Guest blog from Aspire, a graduate recruiter in the media, sales, marketing, digital and creative sectors.

The internet is filled with endless tips on how to put together the ideal CV so why don’t we focus on what NOT to include in your CV instead? These tips are just as important, and will ensure you are putting yourself across in the right way to make you more employable. For more career tips you can download Aspire’s career tips guide here.

Take note of the following CV no-no’s:

Photo: Let your experience speak for itself – there is no need for a photo to accompany your CV. Whether conscious or not, everyone makes a judgement from a photo, and your looks have nothing to do with your professional experience.

Clichés: At the end of the day, the writing’s on the wall: avoid clichés! Take a look at the following list; see anything familiar…? ‘Highly motivated, passionate, dynamic, solutions-focused, good communicator, able to work independently and as part of a team, attention to detail’!

Salary expectations: Every job is different, so don’t run the risk of taking yourself out of the running by under- or over-selling yourself. The time to discuss salary is after excelling at interview and finding out the particular salary bands for the job. You’ll then know better how to position yourself.

Too much detail: The golden rule is always to stick to maximum two pages for your CV. There’s no need to write three paragraphs about your work experience placement at the local newspaper 12 years ago! Keep the detail for the two most recent roles you’ve undertaken, and stick to bullet points focusing on the most important tasks and accomplishments from your previous experience.

Gaps in employment: So you went travelling for a year – explain this in your CV. Just be honest; you don’t want an unexplained gap in your employment on your CV putting off potential employers. If you’ve been travelling, this is a good way to show that you’re multi-faceted with interesting hobbies, too. It’s not always just about your experience and GCSE grades!

Spelling and grammar errors: Proofread over and over, and ask a trusted friend or family member to check for errors too. Imagine if a typo was what cost you that perfect job! This is especially important for content roles as you are meant to be selling your attention to detail and writing prowess.

Finding yourself struggling with your CV, cover letter, interview preparation or how to make a good impression? Download Aspire’s Guide to Job Hunting Success here.

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