FAQ: Should You Include Your Date of Birth on Your CV?

Updated 12 August 2022

Writing a CV to impress potential employers is an essential step in your process of gaining employment. Determining what information to include can be a challenge because some details are more important to include than others. Learning what personal and professional information you can include on your CV is key to submitting a job application that attracts employers and encourages them to request an interview. In this article, we discuss when to include your date of birth on a CV and the benefits of omitting this information and provide a how-to guide for formatting personal information on your CV.

Should you include your date of birth on your CV?

It's often best to avoid including your date of birth on your CV. This information isn't entirely relevant to employers and doesn't provide any beneficial information about your skills or qualifications. Because you can focus on including your education, certifications, skills and work experience on your CV, your birthdate may use valuable space.

Organisations often centre their hiring process around a candidate's personality and qualifications rather than personal information such as their age and marital status in order to find the best professionals to fill open positions and to keep their application process fair and inclusive. Because your age doesn't affect your ability to succeed at a new job, leave this information off of your CV and other application materials.

Can age impact your application?

Though it is illegal for employers to make hiring decisions based on your age, this type of discrimination can occur, impacting your application. Some hiring managers may have internal biases about your abilities depending on how young or old you are. While this isn't always the case, it's easiest to avoid the issue completely by omitting your date of birth on your CV.

Related: How To Talk About Race, Gender and Social Issues at Work

What are the benefits of omitting age-specific information on your CV?

By being mindful of the personal details you use on your resume, you can give employers the best impression possible. Here are some of the primary benefits of having a resume that doesn't reveal your age:

Showing situational awareness

Because age isn't a part of most modern resumes and CVs, having your date of birth on your CV can make you seem unfamiliar with current standards of professionalism. By omitting your birth date, you show an up-to-date understanding of best practices for job applications. This demonstrates situational awareness, which is a valuable soft skill in the workplace. Eliminating your age from your CV shows employers that you're serious about emphasising your skills and don't expect your age to factor into an employment decision.

Emphasising qualifications

Adding unnecessary personal information can distract employers from the important qualifications on your CV, so omitting your birthday can direct attention directly to your work experience and skills. If you list your date of birth, you may not have enough room on your CV to include relevant information. Leaving your birth date off of your CV allows recruiters and hiring managers to focus on your relevant qualifications and start reading about your professional experience and training right away.

Related: Guide To Writing a Compelling CV for Teaching Jobs

Avoiding assumptions

Removing your age from your CV helps you avoid possible assumptions or judgments about your age. Though there are labour laws that generally protect employees from this, it's impossible to know how each individual hiring manager would respond to seeing your age. By not displaying your date of birth outright, you can completely avoid any assumptions about your experience, work ethic, workplace habits or future plans.

Focusing on the present

By deleting your birth date from your CV, you can keep your application focused on your current abilities and skills. If an employer knows how old you are from your CV, they could compare the timeline of your professional experience to your age at the time. To get the best impact from your resume, emphasise your current capabilities and how you can progress in your career regardless of your age.

Streamlining your CV format

Most CVs are only one or two pages long, so you have limited space to express all of your qualifications. Your date of birth may only be a few words and numbers, but this still takes up space on your CV. The line that you use to write down your birthday could be better applied to the experience or skills section. Writing your CV without your birth date allows you to simplify your CV format and use all of the space on the page wisely.

Related: Functional CV: Tips on How To Write A Good Functional CV

Protecting against misuse of information

Having your birth date on your CV, along with other personal information, could put you at risk for identity theft. This is especially true if you post your CV on job sites, which is often an essential part of a job search. Withholding information about the exact date and year of your birth can protect against someone else misusing your information or pretending to be you online.

When should you include your date of birth on your CV?

Most jobs based in the UK don't require you to include personal information such as your age, marital status, photo or race on your CV. Though, some other countries or regions may prefer this information. If you're applying for a position outside of the UK, research the local labour laws and conventions. It might be helpful to find templates of the common CV format for the position in which you want to apply.

If you can't find this information for the country in which you want to work, consider omitting your age and other personal information from your CV and send a cover letter that offers to provide more information upon the employer's request. If you're in a situation in which you need to include your date of birth on your CV, consider these tips:

  • Add a personal details section: If you need to add personal information to your CV, such as your age and marital status, consider creating a short personal details section to separate this information from your qualifications.

  • Format the date: When including your birthdate, consider the format of the abbreviated date. Some countries differ on the order in which they list the day, month and year, so be sure to choose the right format for your date of birth to avoid confusion.

  • Use the header: The header space on your CV may be a perfect area to list your date of birth. Consider creating a line under your name to dedicate to personal information such as your date of birth.

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How to format your CV without personal information

While it's easy to talk about removing your age or date of birth from your CV, employees might look at your employment history and graduation dates to estimate your age. If you think this may affect your chances of getting an offer of an interview, there are some ways to format your CV to help overcome this. Consider the following tips to help you exclude personal information from your resume:

Use a skills-based layout

Though chronological and reverse chronological CV layouts are more common, professionals can also use a skills-based layout. A skills-based CV focuses on your transferable skills learned from your previous experience and emphasises your adaptability within your chosen field. Using this layout, only include your job title and the knowledge you gained from your experience, ensuring you prioritise the most relevant information for the position. This helps you focus your CV on your aptitude and professional skill set rather than your age.

Related: A guide to writing an excellent CV using a CV checklist

Offer succinct contact details

While some CV templates might give space for extensive personal details, including your home address, date of birth and social media profiles, it usually isn't necessary to require all these details. Only include professional social media profiles if they somehow relate to the position for which you're applying. For example, these accounts may help you showcase your skills if you're applying for a social media management position. Otherwise, only list your name, phone number and email address so the company can contact you.

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Highlight the role, not the date

Although it's common practice to include the start and end date of any position or qualification, it's sometimes okay to leave it out. List your education history without graduation dates if you want to focus on your recent professional achievements. This helps you use your CV to highlight the value of your experience rather than the date of your accomplishments, which can create an age-neutral CV that values your professional expertise over your year of birth.

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