in CV Writing

Should I include my Date of Birth or Marital Status on a CV?

Should I include my date of birth or marital status on a CV?
This is a question that comes up time and again. Why would anyone advise to include a date of birth or marital status on a CV? Well, I always recommend considering it, and I know that careers advisers across the country will shudder with horror at the very thought. What about the various discrimination laws? Why should a candidate have to disclose this information to employers?
There is one reason for including any information on a CV. Information provided must be a positive asset to your application. If you are 25 years old and applying for a post advertised for a 1-3 year PQE solicitor with future partnership prospects, the fact that you are 25 years old is an asset. If you are 65 years old and applying for the same post, your age is definitely not an asset and I would not usually recommend including your date of birth.
Most employers can work out your age in any event. Tracing back from your schooling or start of your career is the easiest way to do it, although very often I have to confess I usually get it wrong!
A rule of thumb I usually give to clients when career coaching is that if you are under 50 your age is probably an asset to you. If you are over 50 chances are your age is not an asset.
Marital status follows the same principle. If you are married with three children aged 15, 17 and 20, your status is an asset to you. You are settled, with large financial commitments, and likely to make a good employee. If you are divorced with 2 children aged 2 and 3, your marital status is not an asset and is probably best left off the CV.
In summary – if you think something is an asset, put it on the CV. Otherwise leave it off.
Jonathan Fagan is a specialist legal career coach and professional legal CV writer for Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. He regularly coaches lawyers looking to join, change tack or leave the legal profession and personally prepares all CVs for clients using our CV writing services. Full details of the Ten-Percent Legal Careers Service can be found at www.ten-percent.co.uk/careersshop
Jonathan Fagan

Jonathan Fagan LLM FIRP is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. He has been recruiting solicitors and legal support staff for law firms and in house legal departments for over 17 years and handles roles from junior fee earners through to partners and law firm sales/purchases. A non-practising solicitor on the Roll since 2000, he is also the author of a number of legal career books, which are available at www.legalcareercoaching.co.uk. You can contact Jonathan at cv@ten-percent.co.uk