines that you rehearsed in front of the mirror in your mind portraying how confident and smart you are as you sit across the interviewers. They ask for your file and you hand them your life on paper i.e. your CV. They glance through it bored but stop at that one last point. Interested, they ask you where you skied last since you mentioned skiing as a hobby. You stare blankly and then utter a bunch of inaudible words explaining you liked a skiing documentary on Discovery. That’s it. That’s how far your career with that company would go.
To avoid being thrown out of the room even before you could start talking, here is a list of Top 10 things NOT to include in a CV .
10. BAD LANGUAGE
An employer will not be pleased to read your CV and find grammatical errors and spelling mistakes in each line. Make sure you read and re-read your CV and even ask your friends to go through it to avoid such errors before finalizing it. On the other hand, if you display good language skills on your CV, you stand a chance of impressing the interviewers without even beginning to talk. A personal tip, either use MS Word’s Resume formats and spell check tools or download the same from internet to be on the safer side as far as basics go.
9. FLAMBOYANT OBJECTIVE
It is usually advised that freshers and internship-seeking individuals should avoid this part altogether. But if you do decide to include an objective section in your CV, make sure you don’t have an over-ambitious one. Even if you do aim to be the CEO of that organisation someday, it is better to keep that to yourself for now. The objective should be crisp and clearly stated. Avoid playing with words or highlighting your talents in this section. Also, the objective should not come across as self-serving. Even if you intend to be with the organisation for a short period of time, do not mention the same. Unreliable employee is not what they would look for in a person.
8. IRRELEVANT JOB EXPERIENCE
Another common mistake that people tend to make while preparing a CV is mentioning each and every activity they have ever performed in their life. Even if it was selling cookies in the colony along with a bunch of friends. CV should be short and to-the-point. For example, if you are applying for sales and marketing job, there is no need to mention your experience as a tutor for your neighbour kid or babysitting your cousin. However, it is essential to highlight any relevant work experience that you have had and make sure it wasn’t when you were 8.
7. UNPROFESSIONAL ATTRIBUTES
Think professionally while preparing a CV. Include only those achievements that you think would be important in the professional scenario. Do not include events such mango-eating competitions or breaking-the-matki on a certain festival. Also, the contact information you provide should follow a similar professional conduct. For example, phrases such as ‘iamsmart’ or ‘prettyprincess’ should not form a part of your email IDs. Make sure you create a straightforward email ID preferably stating your name clearly, to include in your CV.
6. MULTIPLE FONTS, TEXT SIZES AND IMAGES
There are chances that using background glitter or shades of pink and orange in the text of your CV may make it stand out but mostly, it does so in a wrong way. A CV should be uniform in terms of Font style, size and colour (preferably black). You may put the captions in bold and underline the heading but the same style should be followed throughout without any part being overdone. Font style should be formal (eg. Times New Roman) and not look casual.
5. PERSONAL INFORMATION
A CV should not include personal information such as race, religious beliefs, political views, marital status and whether you have any children unless specified by the interviewers beforehand. Information provided in a CV should be strictly on professional grounds. Provision of personal information will not only make your CV longer and redundant but will also pose the danger of bias and misuse of information. Also, details regarding physical attributes should be avoided as well unless it is a specific requirement for the job. Generally, The employer is not concerned about the colour of your hair or your height. It is best to leave it out.
4. INCLUSION OF UNNECESSARY FACTS
Be sure to appear desirable and straightforward to the interviewer. Your CV should not talk about strange hobbies or interests that the employer may not be able to understand or are absolutely irrelevant to the job profile. It is best to keep the Hobbies and Interests section general and limited. Another important thing to keep in mind is to not include photographs in your CV unless they are asked for or are relevant to the job profile. Generally, it is advised not to include photographs in a CV and an employer is likely to ignore such CVs to avoid lawsuits regarding discrimination on the basis of such photos (as there have been numerous cases of this sort in the past).
3. YOUR WEAKNESSES
You may come across the feeling that you haven’t done much when you start writing a CV. A friend of yours may have a page full of achievements and awards while you may have just a couple. However, make sure you put all that you have got in the best possible way. Your achievements should be highlighted and spoken about in detail, especially if they bear relevance to the job you are applying for. An employer wants to know about your strengths and accomplishments so that they can see you as a potential employee. They don’t want to read elaborate details of your flaws and weaknesses. It isn’t advised to exaggerate or be dishonest but don’t portray under-confidence either.
Words like ‘detail-oriented’ or ‘team-player’ are no longer given much importance as every second CV boasts of them these days. One can instead use different words to state the same or use synonyms to make their point. Do not use flowery words or vocabulary that will make the employers open their dictionaries because they most probably won’t and would just stack you CV with the rest instead.
1. FALSE INFORMATION
This brings us back to how we began thinking about this topic. It goes without saying that your CV has to make you look worthy of the job. It is one of the most essential tools to sell yourself to the employer but dishonesty is not the way to go about it. Including false information, exaggerating facts or bragging about things you haven’t done will get you nowhere. Sooner or later, the employer will catch your lie. They interviewers are trained to dig out the truth from within a person and are mostly successful in doing so. If this doesn’t happen in the interview and somehow you land the job, remember there’s a background check that follows in most cases.
It is therefore advisable to keep all the above mentioned things in mind to present a CV that marks the beginning and not the end of your professional career.