50 things not to write on your CV and 10 things not to do

Your CV has less than 10 seconds to make an impression. It’s purpose is to get you that interview meeting where you can tell the employer more about yourself and discover more information about the job itself and the employer as well.

Things not to write on your CV
  1. “My best friend’s name is …”
  2. “I own a laptop, GPS, digital camera and a car.”
  3. “My name is …, my father’s name is … and my family name is …”
  4. “I believe in God.”
  5. “I am currently interning at [company]”
  6. “Curriculum Vital.”
  7. “Cheaf Accountant.”
  8. “Succeed in Brevet.”
  9. “Cashier Stuff Controller”
  10. “Accounter in an accounting office.”
  11. “Hotal Management.”
  12. “Inside Sales Representative.”
  13. “Sails person in [company].”
  14. “Americain University of …”
  15. “Chef Deron.”
  16. “Unsurpassed Economist.”
  17. “Certified trainee costumer service.”
  18. “Lebanon Collage.”
  19. “CV template.”
  20. “Resturents & hotels.”
  21. “Technical Bachelorette in hospitality.”
  22. “Internet oriented”
  23. “Chef over 20 scouts”
  24. “I am married to Dr. …”
  25. “Bacaloria.”
  26. “Place of birth: AUH, Beirut”
  27. ‘Diplomat in Chef Accountant’
  28. “I work when they need me.”
  29. “It gave me experience while hand working”
  30. “Worked there instead of initial employee until she backed from the maternity leave.”
  31. ‘I will be honored to work together for a better future. Olé!! & Regards.”
  32. “I left previous work for a personal reason. If you decide to hire me, I will tell you it.”
  33. “Resume is a way of marketing & advertising and the product is you.”
  34. “My role in [company] as a well known company is [job].”
  35. “Working as a [job]. I gained exploring many [job] and advanced [job] tool and components which are not known to many [job].”
  36. “Objective: I give my best to any job.”
  37. “Objective: To apply my extensive 1st hand experience” when you have no experience whatsoever.
  38. “Objective: Looking forward to hold CFO position in a multinational company.” when you just graduated.
  39. “Objective: I certify that the info contained in this application is true & complete. I’m available upon request”. That’s not an objective.
  40. “Objectives: Get a degree in … , Education: Currently attending university.” o.O Resume doesn’t mean summary of the summary.
  41. “Formation” when you mean “Education”.
  42. “Employed at [company]” Great. As what? From when to when?
  43. “I worked as a [job].” Fantastic. Where was that? From when to when?
  44. “Graduate from [University]. Superb! What’s your major? From when to when?
  45. “Assistant to Miss X” – I have no idea who she is nor what kind of assistance it was…
  46. Don’t write CV, Curriculum Vitae or whatever as a title. The document can be identified as such in 1 second.
  47. If your email is a pet name or looks like smurfette@gmail.com, PLEASE, create a formal one for business use.
  48. Do not list every single course in your life. Writing down your major/minor/specialty is/are more than enough.
  49. References with every person who knows you and their phone number instead use this phrase: “References available upon request.”
  50. Do not write down your salary at every company nor your reason for leaving on your CV. This information is either asked in an online application or during the interview.
Things not to do on your CV and some advice
  1. Mobile pictures taken in a car with your Raybans on, where you pose or talk on your phone, are to be avoided. Actually do not put any picture at all unless required by the company. If that’s the case; only use a passport photo.
  2. Coffee stains, smileys and folding on your CV are a big no-no.
  3. Fresh graduates and people with up to 10 years experience: Your CV must be 1 page. Don’t use 18 Font size, write on 1/4 of the page, etc… NO ONE will read more than 2 pages (that’s 15 years experience and above) and there is no need to attach any additional documents whatsoever.
  4. Do not bind your CV and don’t staple a business card on it… especially not a business card that says “Job Seeker”.
  5. Do not stamp the word “Rejected” on your CV.
  6. Do not mix Education and Experience. Separate them instead.
  7. Do not write your CV in French unless it’s a French company your are apply to. Write it in English and on a computer.
  8. Do not use the Month only when you add dates. Instead use the  Month/Year format; especially in the experience part. If you started work on December 2011, you do not have the same experience as the person who started in January 2011.
  9. Do not be limited to paper. Recruiters use LinkedIn and Facebook to look for candidates. Updated profiles can always play for your advantage.
  10. Do not write your CV in a hurry. ALWAYS spell check your document and RE-READ it. The most common mistakes can be avoided this way.

BONUS: Don’t write every detail of your job description. Focus on the main points, the ones that make a difference and on your achievements. (Ex: Everybody knows what a recruiter does. He/She recruits 😛 But not all recruiters are familiar with Competency Based Interviews or Everybody knows what an Accountant does; but some are specialized in one area..like billing etc..) Try to answer this question: Why should they hire you? What kind of problem they have that YOU can solve?

People in the creative industry: this is an added pressure; your CV needs to give an impression about your creativity as well. Recruiters still have to be able to read your document if printed in black & white. (Mind the colors)

Have you encountered such things? Add to the list in the comment section!

9 thoughts on “50 things not to write on your CV and 10 things not to do

  1. I love this! But, are you sure about the whole 1 page thing for less than ten years experience? I’ve heard the one page rule only applies to fresh graduates.

    • Recruiters get hundreds and thousands of CVs every day. If the CV is not 15+ exp. rare are those who will bother to turn the page. Unless the person changes companies like 20 times…that’s something else.

      I added a Bonus to the list that can help 🙂

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