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I am just finishing up Rites of Passage (per MT's recommendation) and I am confused as to why Lucht is suggesting that you should provide your date of birth, height and weight, and marital status on your resume.

This seams outrageous to me (what does any of that info have to do with a candidates qualification for the position in question) ... but then again maybe it would help my resume stand out.

What are your thoughts on including this info on your resume?

jhack's picture

I would not include that information. It is illegal to ask those questions, and they will be able to infer your age from your education and work history. Height and weight will be obvious upon interviewing. Marital status conveys no information relevant to the job.

John

PS: Yes, there are some jobs (offensive lineman, marriage counselor, priest, AARP representative, etc) where this data might be imporatant to the job. Generally, though, this info should be irrelevant.

HMac's picture

John -
Lucht writes that he includes it because it "doesn't hurt and might help." He says that's the opinion of "one of America's leading employment law firms."

I have to say that I disagree with including it, despite what Lucht says. Two reasons:

1. It's immaterial to the jobs I'm seeking. And I try to leave out irrelevant information throughout the resume - so that applies here too.

2. I think it's not commonly included in resumes today, so it will "stick out" and draw more attention to itself.

-Hugh

drinkcoffee's picture

Are these questions illegal? I read this recently, from the excellent Ask a Manager blog here:

http://askamanager.blogspot.com/2008/07/illegal-interview-questions.html

"There's a widespread but incorrect belief that these sorts of questions are illegal. The act of asking them actually is not illegal. What can be illegal is rejecting you based on your answers to them. Therefore, since employers aren't permitted to factor in your answers, there's no point in asking them."

jhack's picture

Coffee,

Thank you for the clarification.

John

drinkcoffee's picture

You're welcome, John. Although I'm not sure how much I'd trust "Ask a Manager" for legal advice. :D

To me, the end result is the same. For the record, I don't agree with Lucht either.

Regards,
Bill

tomw's picture

Not in a million years. That information is not related to my job search.

If I were applying for an NBA forward position, listing my height might be relevant. Otherwise, no.

bug_girl's picture

Several recruiters I know for fortune 50 companies say they will not even consider a resume with that information on it, because it leaves the door open for discrimination lawsuits.

Including that info is a common practice in Europe, where the legal climate is different.

HMac's picture

[quote="bug_girl"]Several recruiters I know for fortune 50 companies say they will not even consider a resume with that information on it, because it leaves the door open for discrimination lawsuits.[/quote]

Excellent point, bug_girl.

This goes along with M/M's recurring theme regarding HR: they are often motivated by keeping the company OUT of legal trouble...

-Hugh

jemflower's picture

[quote="drinkcoffee"]Are these questions illegal?[/quote]

For what it's worth, I can tell you that in the UK, if you ask these kinds of questions at interview, you absolutely open the company up to potential anti-discriminatory actions.

j

mdave's picture

I get a little nervous when a candidate brings up this information. It is not a selective factor and part of me sees a red flag that my firm could be getting set up by a frustrated job hunter. It is also atypical, in my experience, business, and region of the US for the upper echelon candidates to volunteer this type of information.

hrjen's picture

I'm HR, and - yes - we are motivated by protecting the company from legal battles and this is a definate flag...

More importantly, though, if I see that type of information on the resume it signals an out of date job seeker to me and makes me question what else they don't know about today's business environment. That's not the environment any more - resumes are not about who you are they are about what you have accomplished. Your height tells me nothing about your professional accomplishments. You are wasting a line or two that could be put to better use.

I haven't read Lucht's book and wasn't aware that it recommends that. It reflects, in my opinion, a view of employment that is about 30 years out of date.

HMac's picture

What a great post!

[quote="hrjen"]More importantly, though, if I see that type of information on the resume it signals an out of date job seeker to me and makes me question what else they don't know about today's business environment.
[/quote]
That's a terrific insight...

[quote="hrjen"]Resumes are not about who you are they are about what you have accomplished.[/quote]

Paste THAT in front of you when you're editing and reviewing your resume...

Thanks hrjen!
-Hugh

stephenbooth_uk's picture

[quote="JOHNDEMMA"]I am just finishing up Rites of Passage (per MT's recommendation) and I am confused as to why Lucht is suggesting that you should provide your date of birth, height and weight, and marital status on your resume.

This seams outrageous to me (what does any of that info have to do with a candidates qualification for the position in question) ... but then again maybe it would help my resume stand out.

What are your thoughts on including this info on your resume?[/quote]

Your resume or CV should only include information relevant to the post you're applying for. Based on that why would you include information on your age, height, weight or marital status?

There are jobs for which that sort of information is relevant. If I'm hiring a model or actor then I probably want to know their height, weight and age and I'm going to want a photograph (maybe more then one) as well. If I was hiring a CEO, President or high profile spokesperson then I'd probably be interested in their marital status as their spouse/partner might be accompanying them to public events where they are representing the company. But then in those situations I'd probably also be searching the web and, in particular for a CEO/President, LexisNexis for information about them and doing a full CRB check.

Unless you're applying for a job where that information is relevant, I'd leave it off.

Stephen

tomw's picture

[quote="hrjen"]I'm HR, and - yes - we are motivated by protecting the company from legal battles and this is a definate flag...[/quote]

It's great to have more HR people here to advise the rest of us :-)

tomw's picture

[quote="stephenbooth_uk"]Unless you're applying for a job where that information is relevant, I'd leave it off. [/quote]

I know it's not relevant in the resume itself, but I am finding that it's relevant in discussions about relocating. "Will my spouse want to move there" and "Can my spouse find a job in the new area" adds a whole new dimension of complexity.

stephenbooth_uk's picture

[quote="TomW"]I know it's not relevant in the resume itself, but I am finding that it's relevant in discussions about relocating. "Will my spouse want to move there" and "Can my spouse find a job in the new area" adds a whole new dimension of complexity.[/quote]

Aren't those questions you yourself would address before applying? If you're applying for a job should not the recruiting manager be able to take it as read that if offered you would be able to take it up. I shouldn't have to worry about whether your spouse would move with you or be able to find a job [b]at the resume stage[/b]. At a second interview or before making an offer I might give you a full briefing on the job and ask you something like "Given what I've just told you, if we were to offer you the job is there anything that might prevent or delay you taking it up?".

If you do tell me your marital status that doesn't really tell me much in relation to the job or recruitment process. If you say you're single, divorced or widowed that doesn't preclude you having a live in partner or dependants (children, parents, siblings or even a very close friend) who might impede your move. If you say you're married that doesn't tell me if your spouse works and if so if they would have any issues finding a job in the new location. It also doesn't tell me if you own your home (so would have to sell up and buy locally, could be a problem in a stagnating housing market) or are renting (and if you're renting are you locked in and have to give notice or can you move out at any time).

More likely to be of interest to me is what your notice period at work is. It's quite common in the UK for salaried staff to have to give one month or one week for each year of service (up to a maximum, frequently 12 weeks or there abouts), whichever is greater, notice if they want to leave. Notice periods of a year (for senior directors and the like) are not unknown. If you have to work a long notice period then that's probably something I'm more interested in than if you're married.

Of course, once you've started I'll want to know the names of your spouse and all you kids, when their birthdays are, favourite hobbies &c. :-)

Stephen

tomw's picture

Actually I was thinking of it slightly differently: the recruiters I've spoken to ask questions more like "What line of work is she in?" and "Could I help find her a position?"