Kid writing her CV

Written by:
Harry Butcher

Looking at updating your CV? Here’s what NOT to include!

People often talk about what you must include in a CV, but rarely about what not to include!

With how buoyant the job market is right now, many people are using this time to give their CV a little update and see what’s out there. You may have heard the stories of people in tech getting £30,000 – £40,000 pay increases when they move companies, and it’s no exaggeration. It’s enough for anyone to start exploring a new career move!

But what if it’s been a hot minute since you’ve updated your CV? What do you include? And more importantly, what do you not include!? Well, have no fear. Here are some of Revoco’s top CV no-nos to help you on your way.

1) Having spelling/punctuation/grammar mistakes

This is often a big stickler for hiring managers. As someone who’s dyslexic, I know how much of a challenge it can be, but try to have someone you know (and trust) to read over it for you.

I can’t recommend Grammarly enough. It’s free and it’ll not only catch spelling mistakes but also catch a lot of grammar mistakes often missed by MS word.

2) Attaching a picture or headshot

In many countries, it’s common practice to include a headshot, however, in the UK it’s not.

Although this shouldn’t be the case, having a photo of your CV can also open yourself up to unconscious bias from hiring managers. So, in our opinion, it’s best to avoid it!

3) Including irrelevant information

We find it best to try to keep your CV to 1-2 pages – which doesn’t a great deal of space. So, make sure you’re only including relevant information about the job you’re applying for.

When I include something on my CV, I often ask myself ‘so what?’. “I achieved X” – so what? Why would a hiring manager find this interesting/relevant? If you can answer that, great! If you can’t, maybe have a think about whether to include it in your CV.

4) Poorly formatted CV

Although we don’t totally believe the statement that ‘recruiters and hiring managers only spent 7 seconds looking at your CV’, we do agree that first appearances matter. This is why you want your CV formatted nicely.

Is the relevant information where it should be? Is it visually appealing?

To avoid your CV’s format getting lost or messed up in transit, send it as a PDF rather than a Word document.

5) Private Information

Now, this may seem a little obvious, but over years it appears not! Avoid including any private information that isn’t needed.

Whether that’s protected information that could lead to unconscious bias (like age or marital status), to sensitive information that could (if in the wrong hands) lead to fraud. This includes things like your NI or passport number, or even your address – just but rough location, i.e central London, or Bristol BS3.


Now, this isn’t an all-inclusive list of things to not do, but it’s definitely some of the main things to try and avoid in our opinion.

If you’re looking for a little bit of advice on your CV, give one of the Revoco team a message – we’d be more than happy to help!


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