The place of birth on a resume

The place of birth is not the main information that is usually indicated in the resume, on the contrary, the phone number and email address are usually indicated, and sometimes the date of birth. Sometimes even the nationality but rarely the place of birth. This is because the place where you were born is not always relevant to the job search and therefore it is good to ask yourself whether it is appropriate to specify it on the CV. In this guide, we discuss the reasons for including it and those for avoiding it.

We are not obliged to indicate the place where we were born on the CV

There is no law that specifies that the place of birth must be compulsorily included on a curriculum, under penalty of exclusion of the candidate from the selection. In fact, this is usually superfluous and if it is true that name and surname, telephone number, contact email, city and possibly age are considered essential elements for any self-respecting CV, it is equally true that the place of birth is not. Indeed, it is one of the information that can be considered the most private of all.

Place of birth vs citizenship

Place of birth and citizenship are not the same thing: the first is in fact the place where we were born, the second can be the place where we grew up or even a status that we have acquired at a later time. Citizenship can be obtained in different ways and is not always linked to the place of birth. For this reason, specifying citizenship on the CV does not imply that the place of birth is also automatically specified and vice versa.

Being discriminated against because of the place of birth

Although it does not have to happen due to a series of specific laws on the subject, it is not certain that specifying one’s place of birth on the CV does not lead to a preventive discrimination that is not based on the effective skills of the candidate but on his origin. In fact, if an employer cannot expressly request that the candidates be Italian, he can decide to close the doors to those who have indicated a place abroad as their place of birth. Discrimination that does not take into account the candidate’s preparation but only his origin.

Small elements that can reveal the place of birth

Even if you try to hide it, sometimes the place of birth may be evident from other details. For example, if we put our nationality on the CV we implicitly declare where we were born: we are not specifying address and specific data, but surely the reader knows that we were born in a certain place. If we apply for a position in a language other than ours and the CV is full of errors because we are writing in a language that is not ours and that we do not know well, the recruiter may immediately doubt that we were born elsewhere. How we compile our CV, the information we enter and even what and how we write can actually indicate our place of birth. Sometimes it is not necessary to explain the information.

Sometimes the CV speaks for itself and it is not necessary to specify data.

The place of birth during an interview

Let’s say that you have omitted the place of birth on the CV but that this question comes up during the interview. In light of the above, we should avoid answering because it is unnecessary information. But in reality, such a question cannot be answered unless you want to insinuate doubts. So this means that even if we hide our place of birth and don’t put it on the CV, it could very well become the subject of discussion at another time.

The advantages of adding the place of birth on a CV

We have specified that the place of birth cannot be a discriminating factor when looking for a job and that it is one of the many often superfluous information that can be omitted, in order to avoid that the CV is full of blunders. But there are cases in which specifying your area of ​​birth can be beneficial, for example if the job position requires knowledge of that specific area or city or if being born in a certain place is important in completing a job assignment.

Let’s take some examples:

Example 1

Job position as import-export manager for Italy-China relations. You were born in China, you speak Italian as a mother tongue, and you specialize in import-export. The announcement does not specify anything about the candidate’s origin but clearly highlighting your place of birth (and not just nationality, which can be obtained in another way) can be a point in your favor in the case of the presence of other equally prepared candidates.

Example 2

Job advertisement for tour guide in city X. Applicants are required to come from city X or know it well, and you were born in that city, even though you may now live outside. In this case, it is good practice to specify the place of birth as a distinctive element.

Example 3

Job advertisement for connoisseurs of the city or region X for position outside Italy. It is essential for candidates coming from that specific city or region to add the place of birth which, if the other professional conditions also exist, could help in obtaining the job or at least the interview.

Finally, it is essential to remember that today an employer can discover data on a candidate in different ways, all legal, so omitting a data for privacy issues is a choice to make only if the same data is hidden everywhere and therefore not traceable.

In summary

  • The place of birth is not a datum that must be entered on the CV

Entering citizenship does not automatically mean specifying your place of birth

  • It is possible to be discriminated against because of your place of birth even if the law does not allow it.
  • There are cases in which inserting the place of birth on the CV can bring undoubted benefits.
  • It is good to be consistent since an employer can discover data on the candidate in other ways.

In light of the above, the choice of whether or not to specify this information is subjective.

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