What to avoid in a CV - what not to include when writing your CV

what to avoid in a CV
As there is certain information that should always be included in your CV, so is there other information that could possibly be included or should definitely not be included if you are hoping to land an interview for that dream job.

In this article we look at some of the information that you should not include.


Starting with the top of the document, a very common mistake is to write the title "CV, Curriculum Vitae, Resume" or similar. None of these should be included, as it should be plainly obvious that the document is your CV. If it isn't clear, then you need to look at the layout and content! Your CV should begin with your name and contact details.


Unless you are applying for a modelling job, do not send a photograph of yourself with your CV. It used to be the case previously, but is no longer deemed necessary. An employer cannot determine whether a person is a suitable candidate purely from looking at a photo of them.

Age, race, nationality, sex or religion

Again, these areas were always included in CVs a number of years ago, yet today they should be left out. As above, whether or not you can do a job properly should not be determined by the colour of your skin, your age, sex or religion.

Marital status

If it does not help your chances of getting a job, do not include.

Health and physical description

Unless it is relevant to the post that you are applying for, leave it out. An applicant for a gym instructor's post or a personal fitness instructor would perhaps include this information.

Hobbies and interests

This is a tricky one but can be included if they could somehow help your chances of landing the job that you want. For example, if someone was applying for a local reporter's position, then they could write down that their interests include travelling, photography, reading and creative writing.

Reason for leaving

It is not necessary to state why you left or plan to leave your job on your CV. More than likely, this will be touched upon during your interview.


There is a good reason why you should not include your references on your CV. It will suffice to write "References available upon request". If you are called for an interview, which then goes very well, it is at that moment and not before that your potential employer will investigate further. If he is not interested in you from the interview, then he won't bother checking up on all the references. It's all a matter of time.


Mention of money does not go on your CV. There is no need to say what you have earned in the past or what you want to earn in the future. Details of salary would be covered in the interview if both parties were interested.

Charts and graphs

There is absolutely no need to include any charts, graphs or tables on your CV. They take up space and are not helpful at all. They would just make things very complicated. If producing graphs or tables were part of your job, then maybe you could bring some samples to the interview but do not produce them unless asked to do so.

Specialist jargon

Keep the language you use simple and clear. Do not use any specialist lingo, as often a specialist will not be the first person to read your CV.

Do not lie

Most CVs are certainly exaggerated slightly, as candidates "talk themselves up". However, it is a sackable offence to lie on your CV and it could cost you your job if you were found out. Actually, it is being found that more and more people are including false information in their CVs and subsequently, employers are carrying out more rigorous checks, so don't be caught out by including information that just isn't true.


This was featured in detail in our "Your CV layout" article. Ensure that a clear font is used and that the document is typed on plain white or cream paper.

Do not use fancy fonts and use tools for highlighting such as bold, underlining and italics sparingly.

On a final note, make sure that when you send your CV off to a prospective employer that you also include a covering letter.

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