In the second week of our CV writing series, we are going to spotlight a very common practice that needs to go. BrighterMonday Tanzania receives a lot of CVs from job seekers looking for their next big break. Many applicants in Tanzania have learned either from their friends or predecessors, the practice of including details in their CVs that are unnecessary and or in other words, superfluous.
Unlike the previous article of the Don’ts of CVs where we looked at things that might cost you a job interview, these on their own might not affect you to such a degree. Though they are not deal-breakers, they don’t add much value to your CV, and the only thing they will do is take up space that could otherwise be used to accentuate the more significant details. And truth be told, they make you appear as an amateur and at times unprofessional, when it comes to the world of CV writing.
What are these unnecessary details? Let’s start
1. “CV” or “Résumé” as Title
CVs are sent to very specific places. No one sends a CV to a newspaper editor so it can be printed in the paper or hands it out as a flyer. By the time you are sending a CV, we take it that you are responding to a job advert. Even when you are sending it blindly, you will be directing it to HR or a Recruiter. They know that it is a CV even without you trying to tell them that it is with “CV” or “Résumé” written in big bold letters at the top. Instead of CV as a title, put your name up there.
2. Primary & Secondary Education
Some applicants include their Primary and Secondary Education in the Education part of the CV. Is it important? No. If you have a Bachelor’s or a Master’s degree, or you have received some form of certification from Higher Learning Institutions, we would assume that you have successfully passed through the earlier stages of the educational hierarchy. No Recruiter or Hiring Manager would be interested to go through the history of your education. Leave this unnecessary information out and use the space for more important details that will push your CV up the list of good candidates to be called for an interview.
3. University Modules
Yes, we know that you like your Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, and you liked it especially the modules on Consumer Behavior and Market Research. But please don’t include university modules in your CV for one big reason. When an employer is looking for someone with the educational background in marketing, they know exactly what they are looking for. They know what a degree in Marketing entails. Adding these modules will take up so much space in your CV and make you look unaware of what a good CV looks like.
4. Way too Personal Details
We know that you have a personal life which is super interesting, and even worthy of a book deal. But don’t include things that are too personal in your CV. For example, you don’t need to mention that you are divorced. You don’t have to include that you have 5 children. You also don’t need to include details about your ethnicity or tribe. Personal details are unprofessional and they can be used by bad Hiring Managers to throw away your CV just because you are from a certain tribe or because you have too many children. A CV is a professional document and before putting any details, ask yourself if they are professional. If not, leave them out.
I, the undersigned, certify to the best of my knowledge and belief that this biodata correctly describes myself, my qualification and experience.
Do you put this at the end of your CV or have you ever seen this on someone else’s CV? Truth be told, you don’t need a declaration. Why? If you are sending your CV to a Recruiter or to a company looking to hire, we can assume beyond a reasonable doubt that you are sending a CV that correctly describes your qualification and experience. We also believe that you are the one applying and it is not your sister or your friend applying on your behalf. So, you don’t need the declaration and signature.
Like pointed above, these are not things that will make the Recruiter discard your CV. Simply, they are unnecessary inclusions that take up space in your CV and make you appear unprofessional and inexperienced in the art of good CV writing.