Date of Birth on a CV

date of birthdayTwenty years ago it was common practice to include your age and DOB on a CV because it was something that was instilled in us by our careers advisor’s and teachers.  Even today I still come across the odd CV with the candidates DOB clearly stated under their name and address.

With the introduction of anti-discrimination laws, the trend has slowed down significantly over the past few years. I don’t feel it’s necessary to include your DOB on your CV and I’m sure other CV experts will agree with me on this.

Under the Age Discrimination Laws (Equality Act 2010) you do not need to include your date of birth or disclose your age on a CV.  The practical reason behind this is to prevent age discrimination on the basis of your age.  Employers are sometimes ruthless and they can often reject you purely on the basis of age related information on your CV.  My advice is, don’t include your age on your CV because you’re just giving employers another reason to reject your CV.

Whenever I discuss this topic with my clients I always give them some examples of possible discrimination scenarios based on age.  These scenarios or assumptions usually happen quite early in the recruitment process. The employer has already decided who they want for the role and no matter how experienced or skilled the candidate is, if they don’t tick the right boxes, they won’t make the grade.

So what are these so called discrimination scenarios based on age? Well, an employer might make the following assumptions about a candidate;

  • The position requires someone young and dynamic: chosen employee should be young in age.
  • The position requires someone with lots of experience and a mature personality: chosen employee should be over forty.
  • Anyone over the age of 50 will be thinking about retirement.
  • Hiring a recent school leaver is asking for trouble.

For these very reasons, I would strongly recommend you do not include any age related information on your CV.  Employers aren’t puppets; they’ll work out your age by looking at your education, qualifications and experience.  That said however, you don’t need to plaster it all over your CV.

Remember the purpose of your CV is to sell yourself to a potential employer and you do this by highlighting your skills, education, qualifications and work history.  Focus on the things that matter – age is just a number and its inclusion on a CV will always remain a number.