Great Resumes Fast » Resume Writing Tips » Why Dates of Employment Can Make or Break a Quality Resume

It may not seem that every piece of your resume is important, but on the contrary, everything you write will be scrutinized by some entity.  In fact, even the dates you list on the resume matter when you’re being considered for a job.  Don’t believe it?  Take a look at some reasons why the dates on your resume could make it or break it:

Gaps in Employment Could Cost You the Job

You may not know this, but many companies feel uncomfortable about hiring a person that they think cannot hold a job or isn’t interested in working.  This is why seeing large gaps between the end date of one job and the beginning date of another can result in a person not being considered for a position.

So if you list that you started a job in 1995 and departed in 2001 instead of 2011, a manager could be completely turned off by what he perceives to be a large gap in employment history.  Avoid making this type of mistake.  And if the gap in employment is accurate, be prepared to explain what you’ve been doing between 2001 and now.

Screening Software Often Gets Confused

Here’s something that many job applicants never consider: sometimes a company’s screening software actually gets confused when compiling information acquired from a resume.

For instance, suppose you worked in two positions at the same company.  If you don’t list the dates you worked for both positions, the system may count the two jobs as one during screening.  Also, if you write that you worked somewhere from “winter 2008 – present” instead of “12/2008 – present” the system could combine the entry with a previous one, not recognizing it as a new job.

As you know, there is no room for mistakes when writing resumes—even when you don’t know that you’re actually making them.  So if you’ve already noticed that you’ve written your resumes in the above fashion, make a few quick changes.  You may just see an improvement in the number of callbacks as a result.

For additional tips and advice on resumes and cover letters, follow us on Twitter @GreatResume or visit our blog.


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About the author

Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast

Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.

What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.

You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!

I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!

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