Avoiding Age discrimination on your CV

In the UK it is unlawful to discriminate against someone applying for work due to their age.  There are a few exceptions, however, there has to be a good enough reason to do so and this would have to be proven in Court. According to Natalie O’Hare from BeyondHR, asking for an applicants age is a big NO and there needs to be a strong business case to do so and this is known in legal terms as ‘objective justification’. Natalie stated age can be asked after the person has been recruited and this is normally contained on the new employee details form. But there is definitely no requirement to ask someone’s age at the application stage as this serves no purpose in the recruitment process, unless the employer can make a clear business case for it.

However, there are reports that many applicants believe they are not receiving interview invitations or being successful in obtaining the job because of their age.

Here are some ways to avoid implying your age on your CV:

Do not include your personal details:  historically date of birth was a requirement and now it is definitely not, so keep this out. There is also no need to include marital status, sex or religion. These factors do not impact your ability to do the job so do not include these details.  

Career Summary: You do not need to detail every job you have every done. Going back around 15 years is perfectly acceptable and your most recent jobs are probably more relevant to what you are applying for anyway. In addition to this you do not want your CV to be too long.

Education: There is no requirement at all to include dates of your qualifications therefore, listing the degree, subjects or training is completely acceptable.

Tailor your CV: the purpose of the CV is to assess whether you have the skills and expertise to effectively fulfil the job so ensure you tailor your CV to each job you apply for. This can be done in the professional profile and the key skills section where you can align these sections to what the job is looking for. This also assists with Applicant Tracking Systems.  

Phrases to avoid: There are certain phrases employers should avoid when advertising for a role and these are the same when writing your CV. Both sides should avoid phrases such as ‘over a certain number of years experience in your field’ or ‘mature’.

It is of course important that you take care and attention to include all of the most relevant information in your CV and application for each role.  But it is equally important to ensure you exclude information that is not relevant or appropriate.  I hope the tips give you some helpful guidance when writing your CV.