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10 items that must not be included in a professional CV

10 items that must not be included in a professional CV

10 items that must not be included in a professional CV

10 items that must not be included in a professional CV

Creating a professional and impactful CV is crucial for making a strong impression on potential employers. However, just as important as including the right information is knowing what to leave out. Here’s a detailed guide on what not to include in your CV to ensure it remains professional and focused.


1. Personal Information Not Related to the Job

Your CV should only feature personal information relevant to the job you are applying for. This means leaving out your social security number, marital status, religion, race, or age. Including such details could inadvertently lead to discrimination and divert attention from your qualifications.


2. Unprofessional Email Addresses

First impressions matter, and your contact information is often the first thing an employer sees. Use a professional email address that ideally incorporates your name. Avoid unprofessional or casual handles like “,” as they can make you seem less serious about your career.


3. Photographs

In most industries, adding a photograph to your CV is unnecessary and can lead to bias based on appearance. The exception is for roles where your look is essential, such as acting or modeling. For most professional positions, however, your qualifications and experience should speak for themselves.


4. Salary Information

Discussing previous or expected salary can put you at a disadvantage during salary negotiations and might also prematurely disqualify you from consideration if your figures do not align with the company’s budget. Keep salary discussions for the interview stage when you can contextualize them within negotiations.


5. Reasons for Leaving Previous Jobs

Your CV is not the place to explain why you left or are planning to leave a job. These reasons are best discussed in an interview, where you can provide a thoughtful explanation and context. Including them in your CV might raise unnecessary red flags.


6. Negative Comments About Previous Employers

Never speak ill of your previous employers or colleagues in your CV. This reflects poorly on your professionalism and suggests that you may be difficult to work with. Keep your tone positive and focused on your achievements and capabilities.


7. Irrelevant Hobbies or Interests

While some hobbies or interests can enhance your CV by showing a well-rounded personality, only include those that are relevant to the job or highlight transferable skills. For example, if you are applying for a position in a sports-related field, mentioning your athletic pursuits might be beneficial.


8. Exaggerated Skills or Qualifications

Honesty is paramount in your CV. Exaggerating your skills, experiences, or qualifications can lead to significant challenges if you're hired, potentially resulting in job termination. Be truthful about what you can do and your level of expertise.


9. Too Much Text

A CV should be concise and to the point. Avoid lengthy paragraphs and include bullet points where possible to enhance readability. Keep your sentences clear and focused, and tailor your CV to highlight the most relevant experience and skills for the job.


10. References

It is no longer necessary to include the phrase “References available upon request” on your CV. Employers assume that you will provide references if they ask for them. Save space for more crucial content that directly supports your application.



Crafting a professional CV involves as much about what you leave out as what you include. By avoiding these ten common pitfalls, you can present a streamlined, relevant, and professional CV that makes a powerful impression on potential employers. Remember, the goal of your CV is to get you an interview, so keep it focused, professional, and above all, tailored to the role you are seeking.

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