Ten Things To Avoid When Compiling Your CV

Creating a CV that wins over a prospective employer and gets you an interview isn’t the most challenging task in the world yet, as our articles on this page set out, there are some important things that you should do to make your CV stand out from the crowd.  Likewise, the team here at Key HQ are quite vocal when describing some of the things you should try to avoid too.  Here are the teams’ – not altogether serious – ten things to avoid when compiling your CV.

  1. The CV we want from you will not include statements that suggest you “always give 110%”…If you CAN in fact do this, you are above and beyond our requirements and would probably be better suited to working for a Premiership football team, The Magic Circle or S.P.E.C.T.R.E.
  1. If you entertain yourself with comparatively dull exploits that’s fine, but please don’t feel the need to mention to us in your CV. For example if you LOVE reading that’s absolutely fine, it broadens the mind of course…but is it entirely relevant to the job role you have applied for? Unless it’s Reading in Berkshire that you love and the job role is a M4 corridor town planning role, then leave it in. And please feel free NOT to mention that you like ‘socialising with friends’…we ALL like doing this…unless we are a hermit living alone in a cave or we spend our free time stalking complete strangers I suppose
  1. We don’t want to read CV’s that say “I feel I am….” What does this really mean? For example, sometimes I feel like I’ve lost a stone, then I weigh myself and I’ve put on 3kg. And other times I feel I am married to Tom Hardy… then I wake up and find I am in fact still married to the 1987 World Snoring Champion. What we actually want empirical facts, hard evidence and gold-standard truths, OK?
  1. If your colleagues say you have a “bubbly personality” or can be described as “quirky”, please don’t feel the need to tell us in your CV. Maybe just let it come through in your words on its own OK? If we don’t pick it up immediately, we’ll soon spot it when you turn up at interview wearing a novelty Homer Simpson tie or your ‘World’s Funniest Dad’ socks.
  1. If you have been employed in NINE permanent roles in the last SIX months, please don’t expect us to believe it you when you say- in all seriousness – on your CV that you are “looking to develop your career”.
  1. If you delivered newspapers for a local shop for nearly eight weeks in 1976 that’s great. But please don’t feel the need to include it in your CV…or mention it in an interview…or even in passing…to anyone…

…unless you are applying for a paper-round of course.


  1. If your CV details ALL of your responsibilities without mentioning ANY of your achievements, please follow the offending sentence with the words “delete where necessary”. For example if you work in telesales, we already know you have to get on the phone and sell stuff to people…so, if you ever hit your targets, tell us and if you don’t, we will just “delete where necessary”.
  1. A CV should not have a section called; “Every single piece of work I’ve ever done” and therefore should not include a list of ALL the work that you have ever done instead of a generic statement of your employment history. It may be easy to write a long list…but we don’t enjoy reading them.
  1. Please don’t say – without offering ANY evidence or examples – that you are “good at working on your own initiative or as part of a team”. We know this is simply an exercise in base covering and would refer you back to point number 3.
  1. If you EVER feel the need to prefix ANY statement with the words “I’m not going to lie…” we really don’t need to meet…ever.

We hope you enjoyed the list and that it provided some pointers as to where the current thinking is on the humble CV, here at Key Group HQ.  It appears to be good to get things off your collective chest from time to time too and the Key Recruitment and Elite HR team appear happier now they have ‘vented’ once more…

We’d love to hear what YOU think too and feel free to share any thoughts on any additional areas you would like people to avoid when putting their CV together!