These have been very interesting posts, but I thank any powers that be that I don't have to look for a job here.
I still think that it's inappropriate to include personal details such as sex and ages of children, hobbies, etc., on a resume/CV. The applicant is contacting the would-be employer as a professional, so it seems only right that a resume should include only those professional
details that apply to the job sought. In my experience, stretched for time and looking for editors, editorial assistants and/or proofreaders, I was bombarded with resumes in the D.C. market, as the competition for any writing/editing/publishing position there is tough. At the end of the day (to coin a British term), I didn't care if the applicant had a green belt in karate, or was active in the PTA, or enjoyed camping in his or her free time. That type of info, albeit interesting to the applicant, had nothing to do with whether the person could do the job--plain and simple. Such details might be interesting to discuss as the interview is winding down, but in the big scheme of things, as far as the job goes, who cares if someone enjoys collecting stamps as a hobby?
I know that an employer has a vested interest in knowing whether someone plans to start a family and, if so, how soon, but it's not something I'd ask (childcare is another issue). Inevitably, questions such as those are aimed at women, not men, and it's inherently sexist. It indicates a mindset of: "Oh, she's not really serious about work/advancing in her career--she's just killing time until she gets pregnant." To go to an extreme, analogy-wise, it would be similar to asking an applicant who was overweight how much he weighed, then asking him when he planned to go on a diet (with a mindset of: "Hell, this guy's going to be a goner within a couple of years. He's a heart attack waiting to happen."). Or you could ask an applicant if he'd been married and divorced before he met his current wife, and why his previous marriage ended (with a mindset of: "I bet he cheated on his wife. That shows him to be disloyal and noncommittal."). I know I'm stretching the comparisons, but when you start getting into the personal aspects of someone's life, where do you draw the line? I think it's best to stick strictly to professional characteristics. Any details beyond those are irrelevant.
I agree that when in Rome, do as the Romans do (i.e., when applying for a job here, use British spelling and terminology). I'm thankful that I have enough work from the States not to be a job-hunter here, though, because a lot of Brits, although eloquent, are also maddeningly verbose.
As an editor and writer, focused on being as concise as possible, I couldn't go against all I've been taught and have learned on the job.
Last, but not least, I think you've provided this advice to would-be supplicants, rather than equals. In other words, I've always gone into interviews with the mindset that the employer and I are equals--he or she has to convince me that the organization is worth working for just as much as I have to prove that I'm the person for the job. When you go into a job interview with a "pauper looking for a handout" mindset, a handout's what--if anything--you get. If you go in with the view that you're interested in the company but need some questions about it answered first, you've shifted the balance of power. Then, if you ARE offered the job, you're in a position to ask for more money than the employer probably had in mind--salary negotiation, but that's a different subject (send me a PM if you'd like some tips).
(Women, sadly, tend to feel awkward or to think they sound greedy if they assertively, but politely, refuse to be paid less than they're worth, which is one of the main reasons why they're generally offered and paid less than men for doing the same job.) I can say from experience that displaying absolute confidence in yourself during an interview can net you thousands of dollars more than you expected.
Too...sleepy...to go on...with post. Oxygen supply......running low. Tell...my....husband...I love him...........