What NOT to Include in Your CV

Writing a CV can be daunting at the best of times, however with the looming threat of ATS (applicant tracking systems) and a competitive work landscape, making your CV stand out is more important than ever.

Here at The Candidate, we see HUNDREDS of CVs every week – and we know what works and what, well… doesn’t! So keep on reading to find out the top 4 things that recruiters and hiring managers DON’T want to see in your CV…


3) Formatting

If you’re a naturally creative person, it can sometimes be hard to reign it in when it comes to your CV. The allure of bold colours and funky layouts is difficult to resist! It’s important to remember that keeping your CV clear and easy to navigate is the most important thing. A sensible order (contact details, key skills, qualifications, work experience, references – just as an example), defined sections (utilise bullet points!), and keeping the length to 2 pages is paramount.

Worried you won’t be able to show off your design prowess? It shows skill to make something look good whilst also remaining clear and concise – this is what employers will look for! (Plus, if you’re applying for a creative role e.g. a graphic designer, your accompanying portfolio will show what you can really do! Need some tips on how to create the perfect portfolio? Just click here!)

Oh, and under no circumstances should you include emojis. Great on social media, not on your CV!


 4) Pictures, selfies, headshots…

Keep your CV a selfie-free zone! Even professional headshots don’t belong here. Recruiters don’t need to know what you look like – it’s actually part of many Diversity and Inclusion policies to ensure CVs don’t include the candidate’s picture to ensure fairness and reduce bias. So, if you have your picture on your CV, and the company you’re applying to has that policy in place, your CV won’t be sent to them. Don’t miss out because of an easy fix!



Overall, you’re going to want to K.I.S.S – Keep It Simple, Stupid! Include relevant information (using the STAR method is a great idea!) and make sure it’s displayed in a clear and appropriate format. Avoid cluttered layouts, get rid of anything outdated or unrelated to the role you’re applying for, and control-X out that basic Microsoft Word skill.

Is your CV ready to go? Apply online now for some amazing roles in Marketing, Creative, Analytics, Tech, and Digital! Click here to browse all of our job vacancies.



[email protected]

Call us now

+44 161 833 1044


''Is it good to be busy? Why we all need a prescription for wonder.''- Kate Campbell founder at Wonderlust

Learn More …

Top Candidates in Marketing, Digital and Tech for 2024

Have a look at our top Immediately Available talent!

Learn More …

Sign Up To Our Newsletter