Is It OK Not to Include Dates on Your Resume? Date Format

Resume Help

Do dates have to be included on a resume? What about ageism in the job search? Here is the conclusive response, along with formatting instructions, how to align dates on a resume, and how to avoid discrimination.

It makes sense for older job seekers to ponder if they can omit résumé dates. Dates on resumes do, after all, reveal your age, and that might be fatal to your job quest. In a significant FRBSF research including 40,000 resumes, older candidates received 20 to 50 percent fewer calls. But is it acceptable to omit dates from your resume?

The conclusive response? If you want to be hired, you must put dates on your resume. But this cloud of unemployment has a silver lining. In other words, they’ll figure it out during the interview nonetheless. Additionally, there are some excellent ways to include dates on a resume and still look professional.

This manual will demonstrate:

  • How to display your experience on a resume by listing dates.
  • How to combat ageism in the job search and convince employers that you are the best candidate.
  • How to properly align dates on resumes to save space.
  • Why dates must be included on your CV, but why this does not spell your doom.

Is It OK Not to Include Dates on Your Resume?

No, despite the unfortunate reality of ageism in employment, you must give resume dates. Application tracking systems (ATS) and real hiring managers cannot determine your interview worthiness without dates in your employment history. Plus, unless you’ve discovered the secret to eternal youth, they’ll figure it out during the interview.

What Resume Dates to Include

For each position listed in your work experience section, your resume needs the months and years. Include the year you obtained a certification, joined a professional association, or graduated from college. You should also mention the year and the months in which you began and ended your internship.

How to Fight Ageism in the Job Search

She is far too old. If the hiring manager says (or believes) that, your chances quickly diminish. The manager will consider your background to be dated. Or that a younger manager won’t get your attention. or that you lack strong technical skills. Create a customized résumé and cover letter to overcome those issues.

1. Write a Short Resume

Your résumé should be brief. Not “write a one-page resume,” please. Show off your experience if you have it! But do so in a unique way. Write thorough details of each job you held throughout the previous ten years in the work history section of your resume. Write 3-6 accomplishment-filled bullet points for each job.

Think about it: don’t the past ten years mean the most? They demonstrate that, despite your age, your talents are still current. Consider Jack Welch, Lee Iacocca, and Warren Buffett. In their later years, they all made enormous accomplishments. (Buffett continues to be effective!) However, their accomplishments at age 30 are irrelevant.

Should you still list previous positions? Yes! Just a list, though. Anything more than ten years old shouldn’t have bullet points, unless it was an amazing accomplishment.

2. Write a Powerful Cover Letter

You need a cover letter if you’re older and concerned about the resume’s expiration date. However, don’t just draft any cover letter. Include your top ten accomplishments from the previous ten years in yours. If you concentrate on the previous five years, this works even better. Tell them you can work for a junior manager after that.

That last sentence is crucial. Many hiring supervisors are concerned that an older worker will be unyielding. Talking about working with young managers will demonstrate that you are still an important member of the team. If you include specifics, you get extra points.

3. Highlight Technical Skills on Your Resume

Although resumes must include dates, demonstrating computer skills might be beneficial. Showcase your technology accomplishments if you’re concerned that your resume’s dates will give you a senile appearance. In the past five to ten years, you should have made a few significant technological advances that you may list on your resume.

If what you accomplished is noteworthy enough, mention it in your cover letter as well. Your age can appear immaterial if you demonstrate your technical skills in your resume and cover letter.

4. Leverage Your Network

I have good news if you’ve worked at the same place of business long enough to wish to omit dates from your CV. Most younger candidates would swoon over your great network, which you undoubtedly possess. Inform your network that you are looking for jobs. You won’t come out as being frail.

Not at all! There are undoubtedly employers out there who would love to work with you. And they’ll lend a hand if you recently lost your job.

5. Use LinkedIn

You should use LinkedIn now that more than 80% of hiring managers use it to screen applicants. Right now, update your LinkedIn profile. It should essentially be an online resume that includes testimonials to your accomplishments. By making your profile more robust and showing that you are still engaged, you can get around the resume dates issue.

What if You’re Young and Have Resume Gaps?

Employment gaps are another another reason to inquire if it’s acceptable to omit dates from your CV. If you’re young and have a shaky employment history, you could believe that leaving the months off your CV will help you avoid problems. Nope. You just appear dishonest by doing that. Keep them on and in your cover letter, describe the resume gap.

How to Align Dates on a Resume

Include the start and end dates beside your work title, employer name, and location. Put a dash or “en dash” between them (two dashes together).

Resume Dates Format

Brief Job

Waitress

Sny Harbor Camps, Middlesex, NJ

Jun–October 2018

Internship

Software Development Intern

Bluebird Company

July–September 2020 

Long-Term Job

CFO

Santa Tech Inc.

April 2014–June 2019

Certification

Six Sigma Black Belt 2017

Professional Association

American Society of Software Engineers (member since 2013)

Education

Bachelor of Arts in History

Rutgers University, 2013

Education (Incomplete)

Bachelor of Science in Finance

Princeton University

Expected Graduation May 2022

Key Learnings

Here’s why leaving out dates on your CV is not acceptable:

  • To demonstrate the specifics of your experience, your resume must include dates. However, don’t be concerned that your resume’s dates will reveal your age or make you appear overqualified (or underqualified). In any case, they’ll learn during the interview.
  • Concentrate on details in your resume to combat ageism. What actions have you taken recently to aid organizations in achieving their objectives?
  • Make your job history bullets as explicit as you can by including numbers to indicate accomplishments. How many and in how much? Display your outcomes!
  • Dates for employment, school, internships, certifications, and memberships should be included on resumes.
  • Use a “en-dash” and left-justification to align dates on a resume.

Thanks for reading!