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What personal details and interests should you include on your CV?

It's always hard to know what you should include or exclude, here are some tips from our CV writing service:

1. Your name, address and contact details should always head the CV, with your name in a larger font. Also include your home and mobile phone numbers, and your email address. If including a current work number, always say whether there are times when it is appropriate to call you. Be sure that you can regularly check whichever numbers you provide, as the employer may be trying to set up an interview.

2. It used to be normal to provide more personal details, such as gender, date of birth and marital status, at the top of your CV. However, times have changed and it is no longer necessary to include these details on a CV. If you do want to include any of these details it is best to list them at the end of the CV.

3. You might wish to include your date of birth, but it isn't always expected nowadays and our CV writers normal leave it off client CV's. If you are looking for a job in the country where you were educated, an employer can usually calculate your age from your educational background. You may be worried that your age will put employers off. You could omit it, but your Career History will usually give some hints as to your age group.

4. Marital Status doesn't need to be included in today's CV, although for specific jobs it can be helpful to be up-front about this. For instance, if the job you're applying for involves unsociable hours or lots of travel, stating that you are single could be advantageous. This may not seem fair on the grounds of discrimination, but it's as well to be realistic about the concerns that might rightly or wrongly be in the employer's mind.

5. Nationality isn't essential. Use your judgement to decide whether your nationality is of concern to the employer involved and include it if you think it is.

6. A driving licence is, quite naturally, an asset in a job where a degree of travel is involved, so is worth mentioning. Even if you expect to be tied to a desk throughout your working day, there may be times when your ability to drive is useful. If you mention your driving licence, do mention that it's clean (assuming that it is!).

7. Inclusion of hobbies and interests is entirely optional. On the one hand, it helps provide a rounded picture of you that goes beyond Career History. Sometimes your strengths can shine through in the activities you list, as can your personality type. This section can be especially useful if you're at the start of your career. Don't go over the top, though - list no more than five at most. And do think about how your interests might be perceived by other people. Train-spotting, for instance, does not have a positive image in the public consciousness. Likewise, a list of solitary activities will not make you look like a good team player.

8. You may want to include your name in a small font in the bottom right hand corner of your CV. Use the footer in a word processing document and include the page number alongside. This is useful in case the two pages of your CV become separated during photocopying.

9. When you write your covering letter, make sure your personal details are presented in exactly the same way as on your CV.

10. If your CV is in a Word document, check its properties. Do this by going to the File menu and clicking on Properties. Look at the Summary and ensure your name appears in the Author box. Some employers check this to see whether you have written the CV yourself!

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