If age and marital status discrimination is illegal in Israel, why do so many Israeli resumes clearly state birthdays and marital status?

Age Marital Status Wordle

Over on Tachlis – one of the mailing lists an Israeli job seeker should consider – a member said:

Today we went over the basics of what goes onto an Israeli resume:  name, age (NONE O'THEIR BUSINESS), marital status (ditto; har-umpf!), etc.  I sincerely hope that the world of science research sticks with American-type resumes (fume-fume-fume).

The teacher looks to be in his late 20s.  He mentioned that some companies specifically request that those over the age of 35-40 not apply.  Again, I'm hoping that science (where experience & ability are most important) is different.

Putting your age and marital status on your resume isn't required but some people might still want to do so.


Although it is illegal in Israel to discriminate based on age or marital status, some companies will still do so out of ignorance or because they know how hard the discrimination would be to prove.

Why do it if companies might use age and marital status “against” you?

When bad companies use those criteria to filter your candidacy away, the result is that you're also saved from working for those same bad companies. At the very least, you're not wasting time going for a pointless interview that would have unnecessarily raised your hopes and brought them crashing down after another perceived rejection.

So should you put age/marital status on your resume?

The easy answer is to say ‘no' but the reality is slightly more complicated.

A resume's goal is to get you interviews, presumably good ones where you have a real chance at getting the job offer. You should add any truthful information that will help towards that goal.

In other words- if you think that having the age/marital status on your resume will help you, add them.

Final point

Your resume isn't etched in stone. Feel free to test the market by sending both resumes with and without the information (not to the same company). See what happens and stick with the resume that's achieving better results.

Feeling discriminated against? Subscribe to JobMob via RSS or email to get the real-world advice you need.

Jacob Share

Job Search Expert, Professional Blogger, Creative Thinker, Community Builder with a sense of humor. I like to help people.

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Minna Felig

    Generally, I would recommend not putting age and marital status on a resume unless you really believe it can help you. Many working mothers will put it there so as not to waste their time with employers who wouldn’t consider flexible hours for mothers. Other than that, however, it will only hurt you. I’d save your own screening of the employer for the one on one interview.

  2. josh

    Unless you are single and young (which I assume many companies like), I would leave marital status and birthdate out, as well things at that also might otherwise take up valuable lines on a single page cv, like teudat zehut number.

  3. Aviva

    I thought age was a no-no but they can expect martial status and children.

    Mine really would confuse a prospective employee as my daughter is 13 – and I am 65.

    Truth is I got my present job without an questions regarding my age – I was 63 at the time and turned out I am older than the boss.

    If the job is for you – you will get the job.

  4. Kate

    Where I am from in Canada, no one would imagine putting information like their age or marital status on a resume. When I moved to Germany, where it was/is a normal practice (along with including a photograph”) I was shocked. And really, it is a practice that just encourages discrimination and I wondered how it got started.

    Then, I saw a US Military resume that has very different conventions and includes what I would consider personal information for security reasons. I think, when the Marshall plan was implemented in Germany the US Army was one of the largest employers and the “security check” resume became standard for everyone.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the practice in Israel came about because of a) military standards and expectations that almost everyone knows, and b) for security clearance reasons.

    I do hope things are changing. After all, in Europe, I hear it was also common practise to list your religion and your parents’ professions on a resume!

    1. Ariel

      I grew up in France, and I’ve never heard about religion or parents professions on cv.
      And I doubt that it could happen in other places in Europe.

  5. Igor

    Actually, if the company wants to know your age, there are a lot of ways to get it to know.
    For example, the year of your graduation tells a lot!
    If you don’t want to show your age, an emloyer can think that you want to hide it, because you have a problem with it!

    Since we are not in the US, I would’t recommend to hide it, but just change the order of records in your CV. I mean, put all your personal data including your age at the end of CV and put your professional skills and work experience at the begining. This way, you have a good chance that your potentional employer will be under impression of your skills and experince before he reachs the final record of your CV.

  6. Jacob Share

    Catching up on comments after a short vacation…

    Minna, josh- glad we agree 🙂

    Aviva- what you say is true but it’s important to remove all stumbling blocks so that you get the job asap.

    Kate- local culture and context is critical to properly writing a resume. In France, a law was being debated a few years ago that would have required resumes to be anonymous because anti-racism organizations like SOS Racisme or the Licra were consistently showing that people with ethnic-sounding names – especially Arab names like Mohammed – were being discriminated against.

    Igor- good point about the graduation year! All the more reason NOT to waste space by spelling it out if the information is going to be there anyway. Interesting suggestion, definitely worth testing, but I don’t think it will be popular.

  7. Pingback: Sharing Personal Information on a CV | A Mother in Israel

  8. Kate

    I hope changes the EU has made to their CV standard will also be adopted in Israel.

Leave a Reply