CV Tip #7: The 3 most important questions when updating your CV

I recently wrote about words you should and shouldn’t use on your CV. This week I’m focusing on the other unnecessary bits and pieces CV doesn’t need. 

Here are two questions to ask yourself when you look at your CV:

1. Is it obvious?

2. Is it relevant?

Armed with these two questions you can give your CV an update and cut out some of the noise that could distract the reader and take focus away from the skills and experience that really matter.

Here are 5 things to take off your CV: 

• Profile – Not the thing, you definitely need that, but the word. It’s obvious what it is so you don’t need to title it

• References are available on request – Yes, we know. No need to say so, thanks.

• Interests – Now this one can be debatable. Personally, I don’t see my love of travel as relevant to doing my job, but an accountant client did try to persuade me otherwise recently with (in his words) “My interests show I’m human”. 

• Full Driver’s Licence – Not relevant, unless driving is a required part of the job.

• School exam results – No-one needs to know about your exam successes in domestic science. Just not relevant. 

You can also condense and summarise chunks of time in your CV, for example from post-school to 10 years ago. It is unlikely that detailed descriptions of your role then will be part of your showcase now.

Nowadays it is also necessary to apply another question to a CV update:

3. Is it legal?

Your age, gender, marital or relationship status, sexual orientation, religion, whether you have children…basically, anything that could potentially be used to discriminate against you has no place on your CV. If there is something directly relevant to the role, then include that information, otherwise, it’s not required. Any information that is required, for example, your nationality status and right to work will be gathered by the recruiter.

Finally, it’s worth noting that CVs and resume styles vary across industries and across countries so ALWAYS do your research on what’s expected.

If you’d like help with a CV update or makeover, why not try a session of CV Therapy?

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

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