Recruiters often have to go through piles and piles of applications. So, how can you make your application stand out from the rest? This week, I will be sharing what you should include and exclude from your CV.

Let’s start with what you should exclude from your CV. There used to be a couple of must-haves or great boosts for your CV. However, it is important to keep up to date with what recruiters are looking for. Make sure that the skills listed are still valid or not too common. It is always a good idea to fill out your CV with any specific skills or specialties you might possess. Doing so is a good strategy to give you that extra edge to stand out from similarly qualified candidates.

Your CV is the first impression, so you must make it count. Here are some pitfalls you should exclude from your CV and what you should never do.

1) Microsoft Office Skill

It is almost pointless to mention or emphasise that you are experienced with using Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc.) This is a basic skill for every working person today. It doesn’t make you stand out, so exclude it from your CV.

2) IT-Savvy Skill

This point essentially states that you know how to operate a laptop and other IT products. Toddlers are playing with their iPads every day, and they might even be better at games than I am. If you do not want to be compared to a toddler, you should definitely exclude this from your CV.

3) HTML Coding Skill

Being able to code might be one of the must-have skills these days. However, if you were to put HTML as an example of your coding skills, it might be a little too basic. I know a little bit of HTML since I have to do some webpage design as well! As such, you should exclude this from your CV and perhaps choose something a little more practical or demanding.

4) Faxing/Copying Skills

Once again, there’s no point including this. You simply must know how to do this…

5) Objective

This is a really interesting point because I never knew that objectives have long not been required on a CV. I think I still have mine on my CV, so I’d better exclude it now. Indeed, recruiters are no longer interested in knowing your objectives or career aspirations. Instead, they would prefer a summary that highlights your key skills and accomplishments related to the position.

6) Listing of your previous job scopes

Including a long list of duties does not mean that you are more experienced. Instead, present yourself as a creative or strategic thinker and build your CV around the job you are applying for. Write your job descriptions like mini case studies that quantify your accomplishments. For example, mention a specific event that happened and how it helped the company.

7) Irrelevant Job/Work Experience

Your CV should show as quickly as possible that you match the requirements of the job vacancy. Cut out any irrelevant information that may dilute this message. Just include the relevant job/work experience that might be applicable or similar to the job vacancy.

7) Team Player

Every employee should be able to work well with others. Being a team player or good communicator doesn’t make you an extraordinary hire. Exclude these from your CV and replace these subjective resume words with precise action verbs, such as “resolved” or “negotiated” so as to make it easy for any potential employer to visualize your experiences.

8) Results-Driven Candidate

16% of surveyed hiring managers chose “results-driven” as the worst resume term. Everyone expects results and works towards achieving results regardless. Show more passion for achieving results and load up your resume with tangible numbers and milestones from the past. This will allow employers to see exactly how you stack up against the competition.

9) Too Personal

It is not necessary to include your photo, date of birth, sex, religion etc. Employers may base decisions on personal data. As such, by excluding this information, you prevent the possibility of encountering discrimination.

Here are some skills or information that you should exclude from your CV. As a rule, you should ditch common resume phrases that could apply to anyone. Hiring managers want to know what qualities make you a great hire and stand out from the rest. As mentioned, use relevant stories with action verbs and job-specific keywords.

Your CV should help employers clearly see your potential. By including too many unnecessary details such as a list of every software application you know how to use, it is a distraction that takes the focus away from you. You are also wasting precious space that you can use for other purposes. Place more emphasis on your accomplishments and how you made a real, lasting impact at a previous company.

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