The 5 things you should never add to your accounting CV or resume
Published on: Apr 13, 2023
Your CV or resume is your way of telling potential employers / hiring managers / recruiters about who you are, what you can offer and why you are the best fit for them. A CV or resume is not, however, an endless list of everything you have ever done in your entire life, nor should it be written in a way that confuses the reader or an Applicant Tracking System.
As such, there are several things you should avoid including in your CV or resume to ensure you achieve the highest levels of success in your job-hunting journey. The five major things you should never include in your CV or resume are:
- Photos: Back in the “old days”, many people used to include a photo of themselves in their CV or resume as a way to make it more personal, but in certain geographies, this has become big no for several reasons. It can boil down to recruitment practices in the country that you are based, but also factor in that images in a CV or resume can confuse Applicant Tracking Systems (which typically only read text), which could keep them from highlighting you as a top candidate. If you are based in Asia, the Middle East or large parts of mainland Europe, it is generally accepted that you should include a photo. If you are based in the UK, North America or Australasia, you would normally not include a photo.
- Adding complicated graphics: Some people feel that to make their CV or resume really stand out, they need to add a lot of fancy graphics and visuals. Although this can sometimes make a CV or resume look aesthetically pleasing to the eye, from an Applicant Tracking System perspective, this is another big mistake. As with having a photo, using graphics and images in your CV or resume can impact the performance of an ATS in obtaining the right information. As such, you can miss out on opportunities that you could be perfectly skilled and experienced in applying for.
- Using a strange email address: When it comes to your CV or resume, your email address looks so small and insignificant compared to the rest of the information in your document, that many people don’t even really think about the email address they are using. A lot of us use free email providers like Hotmail, Live or Gmail and it can be quite fun thinking of a unique and wonderful email address (my very first email address started with cheekymonkey!!). Your email is the primary point of contact in your CV or resume, so it needs to be professional. Keep it simple, straight to the point and avoid any potentially offensive words. Also, avoid using your year of birth in your email as this can also lead to age discrimination.
- Hyperlinks: A lot of people rightly include information in their CV or resume that allows the reader to check out their LinkedIn profile, website, bio or portfolio, and it is definitely right to include this information. However, what many people do is include a hyperlink to allow the reader to access those external sites straight from the CV or resume. One of the bad things about including a hyperlink is that they can distract the reader away from the text you actually want them to read, because of the fact they turn blue, are underlined and draw the reader’s eye away from other content. Additionally, ATS will turn everything into plain text, so the hyperlinks will be void by the time it reaches the hiring manager. Lastly, you want people to read your CV, not navigate somewhere else after a couple of lines.
- Hobbies and Interests: This has always been a very subjective matter, and many people like to include their hobbies and interests in their CV or resume because they believe it shows more of their personality to the reader. What you need to consider though, is whether these hobbies and interests are in any way relevant to the work that you do, or the opportunities you are seeking. If not, why add them? Including hobbies and interests can actually hurt your chances more than help, as there is more chance that your hobbies and interests are different to those of the hiring manager, and they also waste space in your CV or resume that could be better used highlighting other skills or experiences.
Why not request a free CV appraisal by emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org, referencing CIMAA5.