Top 5 Tips for Employment Dates on Your Resumé

iStock_000011075682As you embark on any job search, people will offer many different opinions about what should be included in your résumé. It’s important to remember that there is no right or wrong answer.

A résumé is simply an on-paper outline of your career, a tool used to help you obtain the ideal job for you. When crafting or updating your résumé, here are our top five tips that can help you make the most of this tool:

  1. Include jobs that are relevant to the position for which you are applying; for example, if you are applying for a sales job but spent one year as a restaurant manager fifteen years ago, it is safe to eliminate. This becomes increasingly important as you gain work experience. Tailoring your résumé to each specific job opportunity, based on that job’s expectations or criteria, is a smart way to increase your chances of moving forward in the hiring process.
  2. Do not include roles that date back to high school or college unless you are a recent college graduate, or have less than five years of work experience post-college.
  3. Never, EVER lie about employment. In the competitive job market, it’s likely that potential employers may check up on your résumé, and you don’t want to lose an opportunity because of dishonesty.
  4. You CAN simply list your year of employment, rather than using the month and year – for example, ‘2005 – 2011’ instead of ‘November, 2005 – October, 2011.‘
  5. List your jobs in order of most recent to oldest. Potential employers want to see what you’ve been doing lately and how you would fit into their company culture. As we mentioned before, if you have held jobs that aren’t relevant to the position for which you are applying, it’s fine to cut those out, but still list your former positions in reverse-chronological order so that your résumé is as clear and concise as possible.

Remember, your résumé is merely an outline of your employment history. Use it to provide the most pertinent information about your background to get your foot in the door. Good luck!