Things you should never do on your CV

We've got some CV no-nos for you today. If you're used to the job hunt, you might well have heard some of them before. But we like to think that a reminder can be good. Perhaps it could be worth giving your CV a read to make sure it's not falling into these traps?


Oh dear. This might seem like a very simple one – you'd have to be willfully trying to 'cheat' in the job hunt to lie on your CV, right?

Actually, it might not be that simple. We'd say that you actually have to take an active attitude towards banishing inaccuracy if you want to ensure that crucial balance where your CV is as impressive as it can be and also accurate.

If you read through your CV now, you could well find that it has something in it that, when you look at it more carefully and think through the facts, is not quite true. This can easily happen when you're writing from memory, for example. Take this opportunity to clear the mistake up and spend a session ensuring every fact on your CV is watertight – it's a good exercise in accurate writing.


Being arrogant is not going to look good on your CV. it's about finding the right balance so that the reader can see you know your worth, but that you don't seem overly entitled.

Spelling mistakes

Yup, another one you hear every day if you're a job hunter, we're sure!

Let's be realistic: One or two spelling mistakes are probably not going to make the difference between getting the job and not getting the job in most industries, but they are an unprofessional move.

It's important to care enough to check and double check. Here are some things that could have slipped through the net: American spellings, the names of companies and the name of the person you're writing to apply to.

Too much irrelevant information

Or any at all, ideally. Your CV should be exactly what it needs to be, and no more. If you do have something in there that seems like it's might not be relevant  – for example, the odd joke or two – only keep it in if you can say what the point of it is.

Very old information

Some things – like the fact you helped out behind a stall at a school fair when you were nine – are probably too old to be worth mentioning now.

Poor design work

If you know how to make a visual design stand out, feel free to be imaginative – although this might be less relevant in hospitality work than if you are applying for something like a graphic designer position.

However, it's probably best not to stray from a basic visual template unless you know you can pull it off well. And avoid typographical techniques such as using all capitals for a paragraph – if you want to make it stand out, bold would be better.

Incorrect tone

Your CV is not a chat with a friend or a diary, nor is it a super-serious government report. If you're not sure about what tone to take, it will usually work if you keep it serious and brief, although there are other options.