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Traditional Resume Design

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Resume Employment Dates

Because hiring managers are bombarded with dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of resumes on a daily basis, the key in writing an effective resume is to make your information as easily accessible and readable as possible.

When presenting employment dates:

  • Make certain that your years of employment are in reverse chronological order. That is, present your most recent job first, followed by the next most recent, and so on.
  • If you've worked more than one position at the same company, indicate the beginning and ending dates of each position.
  • Format your resume so that dates are easily seen by the reader, rather than hidden within other data.

There's no need to type months in employment dates, except on your resumes for Federal government jobs that require such data, and those you're sending to graduate schools as part of the application process.

Employment Dates in Reverse Chronological Order

If you worked for ABC Company from 1999 to the present and at XYZ Company from 1989 to 1999, you'd write it something like this:

ABC COMPANY, City, State

1999 - Present

XYZ COMPANY, City, State

1989 - 1999

More than One Position with a Company

If you worked at ABC Company from 1989 to the present and held three positions of increasing responsibility, a good way to present it would be something like this:

ABC COMPANY, City, State
Controller (1999-Present)
Chief Accountant (1994-1999)
Accountant (1989-1994)

1989 - Present

The above provides specific information about your dates of employment in each position, with your total employment at the company provided in the first line.

Formatting Employment Dates

Because a hiring manager will most often scan rather than read your resume, it's best to provide dates of employment immediately after the company's name and location, preferably with the dates positioned flush-right as shown above. This separation avoids the dates getting lost in the other data, yet still showcases them for potential employers.

Years of Employment vs. Months and Years

By excluding months except when required (as indicated above), you can improve the readability of the data, while also downplaying brief periods of employment.  For example, indicating that you worked during the year 2000 is certainly more positive than indicating that you only worked January - February 2000.

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