Should I Reveal My Age in my Résumé?

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When it comes to what you should include in your Resume, there’s a ton of advice out there.

Some say you should include your photo in your Resume; but some say don’t.
Some say you should include your Race / Religion; but some say never.
Some say to include your age and date-of-birth; but some never ever do that.

Yes, it can get quite confusing reading all of the different advice from different people all over the world. All you need to do is Google on what you should include in your Resume and you get an endless list of references and advice from so-called consultants and Resume gurus.

So what should you really do?
Should you include your age, gender, race and/or photo?


Here’s the answer: It Depends.

It depends on where you are located.
It depends on the prevailing economic conditions in which you are sending out your Resume.
It depends on which organisation you’re applying to.

Inlcuding a photo of yourself in your Resume is not encouraged in the western countries such as the US or some parts of Europe – as they say that a photo encourages bias.

Age, race and religion are no-nos in most western countries and Europe.

However most of these practices are not frowned upon here in many parts of Asia.
Here in Asia, Resume are sent out complete with photos, age, race and religion. (Some of you readers from the western countries would probably cringe in horror reading this).

It also depends on the circumstances you find yourself in sending out your Resume.
How so, you may ask? Let me explain.

Although it is said that you should not include your age in your Resume, the current economic circumstances may just require you to do so. If you are a worker who has just been retrenched, and you are already in your forties, it would make sense to include your age when submitting your Resumes to prospective employers.


And here’s the reason why:

You’d rather state your age up-front and get rejected by age-sensitive / age-biased employers at the Resume stage, rather than having to go through an interview with them and then get rejected because of your age. You would have wasted all your effort and the trip down to the prospective employer’s office. And worst still, you get your hopes up and then you get cold water thrown in your face – all just because they don’t want to hire a more mature worker like you.

I would rather you include your age – and all related details – down on your Resume, and present all of these details to the prospective employer upfront. So if the prospective employer is not ready to hire a more mature worker, you save yourself a wasted trip.

Whether you like it or not, and whether you admit it or not, ageism still exists. Excluding your age in your Resume does not mean you’re immune to ageism. The same goes for race and religion.

So do you need to include your photo, age, race and religion in your Resume when you’re applying for a new job?


It depends.

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August 2, 2017

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