Sometimes less is more - and that's absolutely the case when it comes to your CV.
When you've only got two pages of A4 to sum up your employment experience, it's not the time to ramble on about things that are useless to your prospective employer.
Keep yours brief and full of the facts that really do matter.
Here are the top 10 things that should definitely not be on there...
1. False claims:
Over egging the pudding about your education or experience is a half-baked idea. You run the risk of getting caught if your interviewer does a simple background check or social media search. Anyway, what if it leads to you landing a job you're really not qualified to do? That will just open up a whole new world of pain...
2. Marital/parental status:
Companies will be in deep water if they ever discriminate against a candidate based on their family situation - but do you really want to give them any ammunition? You might think describing how you juggle work with kids helps portray you as a multi-tasker. And while it’s a truth for most of us in our daily lives, we don’t need to flag it up to a potential employer who may be concerned that you appear to have too much on your plate. So focus on you and you alone on your CV.
Similarly to the last point, age discrimination is illegal, but can be a very real issue. Everyone should leave their age and date or birth off their CV, but for older workers, dates of education can also be left off. Of course, at the interview, they'll find out roughly what age you are, but that's where you'll have the chance to impress and really show that age is irrelevant.
A picture doesn't always say a thousand words - so leave a photo off your CV. It can open up a whole can of worms for employers. From your photo, they can see your rough ethnicity, your age, and perhaps whether you suffer from a disability - they won't want to be perceived as either hiring or rejecting you on these attributes.
5. Cheesy statements:
It's old fashioned to start your CV with a statement along the lines of: “I'm looking for a role that...” Your resume should showcase why an employer should want you above all others - not tell the employer what you want. Ditch the objective statement and instead write a one-paragraph summary of your strengths and major skills. It will have a far bigger impact.
6. Unrelated college or university jobs:
You might have been like lightening on the checkout at Tesco or poured a mean Margarita in the Student Union, but if it's 10 years on and you're going for a job as a solicitor will that really float your employer's boat? Don't give your interviewer screeds of rubbish to read through before they get to the facts that really matter.
The interview stage is too early to get into discussions about salary so don't put past earnings on your CV. Only discuss the matter if a firm job offer is made. If current salary is required on a job application, give the information in your covering letter.
8. Departure info:
The reason for leaving previous positions can often be complicated - your CV is not the time to discuss it. Leave explanations for the interview so there's no misinterpretation.
So in your spare time you love to go quad biking and are particularly interested in 19th century tea sets. Does your potential employer really care? Leaving a section for 'hobbies' on your CV is outdated and irrelevant. If you're asked at interview what you like to do in your spare time, of course you can elaborate. Other than that, keep schtum.
Don't waste space putting referees on your CV. Don't even go for the old chestnut of 'References available on request'. That's a given. If your interviewer wants someone to speak on your behalf, they'll ask.