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What not to put in a CV

Your CV is an important tool for you to sell yourself to a prospective employer.  It should be a snapshot of your relevant experience and achievements and make you stand out from the competition.  The best CV will present you in a way that makes it easy for the prospective employer to see the advantages your experience and abilities will bring to their firm or organisation.  Often, what you should leave out of a CV is as important as what you should include.  What could damage your CV?

 

  • Don’t attach a photograph, unless requested.  Even if it’s your best holiday snap it’s your experience the employer is looking for!
  • Be concise, don’t use too much narrative.  Try and use bullet points to make it easy for a prospective employer to draw out your relevant experience
  • Don’t use jargon or slang or too many abbreviations.  Make sure your English is clear, accurate and polished.
  • Avoid a long list of achievements that aren’t relevant to the job you are applying for.  Keep your CV relevant, you don’t want irrelevant information detracting from the important content.
  • Never inflate your academics, qualifications or skills.  You will be questioned thoroughly on your CV at interview stage and background checks/references will always reveal the truth.
  • Take off your referees, you don’t want the dangerous situation of your current employer being contacted before you hand your notice in.
  • Long personal statements are a turn-off.  Your CV should be factual and present your experience, it shouldn’t be a summary of how amazing you think you are!
  • Always proof read your CV, spelling and grammatical errors can mean you are not selected for interview, even with the best experience.

These are just a few points you should consider when drafting your CV.  The key to remember is be concise, relevant and tailor your CV to the firm and role you are applying for.  This is your one and only chance to create an impression and sell yourself, so don’t let a poorly drafted CV mean you miss out on the perfect job for you.

Louisa Phillips, Senior Associate, BCL Legal

For more information on how to write a great CV call 0845 241 0933 or visit http://www.bcllegal.com/careers-advice/in-house/cv-best-practice

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