Gender on a CV

gender on a CVOne thing that baffles me more than anything on a CV is why people continue to include their gender on a CV.  I get asked the same question over and over again and my answer is always a resounding ‘No’.  I just feel that in this day and age it’s totally irrelevant to include your gender on a CV – it’s an outdated practice just as outdated as it is to include your age, ethnicity or marital status on a CV.  There are actually new laws which have been introduced to reduce discrimination in the work place and if memory serves me right it is illegal for an employer to ask you to include your gender on a CV.

That said, I betthe next CV you come across has the candidates age and gender – two elements of personal information I feel should not be included on a CV.  Seriously though, why include something on your CV that is irrelevant and takes up vital space on your CV.  I know what you’re thinking, “How much space can a couple of words take up?” The answer is ‘not much’ but I can guarantee you this much, you can definitely use that precious space for something other than your age.  Consider the example below:

Lisa Locke

100 Clifton Street, Birmingham, B11 3ZZ

0121 000 0000

Locke121@mail.com

Female

What is the purpose of the candidate mentioning her gender on her CV?  Isn’t it blatantly obvious from her name that she is a female?  To be frank, all it does is that it makes her look a little lazy and takes up precious space which she can use for something more purposeful.  Remember, space is a valuable commodity on a CV, especially if you have lots of important information to part with.

Whenever I look at a CV I always form a mental image of the person from the information that’s laid out in front of me.  It’s not premeditated and I don’t plan to do it but it’s inevitable.  We’re humans after all and we can’t always control the way our brain functions, it would be a wonderful thing if we could.  It is for that reason I feel that it’s useful to clarify your gender if you have a unisex name such as ‘Ashley’ or ‘Robin’. It might take a potential employer by complete surprise when a woman walks in the room when they were actually expecting a man.