Controversial personal information
There are certain personal details that can put potential recruiters off. While this is not necessarily allowed, there’s not much you can do to avoid any bias as an applicant.
So avoid including information that has to do with your religious beliefs, sexual orientation and political affiliations – anything that could be viewed as controversial.
However, you should suss out the job your applying for and if it feels like a particular piece of personal information, however controversial, could work in your favour, then don’t omit it.
CVs and cover letters should be kept as short as possible, and this means that everything you say should count. Filling your cover letter and CV with unnecessary statements like “If you have any questions, please feel to get in touch” or “References available on request”, should rather be omitted. All of these are already implied by the fact that you’re applying for the position. Also, don’t indicate anything new to the employer.
Unrelated work history
The main thing an employer looks out for when browsing through CVs is related experience. Cluttering your CV with unrelated experience only serves to distract the employer and could subsequently lead to them discarding your application.
If you’re applying for a role in which skills acquired from your previous positions are not transferrable, you should still include the information in your CV, but this shouldn’t take up a lot of space. The Muse‘s Angela Smith writes: “If you’re applying for a position in marketing, but your experience is a combination of marketing and sales, tailor your resume to focus on your marketing experience and skills and minimise — or even remove — the sales information.”
Awards you received millennia ago
It’s not uncommon for employers to come across CVs that are filled with awards that applicants received in high school, and sometimes even primary school! If the awards you received over ten years ago are a predominant feature of your CV, it could appear as though you haven’t received any recognition since, and this won’t impress potential employers.
Unless the award is truly spectacular, and you feel it will make a real impact on a potential employer’s perception of you, rather leave it out.
While adding your address to your CV might seem innocent enough, it could jeopardise your chances of getting that job. Employers might be reluctant to consider a candidate if they are not local, even if the applicant is willing to relocate.
AvidCareerist writer Donna Svei says in-house recruiters are aware that people who have to travel long routes to work are often highly stressed and can sometimes quit because of this.
“If your commute would be longer than what’s known to be tolerable long-term, your resume often finds its way into the ‘maybe’ or ‘no’ pile,” Svei writes.
So, if your address is not a requirement in your application, rather leave it out from both your cover letter and your CV.