Your resume is the first document that you use to tell your employer about your qualifications, work experience, skills, etc. But what about your personal details like your age, and birth date? Do you put your age on a resume or cover letter?
If you are creating your resume for the first time and are clueless about whether to include your birth date or age on the resume, keep reading this guide. Here, we’ll clarify all your doubts to help you create a resume and cover letter that stands out from the crowd.
Should you Include your Age or Date of Birth on a Resume?
The simple answer to this question is NO.
A few years ago, it was common to add the date of birth or age to the resume. However, job applicants became victims of age discrimination by hiring managers. Consequently, a law was passed in 2010 stating that all applicants should be treated equally regardless of their age.
That means candidates are no longer bound to add personal information to their resumes.
In fact, employers are also not allowed to ask candidates about their birth information that would give an idea of their age.
Can Your Age Impact Your Job Application?
It’s a fact that your age should never act as a barrier between you and your career. After all, it has nothing to do with your capability to work in a particular position.
But when the hiring manager reads your age on the resume, he might intentionally or unintentionally think about whether you would be a good fit for the job role based on your age.
Ultimately, this will affect your chances of getting hired and have a negative impact on your job application.
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Why it’s important to not include Your DOB on your Resume?
Removing your birth information from the resume allows the recruiter to focus on other important information like your qualifications and relevant experience. But it’s not limited to that. Here are other advantages of omitting your age from the resume.
Showing Situational Awareness
Mentioning the birth information on the resume was a practice that worked almost over a decade ago. It is no longer a convention in modern resumes. If you add your age on your resume, the prospective employer might take it negatively, thinking that you are not updated with the current trends.
So, it’s clever to omit this field from the resume to leave a positive impact on the recruiter’s mind.
Employers don’t have the time to learn about your personal details. They are more interested in knowing how you can contribute to the company’s success.
By omitting information like your birth date, employers can focus on meaningful information like your skill set, professional experience, strengths, etc., and make the hiring decision accordingly.
Different recruiters can have different perceptions after knowing your age. And this will affect the decision of hiring. Not all employers overlook the age factor, especially after reading it on the resume.
But if you omit the age or date of birth field, the recruiter won’t get any chance to make assumptions about your capability based on your age.
Focusing on the Present
When the potential employer finds out how old you are, it will affect the expectations he has from you. For instance, if you are young, he may think you might not be much skilled and experienced. Contrarily, if you are old, he might have more expectations from you.
However, these assumptions can be avoided by not adding your age to the resume. And this way, the future employer will be more focused on your present capability.
Streamlining your Resume Format
Usually, a resume is a one or two-page long document. That indicates that you have limited space to convince the recruiter that you are a good fit for the job role. Besides, adding more personal details like your birth information to the resume takes up space on the page.
Instead, you can use that space to mention your relevant skills or work history in a proper structure and impress the recruiter.
Protecting Against Misuse of Information
Nowadays, most people post jobs online, and candidates apply for these jobs on job posting sites. These sites have simplified the recruiting process, but the downside of such platforms is that online frauds have arisen.
People take your personal information from such sites and misuse it by pretending to be you. And this can cause you serious trouble.
How to Hide Your Age on Your Resume?
Till now, you must have thought that the recruiter can only find out your age through the age or date of birth field. And by removing these fields, you have successfully stopped the employer from knowing your age. But that’s not true!
Employers can find out your age through other relevant information on your resume. So, if you want to prevent employers from knowing your age completely, you need to work on the following points.
1. Keep your Header Simple
The first section of your resume is always the header where you mention your name and contact details. Keep this section simple and avoid including any extra information that could give hints about your age.
For example, if you list your social media handles in this section, make sure they don’t have any references about your age or birth date.
2. Adjust your Education Section
Most employers get an idea of the applicant’s age through the education section. Usually, this is the place where you mention your degree and school information along with your graduation year.
And this is exactly where the recruiter gets an idea of your age. The best way to prevent this is by not mentioning the year of graduation on your resume.
3. Emphasize Recent Experience
Another section that gives an idea of your age is the work experience section. If you mention that your first job was ten years ago, the recruiter can determine your age. That’s why most candidates don’t include all the jobs along with the date of employment on the resume.
And you can do that too. Instead of adding details of all the companies and the joining date, mention the job role and company name.
However, including information about the current job in detail.
4. Focus on Accomplishments Instead of Seniority
Instead of merely focusing on your experience, highlight what you have achieved throughout your career. Explain how you have grown and contributed to the company’s success.
You can add a line to describe the awards you have received while working at your previous companies. This will help the employer know your ability and make you stand out from the crowd.
5. Update your Email
Another place where employers can find your birth information is your email address. Usually, candidates use email addresses that reveal their age and if you are one of those, update your email account right away! Also, update the user name to sound more professional.
Should You List Your Age On Other Job Application Materials?
Other than your resume, there are certainly other places where you will have to include your birth information. And you can mention your age in such cases. For example, many employers ask for the employee’s birth date after hiring the candidate to know if the applicant is above 18 or not.
Apart from these, you will also have to mention your birth information while creating your account on job posting sites.
When Should you Include Your Date of Birth on a Resume?
You don’t need to add your date of birth while applying to jobs in most countries. Countries like the USA, Canada, the UK, and Australia don’t expect you to mention your date of birth.
However, it is a standard practice to include your birth date or age on your resume in some countries. So, if you are applying for a job in a country that requires you to list such information on the resume, you need to include it.
How to Include Your Date of Birth on Your Resume?
If you want to include your birth details on your resume, you need to have it in the right place. Here are a few tips on listing your birth details on the resume.
1. Consider a Personal Details Section
The best place to include your date of birth is under the personal details section. This is where you mention your details like marital status, religion, etc. And since your date of birth is also a personal detail, employers expect it to be discussed here.
2. Use the Header
If you don’t want to create a personal details section, you can utilize the header to include your date of birth. Start by mentioning your name, followed by your contact information, and finally add your date of birth below that.
3. Format the Date
There are various methods to mention dates. However, while including the date of birth on your resume, you need to write the month’s name. And if you don’t want to mention the month in words, make sure to write the date of birth in a standard format.
What If You’re Applying For Jobs Overseas?
Different countries have different resume structures. If you are applying for a job overseas, you need to do your research and follow the conventions of that country. If you are applying for a career in some Asian country, you may need to add your date of birth on the resume.
That said, do your research and create your resume based on the format that works in that country.
If you’re applying for roles in those countries, don’t include your date of birth.
Countries like the USA, UK, Australia, Canada, etc., follow anti-discrimination laws for hiring. So, while applying for jobs in these countries, you can skip the age field without any worries.