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.

Unnecessary sentences 

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.

READ MORE: Surviving unusual job interviews

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.”