Career Tips

10 Things Not to Put On Your CV

Date Posted: 12/18/2014

When writing your resume, it is important to take into consideration some pointers on what you should and should not include.  Here, we will give you 10 things that you should be careful NOT to include in your resume when applying for a job abroad.

1.   Irrelevant work experience or experience that is not true

When applying for a certain job abroad, it is expected that you read the scope of work or the job description to see if you have the relevant experience for the position you are applying for. Recruiters will look to see if you have the right experience when screening you for a possible initial interview.

For example, if you are a nurse and you are applying for a job as a nurse abroad, it is imperative to show your work experience in the healthcare setting. Including your work experience as a part-time cashier or an office assistant does not help establish credibility to be considered for even an entry level post in such a highly-skilled job as a nurse.

In the same way, you should not put in information that is not true. Most companies conduct background checks with previous employers before making you a job offer. Be truthful in stating your experience in any job application.

2.   Hobbies and Interests

Employers do not need to know what you do in your spare time. Volleyball and computer gaming are not ‘skills’ that will grant you an interview for a possible job abroad. These are handy when your prospective employer ask you about them at a face to face interview but should not be included in your resume. Be careful not to include this unnecessary detail in your resume.

3.   Unprofessional Email Address

In the age of electronic communication, the use of odd email addresses can cost you a job interview or a job. Use a professional email address with your name and initials, as if you are using the email address for corporate or business correspondence. The last thing you want to do is turn-off potential employers by using tacky ones like, [email protected] or [email protected] or [email protected]. We’ve seen too many silly addresses that spell J-O-K-E right from the start.  You don’t want to be set aside because of a poorly-chosen email address.

4.   Negative words

Use constructive positive words to describe your work and experience. Which method of describing yourself better: “I am a ‘passionate and aggressive’ team player” or “I am a ‘results-oriented’ individual that works well independently and with teams”?

Be careful when using what seem to be clever terms in order to capture attention. Nothing is better than keeping things simple and to-the-point.

5.   Typographical and grammatical errors

Poor typing skills and grammatical errors and a bad layout for your resume are glaring red flags. It shows you are haphazard and lazy. We recommend that you have your friend or family member proofread your resume in print after you use spell-check before submitting your CV to any prospective overseas employer. Having a separate pair of eyes to review your profile helps spot mistakes that you overlooked.

Overseas jobs by IKON Solutions

 6.  References or the note “References Available Upon Request”

References are requested once you have been short-listed by your prospective employer. Therefore do not put “References Available upon Request” on your CV. There is no need to state the obvious.  Instead, keep an up-to-date list of references separately ready to send on if requested.

7.   Salary information

Compensation and benefits package information is very sensitive. A professional resume should show your qualifications for the job. It is not necessary to show your salary in your resume. This discussion will come later on when you are negotiating with your prospective employer. If you are working with a recruiter, it would help to inform them of your expected salary without putting it down on your resume.

8.   Big bold, colorful fonts, margin styles, clip art and creative layout

Avoid all mentioned above. The simpler, the better. Save your presentation skills for later use while on the job. A resume that confuses and shocks the reader does not impress at all. Use classic font styles and margins.

9.   Jargon and general statements

General statements are vague or unclear. If you plan to put something vague simply because you don’t have a particular requirement or any specific objective, just don’t include it because it detracts from your resume. Be brief, honest and clear in describing your work experience.

10. Personal information:

age, date of birth, civil status, photograph, gender, religion, political affiliation, social security number, professional license number, passport information

This can be a bit tricky as some employers require age, date of birth, and gender for specific positions. Equal employment opportunity rules have changed in the last decade. In some job portals, these are mandatory pieces of information before you can submit your application. We recommend working with your recruiter and leaving your personal details on a separate sheet of paper in case it is requested by the prospective employer. Highly-sensitive information like social security, passport and professional license numbers should be kept confidential at all times. However, when you are applying for overseas work, these are required as part of your deployment compliance.

More helpful reads:
How to Successfully Submit Your CV

Outshine Everybody Else! How to Make Your Resume Stand Out

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