Which Dates Are Important to Add to Your Resume?

Resume dates are a big part of your resume. What should you know about adding resume dates, especially if you’re an older job seeker?

Donna Wright Profile
By Donna Wright 3 minute read

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Resume Dates

Even small details can be important when writing a resume and cover letter for a job application. Something as simple as knowing how and when to include resume dates can show hiring managers you are a good candidate for the job. Dates can be an essential component of a resume, but they are not needed in every case.

Why Are Resume Dates Important?

When placed correctly, resume dates can tell recruiters a lot about job seekers. Dates can tell a hiring manager how many years of experience you have in the industry, and how long you have held certain professional certifications. These details can help you stand out from other applications on their desk, especially if you have held relevant, long-term positions. Finally, it is important to note that dates may have an impact on how your resume ranks in applicant tracking systems (ATS).

When and Where To Add Dates to Your Resume

Whether it is necessary to include dates on a resume can depend on the requirements of the job posting. You should always include dates of employment in your work experience section, for example, but certain job postings may also want dates for professional certifications and memberships. These are the dates most commonly listed on resumes:

  • Dates of employment (e.g., job title start and end date)
  • Certification and license award dates
  • Membership dates for professional associations
  • Publication dates
  • Professional conference and event participation dates 
  • Internship start and end dates

When you include dates in your resume sections, they should be listed at the end of each entry. For example, when listing a professional certification you would present it as such:

[Certification title], [DD/MM/YYYY]

If the certification must be renewed:

[Certification Title], [DD/MM/YYYY – DD/MM/YYYY]

In most cases, it is preferable to use a full date format, including specific days. This is especially the case when employment history, but in the case of memberships and certifications it can be acceptable to use the shorter MM/YYYY format as long as you are consistent. It is not usual to list your graduation date or expected graduation date on a professional resume unless an employer specifically requests it.

FAQ: Resume Dates

Have questions? We’re here to help.

No, you should still include employment dates even if you have employment gaps. You can switch to a hybrid or combination resume format if you want to present yourself and your work experience in a more persuasive way. This resume format emphasizes skills and work-related achievements without putting all the focus on steady work history but is less likely to put a recruiter off than a functional resume format.

No, you should not include your date of birth on your resume. Age is a protected class, and a potential employer does not need to know it at this point in the hiring process.

You can use whatever date format you want as long as it’s consistent. However, it is important to note that it is most common to use the MM/DD/YYYY format on a U.S. resume.

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Donna Wright Profile
WRITTEN BY Donna Wright

Donna is a career expert with extensive experience in the fields of Marketing, Publishing, Direct Mail and Communications. She’s witnessed firsthand the importance of a powerful resume and cover letter to a job search, so she takes great pride in helping change the lives of job seekers by sharing expert career advice and tips to help land the perfect job.

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