How to include family background on your résumé

Marital status on the résumé: indicate or leave out?

In the application, every information is placed on the gold scale. This also applies to the marital status in the résumé. This small and seemingly insignificant piece of information is discussed a lot and applicants regularly ask themselves whether they should or should omit their marital status on their résumé. Other private data are also mentioned in the documents - but does the marital status really belong in the résumé and must a potential employer be disclosed? We explain what you need to know about marital status on a résumé ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Marital status in the curriculum vitae: is it mandatory?

The curriculum vitae should give the HR manager an overview of all relevant information about the candidate. In addition to the important information about training and previous professional experience, personal information also counts. Right at the beginning, the person responsible in the company would like to know: Who am I dealing with for this application? Many applicants hardly think about it: full name, date and place of birth, current address, contact information (telephone and e-mail) and marital status are entered in the résumé.

This was also standard for a long time for the application documents. That has changed in the meantime. The marital status in the résumé is no longer mandatory. Behind this is the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG), which aims to give all applicants the same opportunities and to prevent discrimination.

Marital status on a résumé is not critical information

The marital status in the résumé says nothing about the qualifications of an applicant and is therefore not relevant information for companies. This is to prevent candidates from being treated and assessed differently based on the marital status stated in the résumé. As a result of the General Equal Treatment Act, the marital status in the résumé has become an optional information that applicants can choose from - such as in the application photo. Each candidate should be judged on their abilities and suitability for the job - and not on other information that has nothing to do with the job, such as marital status.

Interpretations for marital status on the résumé

At first glance, it seems difficult to imagine that someone could be discriminated against or worse off because of their marital status on their résumé. In fact, this is not only possible, it happens again and again. Although the marital status in the résumé has nothing to do with the suitability of a candidate, there are certainly interpretations in the information that can influence decisions by HR managers. The marital status can be interpreted positively as well as negatively, which leads to an unequal treatment of the candidates. Of course, there are only assumptions, assumptions and interpretations behind this, not facts. Nevertheless, you can influence the rating.

marital statusargument
Single➠ Your flexibility speaks for single applicants. Change of location, overtime, business trips - rather unproblematic. It is also assumed that your job and career play the main role.
➠ The marital status in the curriculum vitae also includes lower loyalty to the employer. Changing jobs is also not a problem. After all, there is no family that needs to be taken into consideration.
Married➠ Married applicants give the impression of being long-term, reliable and future-oriented. Anyone who has a spouse who works in the same city (or nearby) is looking for a long-term relationship.
➠ Possible priorities for married people are interpreted negatively: family before job. They are much less flexible when it comes to overtime.
Engaged➠ The information is meaningless and does not make any difference in terms of taxation. As long as nothing is fixed, it is better to write “single”.
Divorced➠ Divorced people are initially "single" again. Mentioning the failed marriage throws - unnecessarily - a bad light on long-term relationships. Also at work?
Widowed➠ Same logic: widowed people are "single" again. Mentioning this marital status in your résumé sounds like grief that has not been overcome. The employee might not be very resilient right now. Omitting!

It can have further effects on the ratingif not only the marital status is given in the résumé, but also the number of children. In the case of tiresome candidates, a child may mean that the future employee could be absent more often because he has to look after the offspring on his own. For married applicants, it can be interpreted the other way around: If there are no children, family planning may still be in progress. From the company's point of view, this means a maternity leave and parental leave. This assessment applies especially to married, childless women.

Arguments for and against the marital status in the résumé

The possible negative effects on the application chances, combined with the fact that the marital status in the résumé is not mandatory, seems to suggest a clear conclusion: You should omit the marital status in the résumé from the start and limit yourself to the other personal information. But is that really the right decision? On the one hand, you have the right to remove optional information such as marital status on your résumé. At the same time, there are certainly arguments in favor of indicating the marital status in the CV anyway.

We have contrasted the argumentsso that you can get a better idea of ​​whether you want to include your marital status on your résumé:

Marital status in the résumé: That speaks for it

  • Sooner or later, the company will find out your marital status anyway - via your tax class at the latest.
  • You show honesty and establish mutual trust.
  • In any case, you wouldn't want to work for an employer who rejects you or treats you worse because of your marital status on your résumé.

Marital status in the résumé: That speaks against it

  • You are not obliged to do so and you can easily leave out your marital status on your résumé.
  • In addition to your skills, other aspects will also be included in your assessment.
  • Your chances of getting the job can potentially suffer. In retrospect, there is nothing you can do about it, as the reason for a rejection cannot be understood.

How to include marital status on your resume

Have you weighed the pros and cons and have come to the conclusion that you should include your marital status on your résumé? Then the last step is to properly incorporate the marital status into your résumé. The marital status in the résumé is one of your personal data, which - in most résumé designs - is already listed at the top of the page. In the sequence, the marital status is usually pushed to the end, as the other information about yourself is more important. But it is also possible to add the marital status via the contact details.

The following examples show how the information for the marital status in the résumé can look like:

Marital status on the résumé: simple entry

Personal dataMax pattern
Date of Birth (Out
Place of birth: Musterhausen
Address: Hauptstrasse 1, 12345 Musterhausen
Phone: 01234/56789
Mail: [email protected]
Marital status Unmarried

Marital status in the résumé: information with children

Personal dataMartina pattern
Date of Birth (Out
Place of birth: Fantasy City
Address: Gartenweg 9, 98765 Fantasiestadt
Phone: 04321/98765
Mail: [email protected]
Marital status: Married, 2 children (7.12)
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