If you’re wondering whether you should put your date of birth on your CV, well – the short answer is no! You could argue that there are advantages to including your age – for example, it shows the extensive experience you’ve accumulated, it shows you’re young and keen, it shows whether you’d fit in with the rest of the team – but you’re second-guessing their opinion and, technically, a recruiter should ignore this information.
Employers are only allowed to hire on the basis of your ability to do the job – and your date of birth doesn’t give a good indication of that. In fact, they could be accused of age discrimination if they take your age into account at all.
There are certain protected characteristics that a hiring manager must not consider when making hiring decisions, based on the Equality Act. Job applicants are protected from discrimination due to age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership status, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. None of these are relevant to how well you’re able to perform in a role and therefore they have no place on your CV.
Instead, your CV should focus on your skills, expertise, achievements and qualifications for a role. That’s the information that will convince the reader to progress your application.
Were you taught to include your date of birth on your CV? Many people were, but that advice is considered outdated now.
By not including your date of birth, you’re avoiding the recruiter making assumptions, rightly or wrongly, about your ability to do the job. You also avoid looking out of touch with current workplace norms.
Don’t forget that, when you’re uploading your CV to a job site or emailing it off into cyberspace, people you’ve never met will be accessing it. So, the less personal information you include, the less chance there is of your details being used for identity theft.
Is there ever a reason to put your date of birth on your CV?
Of course, the Equality Act only applies if you’re job hunting in Britain. Other countries have different laws and expectations.
Adding a date of birth seems to be less common in Europe than it used to be, but places such as the Middle East and India are still keen to know lots of personal details that would be considered unnecessary and potentially discriminatory in Britain.
If you’re looking for work abroad, it’s best to check the current advice with a reliable local source.