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CV Crash Course – what not to put on your CV

Things to avoid on your CV

We’ve all been there. Totally over your current role. Decide to look for a new job. Start by putting your LinkedIn profile to ‘open to new opportunities’. Start scrolling through then think to yourself,

‘Oh, that one looks good. I could do that’

Click apply.

Leads you to a new tab and boom, it’s there…

‘Attach your CV’

You give a sigh, thinking all you wanted to do was apply to that great position you’ve seen, but you can’t until you have put some words and icons on a page that you can call a CV.

Grrrrrind to a halt. Here goes. Let’s write this CV and get it done.

Things you should consider when starting to put it together:

Don’t be boring

Whether you’re a Designer, a UX-er, a Techy or a PM, these are all within the creative industry. BE CREATIVE. It really will set you apart from the crowd. Think about it – Recruiters and Hiring Managers see in excess of 20+ CVs per day usually. If you had to look at it from their perspective, what would you want to see?

On that note, don’t be so creative it looks like someone graffitied the side of a bus. It’s all about the balance.

Don’t make it too long

Minimal yet descriptive. This is something I always recommend sticking to. Would you want to read through a 10 page CV? Absolutely not.

Keep it concise and clear. We don’t need to know what you studied at Primary School.

Don’t skip the details

Use tangible info, for example, if you’re a PM give some context about the size of budgets managed.

Don’t grade your expertise

An icon stating you have 96% proficiency in Sketch. Who marked this? Yourself. Get rid! (Along with 4 out of 5 dots. Please no. Stop this!)

Don’t be vain! 🙂

Having a photo of yourself. I’m sure that selfie is lovely, but keep it to Instagram.

Don’t over-format

Tables and formatting – only use these if you really have to.

Don’t be vague

Avoid generic skills. ‘Great communicator’ and ‘Team worker’. I’m sure you are as a PM or whatever else. But you don’t need this on there.

Don’t be random

Not being in chronological order. Please make sure you do this. Hiring Manager’s will want to see the most recent thing you’ve done first.

Don’t give too many links

Portfolio links to your Behance, Dribble, Instagram, your dog’s Facebook. Just provide one link!

Considering all these things are so important when writing a CV, what you should do

If you follow a structure and keep the tone of voice consistent, it should open the door to speaking to the hiring manager, and ultimately land your dream job!

A good structure to stick to is:

  • A short profile
  • Role summary (most recent first)
  • Software / programme proficiency
  • Education (if applicable) or courses taken
  • Anything else worth noting

Think of it as the first impression they will have of you. Make it memorable, but not over the top!

Recruiters such as ourselves are here to help you. Give us a call for advice. It’s what we do.

Contact me, kate@zebrapeople.com

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One response to “CV Crash Course – what not to put on your CV”

  1. Alice says:

    Great article Katherine!

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