Date of birth on a CV? The case against it! - CV Plaza

Date of birth or age on a CV

Picture shows the date of birth of an applicant on on their CV

Including your age or date of birth (Dob) on your CV used to be a common practice even a decade ago. It was usually the second piece of information after the name of the applicant.

Is the inclusion of DoB on a CV appropriate today?

Over the past few years, this trend has changed due to the introduction of anti-discrimination legislation. Many careers experts consider it one of those irrelevant personal details that can safely be omitted.

Under new Age Discrimination Laws (The Employment Equality Regulations 2006, incorporated into the Equality Act 2010) you do not need to include your date of birth or disclose your age on your CV.

The main reason behind this is to prevent discrimination on the basis of your age.

Tumelty, S. in CV and Interview Handbook (2008, pg.67) states: “It used to be a norm to include your age, marital status or nationality on a CV. Today such information is regarded as obsolete. Part of the reason behind this is that such information could be used to discriminate against you on the grounds of your gender, age or ethnicity. It also means that CVs are shorter and more punchy.

Possible discrimination scenarios based upon age

For example, a recruiter may make the following assumptions about candidates:

  • This job position requires someone dynamic and energetic: our chosen employee should be young in age.
  • This job position requires lots of experience and a mature outlook: our chosen employee should be over forty.
  • Employing someone under the age of 16 is asking for trouble.
  • Anyone over the age of 50 will be settling down for retirement, soon.

It is therefore recommended to discard any age-related details from your CV. The effectiveness of this omission, however, is still debatable.

Innes, J. (The CV Book, 2009, pg.53) makes a blunt yet accurate statement when he said: “And, besides, any recruiter worth his or her salt will be able to deduce pretty accurately exactly how old you are just by looking at your education, qualifications and experience.

Benefits of omitting age-specific information from a CV

So, what are the benefits of not including your date of birth on your CV?

  1. It will not be a distraction for the rest of the CV;
  2. It lowers the chance of identity fraud if this information falls in the wrong hands, and;
  3. It frees up valuable space that can be utilised more effectively.

Whatever the employer wants to know about you can be derived from your CV; your education, experience, your skills and achievements. If they are interested to find out more about you; they should arrange an interview with you. Simple.