Take These Things out of Your CV

Posted on Tuesday, August 3, 2021 by The CV WizardNo comments

The harsh reality is that you have mere moments to grab the attention of the manager casting their eye over your CV. You have to keep it short and sweet. We give lots of CV advice on our blog, but today we’re predominantly looking at what you can do if you’ve written your CV and it’s still far too long. We’ll talk about what you can take out to ensure that the “less is more” premise prevails, rather than a patchy and incomplete representation of you.

So, what can you cut out?

  1. Your personal statement

    Yes, really, personal statements are so 2000. It’s a chunk of text and no one has that kind of attention span. Instead, add this to your cover letter or email, and in its place on the CV put a really short and bulleted summary. These hard transferrable skills will then stand out like a beacon saying “hire me”.

  2. Padding

    You can bet that if your CV is over two pages of A4 then you’ve got superfluous words in there, which aren’t needed to add meaning or value. Stick to the point—this isn’t creative writing; it’s an imparting of facts.

  3. The word “CV”

    Honestly, it’s clear what this document is. Don’t give up precious header space by stating the obvious. The heading should be your name.

  4. Cut the contact details

    By the time you’ve listed your LinkedIn details and three contact numbers, no one cares! Put your email address and a single phone number, and use as little space to do it as possible. You don’t need to put your residential address either. It’s not needed and may only lead to unconscious bias anyway.

  5. Cut the personal stuff

    We’re in 2021; your marital status, sex, date of birth, or any other personal details have no place on your CV. Sell yourself on your work skills and experience alone—it’s enough.

  6. Your school grades from 30 years ago

    It was great when you got those good grades—they opened the doors to employment. However, beyond knowing that you are educated as appropriate for the job, in most office support jobs in London (except at entry level), you won’t need to list that you got a C in Religious Studies. Instead, list your education succinctly and in an overview style. Many employers now will follow up successful applications by requesting copies of educational certificates or transcripts. That’s your chance to have a little reflection on past successes!

  7. Anything that’s not relevant to this job

    The problem with writing a generic CV is that you will need more words to cover all the bases. It’s another reason why a dedicated CV per application is often a winner. If you can’t fit everything in, you may be making the hiring manager read through things that are irrelevant to the job they are hiring for.

If you’re still struggling, get someone else to read through and highlight where they think you are stating the obvious. For example, with office support roles, you don’t need to list every program in MS Office that you’re a pro at. You can also save some space by removing your references and saying they are available on request.

 

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