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Why Dates of Employment Can Make or Break a Quality Resume


8/16/2011 3:57:21 PM

Why Dates of Employment Can Make or Break a Quality Resume By Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, Expert Resume Writer

It may not seem that every piece of your resume is important, but on the contrary, everything you write will be scrutinized by some entity. In fact, even the dates you list on the resume matter when you’re being considered for a job. Don’t believe it? Take a look at some reasons why the dates on your resume could make it or break it:

Gaps in Employment Could Cost You the Job

You may not know this, but many companies feel uncomfortable about hiring a person that they think cannot hold a job or isn’t interested in working. This is why seeing large gaps between the end date of one job and the beginning date of another can result in a person not being considered for a position.

So if you list that you started a job in 1995 and departed in 2001 instead of 2011, a manager could be completely turned off by what he perceives to be a large gap in employment history. Avoid making this type of mistake. And if the gap in employment is accurate, be prepared to explain what you’ve been doing between 2001 and now.

Screening Software Often Gets Confused

Here’s something that many job applicants never consider: sometimes a company’s screening software actually gets confused when compiling information acquired from a resume.

For instance, suppose you worked in two positions at the same company. If you don’t list the dates you worked for both positions, the system may count the two jobs as one during screening. Also, if you write that you worked somewhere from “winter 2008 – present” instead of “12/2008 – present” the system could combine the entry with a previous one, not recognizing it as a new job.

As you know, there is no room for mistakes when writing resumes—even when you don’t know that you’re actually making them. So if you’ve already noticed that you’ve written your resumes in the above fashion, make a few quick changes. You may just see an improvement in the number of callbacks as a result.

About the Author

Jessica Hernandez, is a resume authority for the Job Talk America radio program and multi-published expert author for resume, career, and job search publications. She boasts more than ten years in human resources management and hiring for Fortune 500 companies and utilizes her extensive experience to support job seekers in their quest to move onward and upward in their careers. Find out more at Great Resumes Fast.

Check out the latest Career Insider eNewsletter - August 18, 2011.

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