Should you put your age on your cv?

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As a jobseeker, should you put your age on your CV?

There are many unconscious biases that come into play in the workplace. As human beings we naturally categorise people and things to help us make sense of the world. But when it comes to recruitment and interviewing, that categorisation can lead us to make incorrect judgements and inferences about people. For example, if you’re looking to replace someone in your team that has left, will you unconsciously be looking for someone with similar characteristics: age, ethnicity, appearance etc?

Judging people on these kinds of measures is unfair and ineffective. It’s also unlawful under the Equality Act of 2010.

Skills and abilities, not characteristics

As a job candidate, you want to be selected based on your ability to do the job. Your age and other characteristics are irrelevant. So should you put your age on your CV, or not?

It is unlawful to rule someone out of a job or promotion based on their personal characteristics such as age, sexuality, ethnicity or religion. And because of that, the recruiters don’t need this information on your CV or in an interview.

As a result, you shouldn’t put your age on your CV. You might also like to consider a few other steps to make sure that your application is assessed in as objective a way as possible, including:

  • Not listing the year you graduated from schools or universities
  • Limiting your career history to the last 10-15 years
  • Listing your ‘O’ levels as ‘GCSE equivalent’

It is always a good idea to tailor your CV to the job description, making sure that you bring out certain skills and abilities that match what the employer is looking for.

Date of Birth on application forms

You may find that you are asked for your date of birth or other personal information as part of online job application forms. Don’t be too concerned by this. It won’t be seen by the recruiting manager – it’s usually collected as part of diversity and inclusion reporting.

Using it as part of the recruitment process would be unlawful, so it’s extremely unlikely that this will be shared.

Diversity and inclusion

While it makes sense not to put your age on your CV to avoid discrimination, the signs are that this is less prevalent in today’s workplaces.

Most employers now recognise that diverse teams tend to be the most productive and engaged. Many organisations actively encourage older people to apply for their roles, and many offer Return to Work programmes to give them the skills and training they need to do these jobs.

After all, your life and work experiences will help you overcome challenges at work and encourage and support your colleagues. Plus, organisations’ customers are as diverse as the population, so having a wide range of people within a company works in everyone’s favour.

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