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How To Align Dates On Resume

Paragraph And Section Spacing

How to Perfectly Align Dates On Your Resume

Although there are no fixed rules for spacing, there are a few things to consider. Remember to include enough white space to make your resume look organized and easy to follow. You can also include graphical elements like lines, boxes and shading to indicate breaks between sections. Appropriate use of the graphics available in your word processor can help make your resume both easy and appealing to read. When you decide how much space to put between paragraphs, make sure you apply that same spacing throughout the document.

Can I Add Additional Relevant Keywords In White Text

You may have come across “creative” ways of helping your resume beat ATS scans.

One of the most common approaches we hear about is adding additional keywords to your resume using white text.

Do not do this. Ever.

The idea behind this approach is to “stuff” the resume with additional keywords.

In theory, a recruiter won’t be able to see them, but they can only benefit you from a keyword optimization perspective.

However, an ATS pulls ALL text from your resume, regardless of color.

When a recruiter sees your hidden white text in plain black and white, you’ll end up coming across as sneaky and untrustworthy.

We wouldn’t risk it.

Are Listing Your Work Experience

As hiring managers review your resume, they search for dates to make sure you’ve received the required years of experience they’ve listed on their job posting. Therefore, you should mention the dates you’ve worked next to the job title and location of employment. Many companies use an applicant tracking system to scan your resume and may only pass it along to the next stage of review if it includes dates.

To ensure your resume catches the hiring manager’s attention, include the month and year of employment in the work responsibilities section. To save room, you can refrain from listing the exact day you started and ended your role. If you have many years of experience, try to include only 10 to 12 years of relevant work experience to keep your resume from looking cluttered.

If you hold over 12 years of experience that you believe applies to the role, include it in your resume, followed by the jobs you held after that one. This helps keep employment gaps from appearing in your resume. If you want to make sure you have enough room, try to shorten your work duties to responsibilities directly related to the role.

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How To Align Dates On Your Resume Using Tab Stops

The easiest way to align your dates is to use tab stops.

In this example, well show you exactly how to do so in Microsoft Word.

Lets imagine youre looking to right-align the dates highlighted in yellow below.

Step 1

Drop the cursor right before the M in March 2016, as shown in the blue circle.

Step 2

Open Paragraph Settings by clicking the icon circled in red above.

Step 3

Under Paragraph Settings, select Tabs.

If you havent used them before, tab stops are simply a way to align text with one click using the tab key on your keyboard.

Step 4

Once you have the Tabs window open, youll need to make three selections:

1) Tab stop position

The tab stop position tells Word where you want text aligned on the page. In our example, the right-most position falls at 7.5 inches , so we input 7.5 .

You may need to adjust your tab stop position depending on how big your margins are, however.

2) Alignment

Select Right to make sure the text is aligned right, as shown in the blue circle.

This setting will ensure your text is flush right at the 7.5-inch mark where you place the tab.

3) Leader

The leader option allows you to insert a series of dots, dashes, or a line between the Head of Customer Experience title and the dates.

While these leaders may work well when creating a table of contents for a report, for example, well select None.

Once you have the correct inputs, click OK.

Step 5

With the cursor still in front of the M in March 2016, press the tab key on your keyboard.

How To Format Dates On Resume

Aligning Dates and Locations on Your Resume in MS Word (PC ...

Your resume should list your work experience succinctly and clearly for the reader. Employers have many resumes to go through in a short time, and you dont want them to stumble as they read your resume.

That said, write the dates in full ranges, for example, March 2019 to November 2020.Most job seekers leave out months in their resume format, which is a bad idea during your job search.

You need to make sure that your resume dates include months to make them as straightforward as possible both for the hiring manager and applicant tracking systems .

Additionally, youd want to add your graduation year or the dates when you got any certifications.

Finally, dont use numbers to represent months. For example, dont use 3 to represent March or 12 to represent December. While using this technique isnt incorrect, it just gives the ATS and recruiters a hard time processing the dates.

Remember, recruiters go through many resumes, and the chances are that they are already fatigued.

Check out the video below to learn how to format dates with a live resume example.

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Why You Should Never Lie About Dates On Resume

Being honest about your job history and accomplishments on your resume will go a long way to enhance your hiring chances.

Your employer may overlook smaller fabrications, but it will hurt your job satisfaction or, worse, your career in the long run.

Inappropriately filling employment gaps to meet job qualifications is a dangerous strategy. A certain red flag, hiring managers are trained to shake out dishonesty in your resume. Often, its a mere phone call away to your previous company.

Even one infraction may cost your job.

Further, with advancements in technology and many individuals detailed social media presence on LinkedIn, it takes a couple of minutes for employers to examine your background information.

Employers will often use ATS to scan through resumes, perform online searches, and reference checks to ensure that the details are precise. Any variability will diminish your chances of winning the job.

If there are unusual circumstances in your career history, you should disclose them clearly in your cover letter, rather than on your resume.

And the career experts all agree, honestly is the best policy and may save your career.

Recruiters Like To See That You Have An Online Presence

Many recruiters tell us that after they review an interesting candidate, the first thing they do is look the person up on LinkedIn.

In addition, theyre looking to verify that the information on your resume is accurate and that you have a professional online presence.

If you uploaded an unprofessional photo or the details on your profile dont match up with what you said on your resume, you may significantly hurt your chances of landing an interview.

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Should Resume Be Left Aligned Or Justified

Dont Justify Your Resume Overall, using a justified setting for your bullets may make your resume look tidier, but it does nothing for readability. This setting leaves uneven gaps between words that ultimately make text harder to read, so for your bullets and resume overall, stick with regular ol left alignment.

How To Format A Date Range On A Resume

Using Right Tab Stops to Properly Right Align Dates on Your Resume


Making sure your resume dates format is set up correctly helps the appearance and clarity of your resume and demonstrates to employers your attention to detail. There are many resume templates that you can model and just as many date formatting options. The key is to select an acceptable date format and remain consistent throughout the document.

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Right Align Dates For Your Resume In Word

Job search experts suggest the dates on your resume should be right aligned.

This is easy to do with the right aligned tab feature in Microsoft Word. This works on both Mac and Windows, and works for almost all versions, even going back many versions.

If you cant seem to get the knack of placing the tab marker, look for another video coming from me on using the tab settings for full control over tab settings in Word.

How To Add Metrics To Your Resume

When adding metrics to your resume, you want to provide context that explains why the metric is particularly relevant and impressive.

To provide context, youll want to answer the following questions for your readers:

  • When ?
  • How ?
  • Why ?

As Kelly Garland, Principal of Garland source, said, Your resume that you are an impact player, able to drive change and make improvements, solve pain. Make that clear and visible.

Below, we provide examples of how you can add context to your metrics by asking yourself these questions.


  • Before: Increased sales by 10%
  • After: Increased sales by 10% in the first two months of entering the role
  • Before: Signed 4 new hotel development deals
  • After: Signed 4 new hotel development deals in 2020, which are scheduled to open by Q4 2021


  • Before: Decreased project completion time by 25%
  • After: Decreased project completion time by 25%
  • Before: Reduced cost of goods sold by 12%
  • After: Reduced cost of goods sold by 12% via contract renegotiations with 4 major suppliers and employee training to reduce waste


  • Before: Wrote 15 blog posts
  • After: Wrote 15 blog posts to improve website traffic via SEO optimization strategies
  • Before: Developed and rolled out 4 new Excel forecasting models
  • After: Developed and rolled out 4 new Excel forecasting models that reduced month-end reporting time by 30%

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What Is The Meaning Of Flush Left

In English and most European languages where words are read left-to-right, text is usually aligned flush left, meaning that the text of a paragraph is aligned on the left-hand side with the right-hand side ragged. This is the default style of text alignment on the World Wide Web for left-to-right text.

Try To Have Some White Space Left Over

How To Right Align Dates on a Resume

Lastly, having some breathing room on your resume also helps with skimming. Different amounts of white space can signal to the reader that this is a different section or help emphasize the importance of something, such as your name or skills. And overall, it just makes the whole document less overwhelming.

Having your resume skimmed is a fact of life as you apply for jobs. So, make sure you maximize the experience and make it as easy as possible for the recruiter to find the right informationand send you along to the next step of the process.

Lily Zhang is a career counselor at the MIT Media Lab, where she works with a range of students from AI experts to interaction designers on crafting their own unique career paths. When shes not indulging in a new book or video game, shes thinking about, talking about, or writing about careers. You can find her on , , and her website.

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How To Improve Your Resume Format For Recruiters The

  • Dont Center Any of Your Text. Even your section headings should be aligned to the left. This improves readability because the eye naturally returns to the left margin once its ready to move on to the next line of text.
  • Align Your Dates and Locations to the Right. You can only fit so much different information on one line of text before it gets unwieldy.
  • Dont Justify Your Resume. Overall, using a justified setting for your bullets may make your resume look tidier, but it does nothing for readability. This setting leaves uneven gaps between words that ultimately make text harder to read, so for your bullets and resume overall, stick with regular ol left alignment.
  • Keep Everything the Same Size Font. Aside from your name, which should be a little bigger, the font size throughout your resume should be the same size to ensure readability.
  • How To Align Dates On A Resume

    This is a question many job seekers ask when preparing their resumes for applications. For the purposes of this article, we will assume youre using a chronological resume, rather than a functional resume.

    You have been there, and many others have been there too trying to format and align dates on your ATS resume so that it looks clean to the eye.

    Fortunately, there is an easier way to align dates on your resume than playing with the space bar. Lets welcome the tab stop.

    The tab stop is a helpful function in Word that allows you to set a sticky alignment after hitting the tab key on your computer. This way you can cleanly separate dates from your work history for a better overall resume format.

    While you can do a lot with the tab spot, the most important use is right-aligning your resume dates.

    Right aligning dates on your resume is common practice, and for good reason.For instance, placing dates on the left infers that you are putting too much emphasis on the time and not where you worked or the job position you held at the time.

    Hiring managers want to skim your years of experience.

    Check out the video below to learn how to use tab stops for simple date alignment.

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    How Do I Rotate Letters In Word

    Rotate a text boxGo to View > Print Layout.Select the text box that you want to rotate or flip, and then select Format.Under Arrange, select Rotate. To rotate a text box to any degree, on the object, drag the rotation handle .Select any of the following: Rotate Right 90. Rotate Left 90. Flip Vertical. Flip Horizontal.

    What Dates Should Be Included In A Resume

    How to right align dates in Word

    Before we move on to how to align dates on a resume, it is worth determining which dates should be specified in your document. As you now know, dates can dramatically improve the presentation of your qualifications. And here are the places on your resume where you should include them:

  • Experience. We have already figured out that dates have a special meaning for listing experience, so the recruiter should see them in this section of your application.
  • Education. If you recently graduated from an institution, you should also indicate when you started your studies and finished. It will show the employer why you don’t have enough professional experience. As a rule, include the study period on your resume until you have at least five years of professional experience.
  • Internship. With an internship, you will have the opportunity to gain professional experience. Indicate this in your documentation, including your training dates to demonstrate that you have some practice. Also, include the internship in the job title so that the employer can see that this is not a full-time job and wont wonder why it ended so quickly.
  • Certificates. Many employers appreciate when candidates put certificates on their resume. It shows that the candidate strives to update their professional knowledge and improve their qualifications. Thus, if you have any, include them in your resume, backing them up with dates. Such a format will allow employers to understand the relevancy of your knowledge.
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    How Far Back Should Your Resume Go

    How far back in time to go with your dates on a resume format depends on many factors.For example, you need to consider the required qualifications, your industry, and years of work experience. Each of these factors will determine how far back in time you can go with dates on your resume.

    You should include a position that gave you valuable experience and skills even if it dates back ten years ago. If you have shifted to different careers, you may want to include only jobs you did in the past five years.

    Most experts insist that including 10-15 years of work experience on your resume is the ideal range. For example, suppose you are a 40-year-old procurement manager.

    In that case, 10 years of work history will include the time it took you to earn your degree 2 years working as an intern, 3 years as a junior employee, and one year in your current role.

    Learn how to format your resume when youre not including detailed work experience beyond 10 years in the video below.

    Where To Put Dates On Resume

    It is recommended that you right justify resume dates in line with job titles.

    As we stated earlier, aligning your resume dates on the left puts a lot of emphasis on the dates rather than the work experience and organizations you worked for, which can be a little confusing to most hiring managers.

    In other words, employment dates are secondary details after your company and title.

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    What Are The Steps To Insert Date And Time In Footer

    The Page Setup dialog box shows a preview of your header or footer.

  • On the Insert menu, click Header and Footer.
  • In the Header or Footer sections, click in the Left, Center, or Right sections, depending on where you want the date or time to appear.
  • From the Header & Footer Ribbon menu, click Insert Date or Insert Time.
  • Example: Listing Employment Months On A Resume:

    Resume Format: Resume Format Dates

    ABC Corporation May 2009 – May 2018

    Insert a description of the company here

    Senior Director, Marketing June 2014 â June 2018

    Describe job role and achievements here

    Assistant Director, Marketing April 2013 â June 2014

    Describe job role and achievements here

    January 2009 â April 2013

    Describe job role and achievements here

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