Blog & Detail

Resume Date Format - Are You Doing It Wrong?

The way you list dates on your resume could be keeping you from getting interviews.
Here are some of the ways I've seen dates listed on resumes that you should NOT use:
  1. Year only (e.g., 2010, 2008-2013)
  2. Abbreviated Year (e.g., 7/16, Jul 16, July '16, etc.)
  3. Year, then Month (e.g., 2016 January, 2017 Apr, 2013/09, etc.)
  4. Abbreviated Month with Year (e.g., Sep 2010)
  5. Mixed date formatting (e.g., Jan 2002 - April 2009, 11/2016 to Jun 2018, Sept 2010-4/2012, etc.)
  6. Non-standard characters (e.g., December.2014, 9.2011, Feb'2017, August|2014, October/2013, April-2014, July, 2016, etc.)
  7. Various ways to describe no end date (e.g., to date, -current, til present, etc.)
Here are the ways you should use to list dates on your resume:
  1. Month and Year (e.g., 05/2017 - Present, 10/2010 to 04/2016, May 2017-Present, October 2010 - April 2016, or for a graduation or certification date use 06/2013 or June 2013).
That's it. Month and Year (either numerical or spelled out month with the full year) is the only way you should list dates on your resume.
Why is this so important? When you submit your resume online, the ATS software parses the information into a document for the hiring leader to review. If the ATS doesn't understand the dates you list for any reason, it might assign the wrong dates (for example, if you only list the year it will assume January), not give you credit for the experience, or reject your application entirely.
All dates listed on your Five Minute Resume will be formatted in a way that ATS software will be able to read.