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The "Don'ts" of Writing a CV

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Recently, I talked about the "Do's" of writing a CV based on my observations of reading 1000's of CV's during my career in recruitment. This week, I am writing about the "Don'ts" .


  • ​Don't think a couple of lines describing each job is enough for the reader to guess what you do. For example, it is not uncommon for me to get CV's saying "bookkeeping" as if that is self explanatory. It isn't. Some people think bookkeeping is keeping the purchase and sales ledgers and others think it is everything right up to producing sets of accounts. You need to be clear about what aspects of a role you have covered.
  • On the other hand, please don't make the reader's eyes glaze over by sending them a ten page CV covering  every aspect of your life going back 30 years including the names of your children, cats and dogs!! I'm sure the children, cats and dogs are absolutely adorable but frankly, they aren't relevant to your job hunt so we don't need to know about them!
  • Please don't write in paragraphs in small type script as it is harder for the reader to find the relevant things they are looking for..
  • Don't include your date of birth - you don't need to and you don't want employers assuming things about you based on your date of birth.
  • Don't include hobbies. This is an oddly British thing to do and they are irrelevant to whether you want to be a Management Accountant
  • My particular bugbear are paragraphs at the top of a CV which usually start along the lines of " I am a dynamic, pro active person" I am still waiting for one that tells me they are lazy and reactive! Personally, I don't think paragraphs like that add anything to a CV and I usually skip them.However, feel free to disagree on this one if you have a burning urge to tell the world you are dynamic and pro active
So just a few don'ts to be going on with. Next time, I shall look at tailoring your CV for different markets so do keep reading! Have a great week.