This article was published in the 7-June-2012 issue of Finweek Magazine
A CV should reflect who you are: your education, your work experience, your achievements and so on. But it’s not the place to reveal personal details. Typically these aren’t relevant to the job or how well you can do your work, and could create opportunities for discrimination in the workplace. Also, anything you disclose in your CV can be raised in the interview, so don’t divulge it unless you’re willing to discuss it. DON’T MENTION:
1. Religion – Omit unless you’re applying to a job at a religious institution.
2. Politics – Controversial and irrelevant to the job.
3. Sexual Orientation – Not relevant to the job and could lead to discrimination.
4. Age – Although you may be the ideal fit for the job, ageism in the workplace exists, and you may be removed from the pool prematurely if you’re perceived as being too old or too young. If age is an issue, don’t mention specific dates such as your 30-year high school reunion.
5. Health and Disabilities – Unless it qualifies you as a member of a designated group in terms of the Employment Equities Act (a South African law).
6. Criminal Record – The general rule with a criminal record is to be upfront and honest with a hiring manager, but the CV is not the place for this. Wait until the interview to raise this.
In South Africa the current trend is to include your photo in your CV. This could indirectly reveal some of the above items and expose you to discrimination. Since the law doesn’t require you to include your photo, rather leave it out.
Good luck in the job hunt!