What Information Can You Safely Leave Off Your CV?

In just a few minutes’ time, you’ll know exactly what doesn’t need to be included in your CV as well as why not. This will save lots of time as you can make some quick and simple edits! What’s more, with some additional and unnecessary information out of the way, the information that you do include will stand out even more.

For instance: Should personal information be included? What about that witty email address and will a photograph really impress an employer? All these questions and more will be answered below!

Too Much Personal Information

CV-writing and employer expectations have changed. Your parents may have told future employers that they were married with two boys and a girl as a consequence, but there is no longer any need for you to do the same.

So, don’t include details of your marital status or sexuality, as it is none of the employer’s business. Nor do you need to mention your race and nationality – leaving this information out can help you to avoid overt or hidden discrimination. Under equal opportunities legislation, it’s illegal for employers to select candidates on the basis of their race, age, sex, marital status, or sexuality – so, you don’t need to include any of this information on your CV.

Politics can definitely stay out of your CV too, unless this is directly relevant to the position you are applying for. If you were applying for a job working for a politician, then your politics would be highly relevant, but if you were applying for a job as a mechanic at a local garage then it wouldn’t be relevant and should be left off.

The only personal information that you really need to include on your CV, is your name and contact details.

Your Witty Email Address

Avoid including the email address that seemed funny when you set it up at school or college. It is unprofessional and will do nothing to impress an employer, who will think you are frivolous (and unfunny). It will only work against you.

So if your email address is eightpintsnightly@hotmail.com or fluffybunny@gmail.com, just keep this for your own personal use and set up another email address – it can often be a good idea to set up a separate email address that you use solely for job applications.

Your Photograph

It may be tempting to include a photograph. But, in most instances, it is inappropriate to include it on your CV, unless you are specifically asked for a photograph. Your image may say more than you expect to a prospective employer, who may have a negative response for no real reason other than that they can. It is different in an interview, when your appearance is part of your overall package!

If you do need to include a photograph, then make sure that the photograph is a good likeness of you and shows you in the right light. That photo you put up on Facebook to make your friends laugh might not be appropriate. If you can afford it, a professionally taken photo will make your application stand out.

Courses That You Didn’t Finish

If you started an educational course or a professional certificate, but failed to complete it, then don’t include it on your CV. It’s tempting to do so, leaving it looking as if you simply forgot to include the completion date, but there’s a chance you’ll get caught out. You won’t look good when an employer notices.

Your Hobbies

Consider leaving out your hobbies once you have been working for a number of years, they take up space and don’t usually add much to your CV. If your interests say something really positive about you, in that they highlight your transferable skills (e.g. teamwork, determination to win, support for others, fundraising, administration, etc), then you may want to include them.

While it’s true that your interests can be interesting conversation starters at interview, many don’t help you to look good or sell you to employers. Likewise, it is often best to leave out information about political parties or Masonic Lodge membership, either of which could lead to rejection.

If you do include some of your interests, be selective and only pick things that show you in a positive light.

Your Social Media Pages

There’s already a high chance that if short-listed, an employer will seek out your Facebook or other social media pages, so make sure that there’s nothing that will work against you if they do come across your pages.

You should avoid drawing an employer’s attention to your pages. Pictures of you drunk as a student may cost you an interview! So, don’t list any social media pages on your CV.


When writing your CV, it can be as helpful to know what to leave out as what to include. Having a clear idea of this can save you lots of time and indecision.

– Personal information should be kept to a minimum.

– Don’t include an unprofessional email address.

– Photographs generally don’t improve CVs, so don’t include one unless asked.

– Leave out educational or professional courses that you failed to complete.

– Hobbies and interests can generally be safely left out of your CV.

– Social media pages should be left off your CV.

Please let us know what you think by leaving your comments below.

If you need help with your CV / resume please check out our professional CV / resume writing service.

Kindest regards,

Paul Bradley.

Managing Director.
Bradley CVs Ltd.

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