How to anonymise your CV

Do you know how to anonymise your CV? More employers are now asking for anonymised CVs to avoid bias during a hiring process, be it conscious or unconscious.

However, if you're a jobseeker who has to tailor a CV to every application, knowing which personal details to include and exclude can add yet another layer of complexity to a job search. We've put together this guide to lend you a hand.  


  • Why do companies ask for anonymised CVs?

  • How unconscious bias affects jobseekers

  • What can be anonymised in a CV

  • What information can indicate age in a CV?

  • What information can indicate race or ethnicity?

  • How to highlight your skills and experience

  • How to write references in an anonymised CV


Why do companies ask for anonymised CVs? 

Anonymised CVs, also known as blind CVs, eliminate demographic characteristics such as age, gender, race, or ethnicity to ensure that candidates are evaluated solely on their skills, qualifications, and experience, rather than factors that may be irrelevant to the job. Anonymising CVs can help companies to comply with anti-discrimination laws, create more diverse and inclusive workplaces and protect job seekers’ privacy.

How unconscious bias affects jobseekers

Research shows that unconscious biases can still influence hiring decisions. A study by Nuffield College in 2019 for example found that discrimination against ethnic minorities in the labour market has largely unchanged over the past 50 years. Jobseekers from minority communities send 60% more applications to receive a positive response compared with white people of British origin. The study found that on average, 24% of white British jobseekers received a positive response from employers compared with 15% from minority backgrounds, despite submitting identical CVs and cover letters. Find out how to attract and recruit a diverse candidate pool by reading our 'Diversity in the workplace' guide.

What can be anonymised in a CV?

As you can see from our list below, there are a lot of details in your CV that may lead to bias during a hiring process:

  • Name
  • Home address/location
  • Gender
  • Date of birth
  • Marital status
  • Nationality
  • Details of race, ethnicity or religion
  • Names of schools, colleges, or universities
  • Dates of education
  • Details of previous employers (e.g. name, address, and contact details)
  • Any associations (professional, activists, or gender and disability related)
  • Information about personal interests, hobbies, or family

What can you include?

The general structure of an anonymised CV includes:

Your candidate information

Although personal information should be avoided, certain details cannot be excluded when it comes to candidate information. For instance, the job role that you’re interested in, along with the expiration dates of official documents, as required by the employer. This data becomes particularly important in situations where verification of eligibility to work is mandated by law.

Your contact information

A company will need to be able to contact you, either directly or indirectly through a recruiter. Basic information like your phone number is fine to include.

Previous work experience

A company will look at your experience to find out if you’re a good fit for a role. List your experience as normal, with past tasks and responsibilities, but leave out any dates that may indicate your age.

Academic achievements

Again, your academic achievements should focus on what you studied and the results rather than where you studied and when.


If an application asks for references, it is generally fine to share the contact details of trusted contacts or previous employers. Briefly describe your relationship with each referee, such as ‘Former supervisor’ or ‘Mentor during academic program’.

It is important to ask for the referees' permission before deciding to include them in your CV. However, some candidates choose not to include references at all and instead offer them upon request.

What information can indicate age in a CV?

There are several items in a CV that may suggest your age, including:

  • Date of birth and age

  • Details of education history (including college or university graduation dates)

  • Employment history (including start and end dates of previous roles)

  • Certain skills or qualifications that were more prevalent or relevant in past decades

  • Any mention of long-term experience or expertise in a specific field or industry.

  • Employers are not allowed to use age as a factor in their hiring decisions, and job applicants have the right to not disclose their age. To avoid any potential age bias, age-revealing information can be excluded, or alternative descriptions can be used, for example omitting exact dates or using more general language to describe their work experience.

What information can indicate race or ethnicity?

There are several items in a CV that may suggest your race or ethnicity, such as:

  • Mentioning membership in certain clubs or organisations

  • Including personal information such as ethnic or cultural background

  • Language proficiencies, although some roles require you to include this information

  • Listing activities or hobbies that may be culturally or ethnically specific.

  • As a general rule, employers should focus on professional credentials that make an applicant suitable for the job, rather than their personal background.

Follow our CV template for a complete refresh

How to highlight your skills and experience

Demonstrating your experience in an anonymised CV can be tricky, but it is possible to highlight your skills, achievements and work experience without revealing personal details. Here are some tips:

Focus on your skills

Use bullet points to highlight hard and soft skills, such as project management, communication, leadership, and problem-solving to demonstrate how you achieved success in previous roles.

Tailor your CV to the role

Make sure your CV is tailored to the specific role you are applying for. Research the company to ensure your CV highlights your suitability for the position.

Highlight results

What achievements are you most proud of? How has your previous work positively impacted a company or team? How did you identify problems and create solutions or improvements? Hiring managers want to see the results you have been responsible for, so including success metrics will help you to stand out from the crowd.

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