What things should I leave out of my CV?

It can be hard work stripping your working history down to the bare essentials, but if your CV runs to more than two pages it runs the risk of losing interest. If you keep in mind the busy CV-reader faced with a mound of applications, you’ll realise why brevity is the best policy. So what’s good for the chop?

Well, there are usually some jobs in your history, particularly early ones that can be described simply by their title and the name of the employer. Don’t include reasons for leaving jobs or salary details. If they don’t add anything in terms of your present application, you may well want to leave them out entirely.

Educational details are another area where many applicants go on too long. It’s understandable, particularly if you had good results, but unless they’re recent just provide the basics.

Also, go easy on the hobbies and on the clubs. A brief list can help to show that you’re a rounded character (particularly if you don’t have much on-the-job experience), but employers usually don’t want to know too much about what you get up to out of hours. Unless you’re looking for an opening at the Royal Mail, the fact that you were president of your school stamp club is not going to tip the balance for many employers. For the sake of a balanced structure to your CV these can be left in, but reduced to a short summary paragraph or two rather than a detailed listing.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

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