Should I include "Personal" Information in my Resume
Personal information such as your date of birth, age, marital status, country of birth, ethnicity, gender, the number and names of your children and spouses, the breeds and names of your pets and so forth should not be included. It is illegal in Australia (and in many other countries) to use such information to assess a person's suitability for a position. This type of information is therefore irrelevant. In any event, if an employer is biased against people of certain ages or backgrounds, why eliminate yourself at the first hurdle.
Some employers specifically request certain personal information – usually gender, date of birth, country of birth, citizenship – and have good reasons for requiring this information. This includes the United Nations, international aid agencies, military services, police services, accredited security services, secret services, even more secret services, judicial bodies and some other government agencies engaged in national security or defence activities which I can't talk about here. If they do, they are entitled to ask for the information through some form of legislation or other provisions of their legal charter.
However, in general, such personal information is neither required, necessary or useful. Nonetheless, you will occasionally find that some employers still think it's 1965. As part of my market research, I apply for jobs for time to time to maintain my understanding of recruitment trends and issues. As recently as February 2009, I was asked by an employer how old I was because my date of birth was not included in my resume. I asked the hiring manager how my age would be an important factor in determining whether I could do the job as I did not see any particular age listed as a requirement or criterion. He said that he was just curious as I had not included it in my resume. I informed him that he might want to have a closer look at the law covering discrimination in employment and that he might review the case of a well known Australian airline which not too long ago seemed to favour flight attendants who had yet to reach a certain age.
Employers in some countries still believe that personal information has a place in a résumé and for some reason, forms a key element of the assessment criteria. You should investigate this if you are unsure.