You Put What On Your CV?

By Siew Ching

Time to give your resume a review and remove these pronto.

Give us an honest answer – how long is your CV? If it is anything longer than two pages, you need to read this article.

More often than not, people have way too much information on their CV. We don’t blame you – after all, you want to impress and what’s more impressive than the appearance of more, more and more! But guess what, a lot of this information is irrelevant, and worst, does not help make your case or increase your chances of being hired.

Now what? We say, edit! Here’s a guide on the things you should take off from your CV.

Day-to-day tasks from previous jobs
Your future employer does not need to know that coming up with marketing plans for potential clients is something you do well regularly. What you should be focusing on instead are the bigger picture achievements, not the daily tasks. Show how your daily tasks made a larger impact on your team or the company.

High school achievements
So you were the head prefect. But that was a good 10 years ago. Will it still make an impression on the hiring manager? Highly unlikely. Especially if this is not the first job you’re applying to! What HR wants to see are your current achievements, not things that happened 10 to 15 years ago. If you still have information related to your high school, we suggest leaving it out and filling that up with more recent info.

References available upon request
Hands up – who has this right now in their CV? You, you and you! Well, guess what – it’s considered super dated to include this line in your CV now and it takes up valuable space that could be used for something else. Obviously, if the interviewer wants a reference, he or she will ask you during the interview so there is no need to state this on your CV.

Objective statement
Let’s be honest here – objective statements are merely highly glorified promises of what you want to achieve. Of course you want a meaningful career and hope to make an impact – who doesn’t? But you don’t need to state those goals and objectives in your CV. These are pretty self-evident so there’s no need to put them in black and white for all to read.

Universal skills
There was a time when you would read a CV and there would be things like “Proficient in Microsoft Office and Microsoft Excel.” Newsflash – that time is long past and if you have that in your CV, your potential employer may draw the conclusion that you don’t have any other skills. Why not use that space to list down skills that are current and relevant to the job you’re applying for?

Your picture
You know how your parents tell you that you have to include a picture of yourself in the corner of your CV? Well, not really. In fact, some countries like the USA believe that a picture on your resume can open the door to discrimination and should be avoided in your CV. Ultimately, you want the potential employer to focus on your skills, abilities, and experience, and not what you look like. Besides, with social media, just typing your name online is an easy way to see what you look like.

Cliché, cliché, cliché
Of course everyone is a highly motivated self-starter. And yes, we are all committed to the task at hand and detail oriented. Say no more – you’re a team player? Well, so is everyone else who submitted their CV for the same role! What you should do instead is find a way to stand out from other applicants so you are more memorable and not just “another CV”.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash.

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