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Should You Include Months On A Resume

Resume Example And Template

What Should You Include on a Resume?

This is an example of a resume with earlier jobs listed as additional experience. or see the text version below.

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANTProviding confidential and diversified administrative support to C-level executivesHighly organized and personable Executive Assistant well-versed in meeting and event coordination, calendaring and appointment scheduling, reception, correspondence drafting, and travel planning.

Creative and skilled in using Microsoft Office Suite and Adobe Creative Cloud to develop dynamic corporate communications materials, newsletters, and presentations.


ABC ENTERPRISES, Tampa, FloridaEXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Meticulously perform executive administrative functions for C-level officers of global development group. Schedule and supervise team of five administrative assistants and receptionists make all arrangements for travel, public and stakeholder relations functions, conferences, and meetings. Notable accomplishments:

  • Spearheaded offices transition to cloud-based corporate communications technologies.
  • Successfully negotiated cost-effective contracts with vendors, caterers, resorts, and other service providers that reduced annual costs by more than $25K.
  • Orchestrated all details for major stockholder events including annual meetings, golf tournaments, and receptions.
  • Set up and administered CEOs social media presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.


How To Include Older Experience

Listing 20 or 30 years of experience can clutter up your resume and make it much too long. Unless you are a senior executive, the ideal resume length is one to two pages. The key to a winning resume is providing relevant details on your work historynot every detail.

When you leave off employment information, you need to be consistent and still provide a timeline of your work history to employers.

Leave off your oldest jobs when editing your resume, not random positions.

If you worked in a relevant position 17 years ago, you will need to include all the jobs you’ve held for the past 17 years .

How To Handle Short

Adding structure to your job search can be a key component to helping you succeed, especially when youve had short-term jobs.

The company was called Shortstop Ltd. You worked there for only three months. Now its a blip on your work history, and youre wondering: Should you leave it on your resume, or should you leave it off and be stuck with a work-history gap?

In general, the rules of thumb for short job stints are these, according to Steve Burdan, a certified professional resume writer who works with Ladders:

  • If a given job lasted less than six months, you can leave it off of your resume.
  • If a given job fits into your recent past, i.e. the past year or two, and it lasted six to 12 months, you must put the job description into your Work History section.
  • For jobs that lasted six to 12 months and are buried in your past work chronology, leave them off.
  • If a job last at least 12 months, you should put it on your resume.

Beyond the rules of thumb, however, are qualifiers and exceptions:

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College Graduation Date On Resume

There is no need to include your college graduation date unless you’re a recent college graduate. Here’s an example of college listed on a resume without dates:

Bachelor of Arts in EnglishUniversity of New York

Here’s an example of a college graduation date listed on a resume:

Bachelor of Arts in English, 2020University of New York

Many people choose to drop their graduation date from their resume when the degree was earned 10 years prior. If you are worried about age discrimination, leaving off this information is a good way to shield your age.

How Far Back Should Your Resume Go

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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.

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Keep Your Resume Updated Every Six Months

The best thing to do, whether you are actively job searching or happy in your current position, is to keep your resume updated every six months. If you are currently working, a great time to update your resume is around the time of your annual performance review. That is when your accomplishments, recent projects, and other key items will be freshest in your mind.

Set a reminder for yourself six months from your annual performance review to check in on your goals for the current year and take that opportunity to not only see where you are in regards to your current job, but also what contributions you have made, exciting projects you have worked on, etc. in the last six months.

This way, if you find out about an opportunity that interests you or you make a new networking connection your resume will only need minor edits before applying for that job or emailing to your new connection.

The career counselors at JFCS Career Development Center are experts at helping you clarify your career branding and help you with crafting a resume that shows off your talents in the best possible ways. For resume assistance, please give us a call at 412.422.7200.

Should You Include Months On A Resume

You should always list the months you workednot just years. Many resumes list years only, not months. I know a lot of that comes from bad advice, and I hope thats the primary reason. But in case youre still thinking about it, read the statement below. Then read it again.

If you dont put months on your dates of employment, you are guilty until proven innocent.

Every gatekeeper and every headhunter I know gets suspicious when they see only years listed on a resume. If your resume shows 19972001, and then 2001 to present, the first thing I think is, Did they leave in January 2001 and start the other job the following December? It might be wrong to think like that, but its a fact of life that gatekeepers do. If you dont put the months down, youre assumed guilty. Period. End of discussion. Resume trashed.

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Do You Need To Include Dates On A Resume

The choice to include dates on a resume usually depends on the requirements of the job. Some job listings require that you received your certification during a certain period, some require a specific number of working experience, and others require active membership of a professional body or association. Including dates on your resume shows the hiring manager you meet the requirements of the job in question.


What Dates Do You Include In A Resume


When deciding the dates to incorporate in your resume, there are several factors to consider. Such factors include how recent your graduation was, how long you’ve worked, what memberships you’ve joined, and what achievements you’ve made. Here are dates you can include on your resume:

  • year of graduation if you received a degree in the recent past

  • month and the year of your internship if you want to have more appropriate experience

  • month and year of your prior position

  • year you joined a membership or an organization

  • month and year you earned a professional certification

These dates form the basis of your academic background, your drive to improve yourself, and your ultimate career goals.

Read more: How To Write Work Experience in Your Resume

Also Check: What Does Relevant Coursework Mean

Review The Job Posting To Remain Relevant

If you have a large amount of experience and are unsure about what to include, refer to the job posting. It should list the skills and experience they prefer candidates to have along with the number of years of experience they prefer. Review your resume to ensure you’ve included all of the information listed, if applicable. You can then remove any information from your work duties and responsibilities that the posting doesn’t mention or that you believe may not relate directly to the role.

This allows your resume to remain free of clutter and helps you look impressive to the hiring manager by showcasing your relevant experience and skills.

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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If You Graduated Recently

You can write dates on your resume if you graduated in the recent past. This is to clarify to the hiring directors that you have little or no working experience as you’ve been in an institution earning your certification. You can state graduation dates on your resume until you achieve a meaningful working experience. If you graduated over 10 years ago, it’s best not to mention your graduation dates on your resume. You can still mention all your academic certifications and the schools or colleges you enrolled in to show the recruitment team that you have a relevant academic background.

Do You Need To List Dates On A Resume

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According to the Age Discrimination in the United States, it is illegal for employers to discriminate based on a persons age.

Because of this act, employers are not allowed to ask questions such as how old you are, when you graduated university, etc.

While newer graduates are encouraged to write their date of graduation , more experienced professionals tend to leave off the date of graduation.

This is because it is often easy for an employer to work out someones age based on these dates. Some employers prefer to hire younger help, as they will typically accept lower wages.

Check out the Department of Labors website for more information about age discrimination laws.

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Adding Too Much Fluff To Your Job Descriptions

“One of the biggest mistakes I have seen in resumes floating around today is people amplifying their qualifications with fancy words. They are not lying on their resume they are just turning a task they once completed into years of experience. Once you sit down with them and utilize them in something practical, you quickly realize their resume was a lot of hot air and little practicality.” Victoria Ley, founder of Life Levels INC

I Havent Updated My Resume In Years

What do I do ?

Dear Career Counselor,

I am currently working, but want to look for another opportunity. My resume is really outdated how should I get started?

Dear Career Counselor,

A friend told me about a job that I really want to apply for, but I dont have an updated resume what should I do?

Whether you are on an active job search or not, sitting down to work on your resume can be a daunting task. If its been a while since you have applied for a job, you may know that you need to update your resume but you may be unsure where to start.

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If You Took Part In An Internship Program

If you’ve had a noteworthy professional work experience, you can cite all the internships you took part in, provided they relate to the position you are seeking. Here, you may state the month, and year you began and completed the internship. Ensure to specify in the job title that the opportunity was an internship and not a permanent job. This helps the hiring administrators comprehend that the dates which appear short are for a temporary position you held as an intern.

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Should You Leave A Job Off Your Resume If You Were Fired

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On your resume you dont have to include the reasons why you left a job, therefore the position wont make your resume look worse. The most common reason why omitting a job you were fired from might seem sensible is to avoid awkward questions during the interview stage. Following some job interview tips and preparing properly can help you tackle this.

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Ways To Make Employment Gaps Less Obvious On A Resume

1. Use Years on Your Resume: When listing dates on your resume, you don’t need to list the month/year if you were in a position for over a year or if your position spans multiple years. For example, you could say 2017 – 2019 for a position.

Then, if your next job began in November 2019, you can list it as 2019 – Present, which makes the nine-month employment gap less obvious. Here’s an example of how that can look:

Store Manager, XYZ Store

2017 2019

As you can see, the resume doesn’t specifically say when the candidate started and ended employment, which can cover a brief employment gap. However, if you’re filling out a job application you’ll need to be more specific. You’ll also most likely be asked about the dates during a job interview, so be prepared to answer accurately.

2. Consider a Different Resume Format: You can format your resume to minimize the visibility of gaps in your employment history.

For example, you can put the dates in plain font instead of bold. Or, you can use a smaller font size than the one you’re using for the company name and your job title. These small design and formatting choices can make a big difference.

Start your resume with a summary statement and career highlights section, so you are highlighting your skills and accomplishments, rather than what you did when.

Or consider using a functional resume, where you highlight your skills and qualifications at the top, followed by your chronological work history.

Making Claims Without Measurable Evidence

“If you’re going to boast about increasing sales or improving process efficiency, support these claims with real statistics and an explanation of how you accomplished these feats. When I read ‘improved department sales revenue’ on a resume, I’m not convinced.” Tyson Spring, co-founder and head of business development at Élever Professional

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Use A Functional Resume Format

Some employees still prefer to leave their exact employment dates off their resume due to their age or amount of experience. If you decide this as well, you can use a functional resume format that showcases your relevant skills, rather than primarily focusing on your work experience.

Add a summary section that explains your skills and how you plan to apply them to the role. Next, list your relevant skills at the top of your resume, focusing on skills that showcase your qualifications for the role. Group these skills in one section. If you have a certain set of skills that fit into a specific category, like technical skills, these can be featured in their own section as well.

You can then mention your relevant work experience by listing your duties and any results you brought the company. This is another section where you can focus primarily on the skills you’ve gained and improved during the role.

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Resume Truth Or Consequences

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Does leaving off short jobs constitute lying? No. Such editing is at the opposite end of the truth spectrum from lying, which boils down to making things up.

In fact, leaving short stints off a resume is not only permissible truth-wise, it helps to transform the document into a lean and mean marketing tool. Most often, 95 percent of the time, leaving a six-month job off will not only tighten a resume up, but at a job long enough to have a positive impact, Burdan said.

Theres always an exception to the rule, however: Sometimes short stints produced solid results that the job seeker can document.

Such productive short stints are typically rare, but they do merit inclusion on the resume.

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Do You Need To List Months On A Resume

Dec 15, 2020 | Resumes

You need to include accurate dates for every job on your resume but do you need to list the months with them? Theres no hard and fast rule, so read on to find out what to do in your situation.

You need to include accurate, honest dates with the positions you list on your resume. But should you add months to your work history, or just list years?

Grandmas advice: It depends.


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