Things You Should Never Include in Your CV, Cover Letter


A strong Curriculum Vitae and Cover Letter give you 90 percent chances of acquiring a job. Applying for a job requires one to be very careful especially with the information they provide in the CV.

A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is sometimes referred to as a resume while a Cover Letter can be called a Motivation Letter. Sometimes, the simplest mistakes there in, are the reason you aren’t hired.

Here are some of the things you should never include in your CV or Cover Letter.

Wrong addresses

Herbert Zaake, a Human Resource consultant, notes that your cover letter and CV create the first impression of you to a prospective employer so a lot of care and caution has to go in their preparation.

“Ensure it is correctly addressed to the right company and contact. If I receive a cover letter erroneously addressed to my company, I will most definitely discard it.  It demonstrates lack of seriousness,” he says.

Don’t use slang


Zaake notes that use of slang language depicts lack of seriousness. Spell all words correctly and before you send, review or proof read it. Misspelt words can be irritating for an employer. He adds that if possible, get a professional to review the cover letter and CV.

He goes on to explain thus, “don’t tell lies because you will eventually get caught and your values will be under scrutiny. Don’t include things you cannot do just to make an impression, for example ‘I am an IT expert’ yet you aren’t.”

Avoid unnecessary details

Isaac Kamanyire, a businessman, adds that while stating things that got you from your previous jobs, avoid mentioning reasons why you quit that could have you rejected.

For example; “I was accused of fraud,” “had wrangles with my workmates” and the like. Such details would rather be avoided.

Zake says that unless specifically requested for, don’t include your salary or benefits expectations. The prospective employer will imagine you are only in it for the money and you will not add value.

“Avoid information that does not relate to the job. It’s best to write a short and precise CV and cover letter than bringing out unrelated work experiences,” he adds.

Emmanuel Kakuba, a Literature and English teacher, cautions, “be professional while writing. You should take it seriously. You are selling yourself and need to convince the other party that you are the best candidate suitable for the role.”

Mention your value addition to the company. What is it that you have to offer? What is your value proposition?

Kakuba adds, “don’t include qualifications you don’t have and don’t exclude the ones you have so as not to appear too qualified for the role. This is concealment and a reflection of being dishonest.”

Zaake further explains, “don’t blame your previous organization or supervisor. In case you stay in a place that’s not known don’t include it in you CV, for example a village that is too far and not known. You can instead use your phone number or email address.

This also works for someone without a permanent address, especially those that keep shifting to different places.”

For email addresses, he insists that one should use one’s real names and avoid things like cutie22@gmail.com because it shows that you are not serious.

Don’t include things that aren’t asked for

Some people add things like photos of them or their previous work with an aim of creating an impression yet it’s like suicide.

“Employers may reject you depending on how you look without looking at your capabilities. However you can include your photo in case it has been asked for,” says Kakuba.

Don’t praise yourself

Zaake concludes thus, “carefully share your strengths and achievements without boasting or being full of yourself as this will nag people reading your CV. Avoid things like “I am the best, I am intelligent” and other self-praise statements. All you have to do is state your capabilities.”



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