A decade ago, it was common practice to include your date of birth on your resume. It was usually grouped together with your name, birth date, address and other personal details.
Fast forward to September 2023, and employers are legally forbidden from requesting this information from you.
You can safely omit your date of birth from your resume.
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3 Benefits Of Omitting Your Date Of Birth From Your Resume.
By omitting your date of birth from your resume, you avoid giving employers any information that could be used against you while demonstrating awareness and leaving more room for information that matters.
1. You Avoid Age Discrimination.
Age can be a controversial topic, and some people might make assumptions about your qualifications based on your birth date.
This type of discrimination is illegal in Australia, but it still happens. By omitting this information, you give the employer a blank slate to work with.
Above: Australian anti-discrimination legislation seeks to protect job seekers from unfair hiring decisions.
2. You Show Situational Awareness.
Since age doesn’t appear in most modern job applications, omitting it shows that you are in tune with the current expectations.
(Related: Should You Include Hobbies On Your Resume?)
3. You Streamline Your Resume.
The top header is your resume’s most prized piece of real estate. By removing your date of birth, you make more room for vital resume sections, like your professional profile or key skills section.
Speaking of which, do you know how long an Australian resume should be?
Which Personal Details Must You Include On Your Resume?
A well-written Australian resume should only contain your phone number and email address in its contact section, like this:
Optionally, include a shortened LinkedIn profile URL and links to any other relevant social media accounts.
7 Personal Details To Exclude From Your Resume.
Apart from your date of birth, you should follow a strict resume format that focuses on your main selling points and omits unnecessary personal information from your resume.
Hiring managers don’t expect to see these personal characteristics, and they don’t affect a hiring decision in a positive way.
1. Marital Status.
You don’t need to tell a prospective employer whether you’re married, single or divorced. This information is irrelevant to your job application.
2. Number of Children.
Like your marital status, the number of children you have is irrelevant to your job application. Many employers will get worried if they find out that you have young children.
In most cases, your religion is also irrelevant. Unless the potential employer legally requires you to have certain religious beliefs (e.g., a chaplaincy role), leave it off your resume.
Including your nationality might lead to discrimination, even if that’s not your intention. Unless you’re applying for an embassy role, don’t mention it.
Be mindful that being an Australian citizen is a prerequisite for most full-time roles, both in the private and public sectors.
5. Political Leanings.
As with religion, your political beliefs are best kept to yourself. Only include this information if you’re applying for a role that requires certain political beliefs (e.g., a role with the Australian Labour Party).
6. Home Address.
Including your home address is unnecessary and can even be dangerous. If you’re worried about employers finding out where you live, leave this detail off your resume.
(Related: What You Need Include In Your Resume).
In some cases, Australian employers will request a photograph (particularly in customer-facing roles). If they do, follow their instructions. Otherwise, Australian resume conventions don’t require you to provide one.
Does Age Affect Job Applications?
While some studies scream that “ageism is rife in Australia”, I take them with a pinch of salt.
As always, nuance is key.
More robust surveys, like the AHRI Employing Older Workers Report 2021, do provide granular insights into the concerns of HR managers that you, as an older worker, are likely to face.
If you’re an older job seeker, the above dataset provides you with the top 3 pain points of HR managers that you need to address during your interview.
Namely, you need to highlight that:
- your salary expectations are spot on
- you are adaptable enough to meet technological expectations
- you are sufficiently physically capable
(Related: How Often Should You Update Your Resume?)
What If You Apply For Jobs Overseas?
If you’re applying for jobs outside Australia, keep in mind that age discrimination laws that prevent employers from requesting your date of birth are also in place in the USA and UK.
- You don’t need to include your date of birth on your resume in those countries, either.
- Don’t include irrelevant personal details, apart from your contact details and your name.
Remember – every word on your resume must serve the purpose of selling you to potential employers.
Best of luck in your job search, however old you are.
P.S. Do you have a personal story where you were discriminated against after providing your date of birth on your resume? Share it in the comments below, so that we can all learn from your experience.