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What personal details should be on my CV?

What personal details should be on my CV?

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It may seem an obvious thing to say, but the 'Personal Details' section of your CV is your first opportunity to introduce yourself to a potential employer. Get the basics wrong at this stage and you can wave goodbye to the chances of getting an interview.

Here is a guideline to what personal information you should and shouldn't include in your CV, and how to ensure that you do not fall victim to discrimination about your age, sex, religion or nationality.

Your name
Write your name in a larger font than the rest of your CV to make it stand out, after all your CV is a marketing tool used to market YOU Ltd. Middle names are optional, but don't be tempted with Frank ‘The Tank' Ricard.

Marital status and family
You don't have to include details about your marital status or information about whether you have a family or not. However, if you think your status will make your application become more attractive. For example being single might make unsociable working hours more feasible, whereas having a family may mean you're in a more stable situation and likely to be loyal to the company.

The employer is forbidden from making a decision based on these factors by the Sex Discrimination Act, but there's no harm in putting yourself in a positive light.

Date of birth
You may include your birth date if you wish. However, it is no longer necessary since the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 made age discrimination illegal in the recruitment process. If you're having issues getting interviews, try removing it from your CV to see if it has a positive impact.

Nationality
With the exception of governmental positions, which may require this information, your nationality should be omitted. The Race Relations Act 1976 prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, or nationality (including citizenship, ethnicity or national origin).

And, in 2000, the Act went further to include a new provision that public sector and other governmental recruiters must now prove that they do not discriminate on the grounds of the above conditions.

As long as you are either a native to the country in which you are applying or can provide a suitable working visa, there in no need to tell them where you are from.

Contact details
Simple logic applies here – don't include your work phone number, fax number or email address. Use your own personal email address or create a new account specifically for your job search, especially if your current email address is something like foxybabe@webaddress.com.

Be sure to add the phone number that will make it easier for potential recruiters or agencies to contact you, most likely your mobile phone. And double check you've got the right number on there!

If you're worried about getting calls while you're at work, you may wish to put some times on there when it's OK for you to be contacted.

Other information
If the job you're after requires you to drive then you will probably want to assure them about your clean driving license. If you are going for a web design role, you may want to direct them to a website you have created. Whatever you decide to include, just be sure it helps, not hinders your application.

Whether you include these personal details at the start or end of your CV is up to you. All employers ask is that they are easy to find.

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