There are many assumptions and mis-leading information on what is acceptable and what is not acceptable on a CV. Protected Characteristics are a part of this, as are a few other details which can negatively impact your application, but not necessarily for the reasons you think!

We review hundreds of CVs every week, and some common occurring themes present themselves time and time again and we find ourselves advising of highlighted inclusions to remove.

But why should you remove them?

Let me Explain……

Age and Date of Birth

Under the Equality Act 2020, it is illegal for employers to discriminate against applicants in the job search process based on their age – it is in fact one of 9 Protected Characteristics of Discrimination in the UK, and your CV is not the place to show this for various reasons.

Firstly, you are assessed on your ability to carry out the role being applied / interviewed for, this is based on your expertise, skills, capabilities and knowledge, at no point is it based on your age. No recruiter should ask for your Date of Birth (DOB) or your age, and to be fair most recruiters would rather not have this information so they can 100% assess suitability based on experience.

Secondly, and for me the most important aspect as to why you should not include your age or DOB, is for your personal security against fraud; your CV is posted online, although job sites and recruitment sites are secure and comply with GDPR/DPA, you should still treat your CV as though they are not. Age/DOB is just one piece of information fraudsters can collect on you, so keep your personal information, personal.

Other Details which do not add any value to your CV include:

Marital Status
It is irrelevant to your future employer if you are married, single, divorced or co-habiting, this really does not affect your ability to carry out the role you are applying for, and has no place on a CV. It is also protected within the Equality Act 2020 and has no residence in any aspect of the job search process.

Number of Dependents
Again, it has no relevance on your ability to carry out the role you are applying for and does not form part of the process.

Unless this has been requested or you are applying to a country which require this as customary, then it is not a requirement in the UK to add a photo to your CV and can open the recruiter up to an unconscious bias in the process.

Your Full Address – Town/County as a Location is sufficient for a CV
Your location is key on a CV for both ATS and to enable the recruiter to assess your locality for the role, but you do not need to detail your address in full; it is also safeguarding against your online security.

To put this another way
Just imagine if you included your full name, full address, DOB and marital status on one document and this got into the wrong hands – always think ‘is this information relevant on a CV?’

Gaps in Employment
You should not leave any gaps in your CV, whether they be on your academic or professional timeline, but you also do not need to include personal details of why you were out of study or work; if you took time away to care for a relative, an operation, recuperation or any other ‘personal circumstance’ then you do not need to divulge the details of such. State you took a Career Break for Personal Reasons is perfectly acceptable, or include information if you went ‘travelling/raising family/house renovation project/further study’ etc…

The only place you need to give details of your references is on an Application Form or in reply to an Offer of Employment; even putting ‘References are Available upon Request’ is not acceptable on a CV, and actually forms a Negative Key Word/Phrase against ATS.

Remember to use the space wisely on your CV
 Don’t waste space with irrelevant information
 Do not include personal data if it could be damaging in the wrong hands
 Gauge if the information could unconsciously cause a bias
 Keep detail focused on experience/expertise/skills/accomplishments/relevancy