how to list the dates of your current job on your resume

by Ask a Manager on January 4, 2013

This is a tiny, minor, inconsequential thing, but I’m telling you anyway because I’m neurotic about small things:

If you are currently employed, the dates on your resume for your current job should end with “present.” For instance:

Chocolate Teapot Maker, 2009 – present

not

Chocolate Teapot Maker, 2009 – 2013

If you do the latter, many of us will wonder if you’re still employed there or whether you left. And if it happens to be, say, December 2012, and your most recent job says “2009 – 2012,” we’ll wonder if you’re still there or whether you left 10 months ago. And then we’ll spend time asking you, when you could have been clear about it from the beginning.

Minor, very minor, but worth doing right.

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{ 115 comments… read them below or add one }

Ashley January 4, 2013 at 1:36 pm

What if your job has an end date? I am currently on a grant-based contract that ends August 1st, 2013 and will be applying for jobs relatively soon because I work in the education field and jobs for the next school year are already opening.

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Ask a Manager January 4, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Totally fine to list that (even helpful so they know what your situation is). So you’d list it like:

2010 – Aug. 1, 2013 (grant-funded contract)

… or something like that

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shawn January 4, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Yes, yes, yes! I regularly review resumes within an HR team, and it’s unbelievable how hard we have to work at times to decipher someone’s resume. I’ve seen future dated end dates, just a single year in place of a date range (ex: 2010), jobs listed out of chronological order, etc. All of this makes it harder for me to figure out if you are qualified and if you should be passed on to the next stage. Job seekers: please make your resume/story easy read and understand, and make it easy for me to know you are qualified (if you are). If not, you risk being rejected when you otherwise wouldn’t have (certainly not out of spite, but because I legitimately don’t think you are qualified or as strong of a candidate as you really are).

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shawn January 4, 2013 at 1:39 pm

And this isn’t confined to just dates, but to lack of job titles, lack of description/accomplishments for each job (or using the same ones for each job of the same title), leaving off company names, etc.

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Lore January 4, 2013 at 2:01 pm

On the other hand, I once had an interview where the interviewer was so insistently probing into a gap on my resume that didn’t exist that I started to think I’d made a horrible error when listing dates. Turned out his printer was smudging and he was reading a “0″ as an “8.” So, sometimes all the clarity in the world doesn’t help!

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Anonymous January 4, 2013 at 4:47 pm

So they thought you were unemployed from (hypothetically) 1999 to 2008?! I’m almost surprised he didn’t just discard the resume outright.

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Anonymous January 4, 2013 at 4:49 pm

To add: not to say there aren’t many perfectly valid reasons to have a resume gap of 1999 to 2008, but rather that someone who’s so insistent on probing the issue would even call the candidate in for an interview.

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Lore January 4, 2013 at 6:04 pm

He was one of three people I met with, so I guess one of the others had done the initial round of screening?

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Lore January 4, 2013 at 6:05 pm

Oh, and I also should say that for that particular period of my life, I had a series of overlapping jobs–”day jobs” in publishing while also running a theater company and doing a lot of freelance writing, so it didn’t look like I’d been unemployed exactly, just that there was a big gap when I wasn’t working in this industry.

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dave September 26, 2013 at 5:51 am

whats your view on current experience with a definite future end date
I’m applying for a job starting March 2014 and my current placements ends February 2014. I just want to make it clear I will be available to start work

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badger_doc January 4, 2013 at 1:38 pm

What about being more specific and including the months? Such as:

Chocolate Teapot Maker, May 2009 – present

Chocolage Teapot Assistant, September 2007 – May 2009

This is how my jobs on my resume are organized.

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Ask a Manager January 4, 2013 at 1:41 pm

I actually prefer that — it makes it a lot easier to tell how long you were really there. If something just says 2011-2012, I have no idea if that means Dec. 2011 – Feb. 2012 or if it’s actually closer to the full two years. So I much prefer it when candidates include months (and I’ll usually ask if they don’t and if I have questions about how long they were really employed somewhere).

That said, a lot of people use just years, especially when they stayed somewhere so many years that the months really don’t matter, or when the jobs were long ago.

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Anonymous January 4, 2013 at 1:49 pm

I think this also does a good job of showing the candidate has taken on more responsibility and moved up during their time at a company as well.

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Elizabeth West January 4, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Oh good, that’s what I was going to ask. I did that.

I hate when online applications ask the day, though. How am I supposed to remember what day I started and ended? I only remember that for my last job. So I just put the first day of the month for each date, since it won’t let me put month/year. >:(

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V January 4, 2013 at 8:37 pm

I’m sure that’s fine. The ATS’s aren’t designed by the employers, just licensed and poorly designed, and the employers themselves don’t even know how to use them half the time. ;-)

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Dan January 4, 2013 at 1:42 pm

How do you format your resume when you worked for a company more than one time, separated by another job? For example

Job 1 : 2011-Now

Job2 : 2010-2011
Job1 : 2009-2010

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AdAgencyChick January 4, 2013 at 1:43 pm

I have this problem, too!

I’m just going to list on my resume as though they were separate jobs, so that my most recent position is up top.

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Ask a Manager January 4, 2013 at 1:44 pm

The right answer will depend on your specifics, but you have two choices:

Option 1

Job Title, Company 1
2011-present
2009-2010

Job Title, Company 2
2010-2011

Option 2

Job Title, Company 1
2011-present

Job Title, Company 2
2010-2011

Job Title, Company 1
2009-2010

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JessA January 5, 2013 at 12:33 am

This actually happened to me. I went with option 2.

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Scott Woode January 4, 2013 at 1:43 pm

I’ve been meaning to ask this, but what if you’re a third-party contractor for a business but you’ve been through three different agencies because of contract switches, should my resume read like this:

Investment Bank, Receptionist
Sub Contractor C, January 2013-Present
Sub Contractor B, December 2011-December 2012
Sub Contractor A, October 2011-December 2011

I’ve held the same role through all three transitions and I’m starting my job search again (partly because of the transitions) and I’d like to know the most commonsense way to list this job.

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Ask a Manager January 4, 2013 at 1:46 pm

You could do it that way, or you could do it like this:

Investment Bank, Receptionist, Oct. 2011 – present
(subcontracts held by A, B, C)

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Scott Woode January 4, 2013 at 1:53 pm

Thank you! I like that way SOOO much better! :)

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Anonymous January 4, 2013 at 1:43 pm

what’s your take on past jobs? do they need months too?

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Ask a Manager January 4, 2013 at 1:49 pm

See my comment at 1:41 above.

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Dan January 4, 2013 at 1:45 pm

How do you format your resume when you worked for a company more than one time, separated by another job? For example

Job 1 : 2011-Now
- tasks achievements etc
Job2 : 2010-2011
- tasks achievements etc
Job1 : 2009-2010
- tasks achievements etc

See in my case I worked for Job1 at two different times, but the tasks and such were the same. If I put them together and write this :

job 1 (2011-now) and (2009-2010)

If I do something like this, I break the timeline. However if I separate them like I did earlier above, I basically repeat the same stuff twice. How would go you about that?

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AnotherAlison January 4, 2013 at 2:09 pm

YMMV, but here’s how I’ve done it. Although I was at different companies, the jobs were the same & I don’t want someone to have to read all the duties stuff twice. I put more detail into duties at the most recent one and only list a brief one-line description that shows it was the same as the other job for the second one. I put achievements for both. In your case, I think I’d do it the same way because as a resume reader, it’s easy to get confused when things are out of order.

Specifically:

Company 2
Mechanical Engineer, 2006-2008
-Developed P&IDs for steam and boiler feedwater systems for gas-fired projects
-Developed technical specs for X, Y, Z equipment
-3D modeling responsibilities for pipe supports
-Achieved blah blah blah

Project Analyst, 2005-2006
-blah blah blah

Company 1
Mechanical Engineer, 2000-2005
-P&ID development, specification development, 3D modeling
-Achieved blah blah blah

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AnotherAlison January 4, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Sorry I didn’t “chocolate teapot” that up for everyone…ignore the jargon. : )

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Frieda January 4, 2013 at 3:01 pm

This reminds me of a question I’ve been meaning to ask. What is everyone’s opinion of the role of jargon in a resume? There is a certain amount of jargon that should be in a resume to prove that you have a handle on industry-specific terms. But how much is too much–when does it become distracting?

I’ve been thinking about this because I need to rewrite my resume to submit as part of a graduate school application, and it’s hard to craft it for an audience outside of my industry. I can’t just say “glazed chocolate teapots” because I have to explain the process of glazing chocolate teapots so someone would understand how complex it is.

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class factotum January 4, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Increasing revenues, reducing costs, improving customer satisfaction are a common language, especially when numbers are attached, that everyone understands.

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class factotum January 4, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Perhaps I should have used quotation marks: “Increased revenues, reduced costs, improved customer satisfaction by…” and then attach the numbers.

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Sasha January 4, 2013 at 3:19 pm

I’ve never been a fan of jargon no matter what but I see how it can be valuable when targeting certain audiences. That being said, I would probably try to find a simple, concrete alternative word or phrase for the process of glazing teapots – making it as concise as I possibly could. If jargon is helpful for connecting with your target audience, I would still probably keep it down to a minimum. My guiding principle in resume writing is to be as concrete with my language as I can, and jargon has a tendency to be vague.

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Ask a Manager January 4, 2013 at 4:17 pm

No jargon! Get it out of there! Even if the hiring manager understands the jargon, others looking at your resume may not. And even if the hiring manager does, it’ll still be a better read without the jargon. Clear, plain, conversational language is what you want. If you wouldn’t use a phrase to a friend, don’t use it on your resume.

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AnotherAlison January 4, 2013 at 4:24 pm

I disagree. . .mostly said it below, but if the job ad is written in jargon & the HR screener is hiring specialists, she better know what the language of our industry is. I don’t see how I could be specific enough about what I’ve done in my career if I didn’t use jargon. And what would simplify it enough that my “friend” could understand it would really make it sound crazy to the hiring manager or wouldn’t be specific enough.

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AnotherAlison January 4, 2013 at 4:20 pm

Well. . .I consider it completely appropriate to have jargon on your resume. Jargon is the language of your industry, and what I wrote above is understood by mechanical engineers and engineering managers in my industry. If I was applying to another industry, I’d probably change P&IDs to Piping and Instrument Diagrams, and if outside engineering, probably just drawings. But, if I wrote “drawings” for an ME job in my industry, the hiring manager would think I was a moron who didn’t know what a P&ID was.

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Ask a Manager January 4, 2013 at 4:25 pm

When I think of jargon, I think more of stuff like “Accelerated product development process by leveraging research, client successes, and proven best practices” or “Set goals and evaluated results to ensure all operations objectives and goals were met and exceeded in accordance with strategic and programmatic plans.” (These are 2 real examples I just stole from resumes.) It’s unnecessarily wordy and corporate-speak, and you’d never talk that way in conversation. Also, what the hell does it mean? I can’t even tell.

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AnotherAlison January 4, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Okay. I see where you’re coming from then. I just call that BS : ) I was thinking of definition #1, and you had #2 in mind. Dictionary.com Jargon: 1.)the language, especially the vocabulary, peculiar to a particular trade, profession, or group: medical jargon. 2.) unintelligible or meaningless talk or writing; gibberish.

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Frieda January 6, 2013 at 3:56 pm

The first definition is what I was thinking of. If I say that I “have experience with offset and POD printing” then general readers (or, worse, HR) may not know what I mean, but if I say that I “have experience with printing lots of books at once or printing them one at a time,” then the hiring manager will think that I don’t know what I’m talking about, or trying to avoid naming a specific technology because I don’t know about it. The first example is more specific and concise, but risks someone not understanding what I mean. It’s just hard to balance sometimes.

Anonymous January 4, 2013 at 4:35 pm

(I’m not any of the posters upthread)

Thanks for the clarification! I was worried for a second about having technical terminology on my resume. So convoluted, meaningless buzzwords = bad; clear phrases with appropriate terminology for the field = good?

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Ask a Manager January 4, 2013 at 4:37 pm

I’m hesitant to give a blank “good” on terminology because sometimes people do use it in an unclear way, but in general, if you’re sensitive to it as an issue to be aware of, you’re probably fine. It’s people who don’t even know to think about it who tend to go overboard.

Malissa January 4, 2013 at 4:51 pm

What about industry specific abbreviations. Like for accounting, AR, AP, GL, SOX, etc…?

Would that be off-putting to an HR person?

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AnotherAlison January 4, 2013 at 5:11 pm

My personal opinion is that you have to tailor it to the company. If you’re applying to an F500 company or say, Robert Half, I’m thinking their HR has done enough hiring & been through enough education and training to know what SOX means. If it’s a mom & pop company, and HR consists of the owner’s assistant/receptionist/HR/marketing person, then maybe not. (Then they wouldn’t be worrying about SOX anyway, obviously.)

Craig January 4, 2013 at 1:47 pm

How about when you’re filling out an online application and the only option is to use a calendar date? Do you put today’s date?

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Sasha January 4, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Yes, I would do that, I have done it on a few online apps. If you can leave it blank at all, I would go for that, but I know some of the apps will error out if you don’t choose a specific date.

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Anonymous January 4, 2013 at 4:37 pm

I’ve also seen some online forms that have a date field, but also a “to Present” or “currently employed” checkbox that overrides it. It can be tricky to spot it on a poorly-designed form though!

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Erica B January 4, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Alison, have you considered writing a résumé book/e-book that addresses all these formatting questions? I would buy it and trust that it’s good! I can see all the images of sample résumés with your corrections on them stating, “Do this, not that”. And then you could direct people to pick up your book.

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Julie January 4, 2013 at 2:26 pm

+1

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Scott Woode January 4, 2013 at 3:29 pm

+1

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Ask a Manager January 4, 2013 at 4:17 pm

That is an excellent idea! I need to go on another vacation to the woods and write it there.

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Erica B January 4, 2013 at 4:20 pm

don’t forget to bring with you the worst resumes ever and the best!

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Elizabeth West January 4, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Oh that cabin was so nice! I wish I could go there and edit my book.

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Josh S January 4, 2013 at 7:47 pm

That’s 2 projects-in-the-works that you have now. There’s also the “How to get a job for recent college grads” that you thought was a good idea…

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Z January 4, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Yesterday, I reviewed someone’s resume, and in her education section, she had, “B.A. University name, Class of 2007.” (The formatting was better, of course.) I told her it was odd that she said, “Class of 2007,” rather than giving the date of her actual graduation, e.g., May 2007. To me, “class of” implies only that she *entered* the university in the fall of 2003, but someone who dropped out and never graduated could still claim to be part of the class of 2007. (My kindergarten T-shirt notes that I’m part of the class of 2000, but of course several people who got those shirts ended up dropping out of high school.) Do you agree that this is odd?

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Anonymous January 4, 2013 at 2:21 pm

The term “B.A.” means she has that degree. What year may not be clear, but she says she has a B.A. so she finished.

Not ideal writing on her part, but it’s a stretch to take it to mean she entered but did not finish.

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Z January 4, 2013 at 3:08 pm

I agree that it’s a stretch, but on the other hand, she also listed her M.A., with “Class of 2014.” That makes me wonder if she actually plans to graduate in 2014, or if she entered with that class, but is going to take until 2015 to finish.

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Ellie H. January 4, 2013 at 10:57 pm

Yeah, it’s odd but I wouldn’t take it to mean she doesn’t have a B.A., but it sounds like you didn’t, anyway. I also don’t think that it is worth speculating about when she may or may not finish her M.A. There are some programs that have a really specific timeline and it would be strange not to finish on time but there are also many that might take longer for whatever reason. The school I work at allows five years before a masters student is out of time which we generally think is excessive, but if it weren’t acceptable, we wouldn’t do it. It allows for students who work full-time and take classes part-time.

On a different note it may be frequently done, but it makes me crazy when Ph.D. students have “Ph.D. expected 2016″ or similar on their C.V. because it is so, so, so unpredictable when you will actually finish, regardless of what a great student you are. Granted less so in the sciences than in the humanities but, still.

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Emily, admin extraordinaire January 4, 2013 at 3:58 pm

For college (and for high school, for that matter), “class of” indicates the year you actually graduated, not the year you are expected to graduate. With high school, unless you get held back or drop out, you’re going to graduate with the rest of those who entered kindergarten the same year as you. But with college, there’s all sorts of things that might happen to delay your graduation date– starting late, changing majors 87 times, taking a year off to travel or volunteer with the Peace Corps– that makes reading “Class of 2003″ to mean that the person entered college in 1999 a pretty big assumption.

I’m a good example. I actually entered college in 1998, so if I’d taken the 4 years a BA supposedly takes, I’d have been class of 2002– but instead I got mono half way through and had to take a year off, so I didn’t graduate until 2003, and am therefore part of that class. A similar thing happened to me in grad school– I entered in 2004, and should have graduated in 2006, but I got writers block and didn’t finish my thesis until December of 2009, and didn’t actually graduate until April of 2010.

If I saw “class of” on a resume, I’d assume that they either graduated in that year (if it’s in the past) or anticipate graduating in that year (if it’s in the future. Class of 2007 means they graduated in 2007, no more, no less. (That being said, I list my degrees as “BA April 2003, MA April 2010″.)

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The IT Manager January 4, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Class of XX is simply unclear and should not be used on a resume becuase of the usage of “class of” designation simply to mean 4 years after entry. It is a means of describing a group of people and not a data. If you have a degree or graduation certificate use the date it was conferred. If you’re anticpating gradution in the future still use just the year but write “(anticipated)” or something similar.

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Anonymous January 4, 2013 at 4:40 pm

I agree with your comment in general, but for students in some specialized programs that are longer or shorter than 4 years, Class of XX is whatever the anticipated graduation date is, not necessarily just entry+4. I’d argue that Class of XX also changes as your anticipated graduation plans change (say you added a major, which extends your anticipated graduation by a year. You’re now Class of XX+1) I definitely agree that stating the date, or (anticipated) date is much more clear though.

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Emily, admin extraordinaire January 4, 2013 at 6:05 pm

Oh, I agree that you shouldn’t use it on a resume. Month and year is much better. But I’m not so sure that the majority of people would look at “class of 2005″ and take it to mean “started college in 2001″ rather than “graduated in 2005.” Is it a possible usage? Yes. Is it the dominant one? No. It may have been in the 50s and 60s, when the designation “Freshman” and “Senior” meant more than just how many credits you’d accumulated (or how many years you’ve played collegiate sports, but even that can be qualified by saying “redshirt”). But it simply cannot be assumed to mean that in today’s world.

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Ask a Manager January 4, 2013 at 4:19 pm

I agree that it’s odd — sloppy language, more than anything else.

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Helenah January 4, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Okay, while we’re asking resume questions: What is the best way to list freelance work to show that I was not just sitting around unemployed between two jobs? Like this?

Job 1 August 2012 – present

Freelancing May 2012 – August 2012

Job 2 January 2011 – May 2012

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class factotum January 4, 2013 at 3:16 pm

Does a gap of four months even need to be explained? Especially if you are employed now?

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Ask a Manager January 4, 2013 at 4:20 pm

I think that’s fine to list it that way.

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ChristineH January 4, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Here’s a challenging one:

What about when you volunteered at a professional association, then brought on as a part-time temp during two separate time periods. I’m also a paid member of said association. Right now, I have it as:

Professional Association – 1/09-10/10
Project Assistant / Conference Assistant

But here’s how it actually broke down:

Volunteer – 1/09-1/10
Part-time temp 1 – 1/10-5/10
Part-time temp 2 – 8/10-10/10

The volunteer and part-time temp 2 gigs were for one project while part-time temp 1 was primarily to help with a large conference.

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ChristineH January 4, 2013 at 2:31 pm

To clarify: “The volunteer and part-time temp 2 gigs” should’ve said, “The volunteer and second part-time temp gigs…”

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Ask a Manager January 4, 2013 at 4:20 pm

I think that’s totally fine. It’s no one’s business how much you were or weren’t paid throughout that time.

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ChristineH January 4, 2013 at 4:58 pm

That helps a lot…thanks Alison!!!

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Julie January 4, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Since everyone’s asking about formatting, I have a question as well. Here’s what’s currently on my resume, but I’m wondering if there’s a better way:

Company Name, Jan. 2011-present
Executive Assistant, Sept. 2012-present
Administrative Assistant, Nov. 2011-Sept. 2012
Administrative Assistant via Temp Agency, Jan. 2011-Oct. 2011

Does this make sense? Is it fraudulent because I wasn’t officially employed by the company when I was working for the temp agency? It was a single-company temp placement, and I was there 2-4 days a week, depending on need. (I’m now a full-time employee; the executive director retired and her replacement hired me directly.)

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KellyK January 4, 2013 at 2:46 pm

That looks reasonable to me. “Via Temp Agency” should make it clear who you were technically employed by. I think it’s also a good thing to show that you started as a temp, were hired, and were promoted, so I would avoid breaking those up in a way that detracts from that progression.

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Ask a Manager January 4, 2013 at 4:21 pm

I agree — I like the progression it shows.

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AB January 4, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Alison, your formatting book is writing itself in your responses to this thread :-). Now you just need to schedule a week at the cabin to put the finishing touches, heehee.

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Anonymous January 4, 2013 at 4:44 pm

If it makes you feel better, you can think of the Company Name in the first line as where you worked at (work location) rather than who signed your paychecks (“employer” in the technical sense).

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Joey January 4, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Yep. I also hate it when present is listed and you’re already gone. But probably the worst thing you can do to yourself is list through 2012 and you’re actually still there.

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KarenT January 4, 2013 at 2:55 pm

In my mind if people write “present” and their employment has ended, they are lying.

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Lynn January 4, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Once I was laid off with a month’s warning. I listed my dates as “2009-present” on my resume during that month, because I was still going in and working every day. When interviewers asked why I was looking for a new job, I told them the truth, and no one ever acted like they thought I was being deceptive on my resume.

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KellyK January 4, 2013 at 3:27 pm

That sounds totally accurate to me. You’re still employed by them while you’re serving out the notice period.

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KarenT January 4, 2013 at 3:40 pm

That’s more than fair–you were still working. I’m talking about where your employment has actually ended and you are still writing “present.”

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E January 4, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Oo, formatting questions! I have one!

How should I list a job that I held every summer for four years (during college/graduate school, and one actually in my field, not just retail/food/whatever)? I usually do it like this:

Chocolate Teapot Assistant
2007-2010 (summers only)

But I’m not sure if there is a better way to do this. It is extra annoying in automated applications where I usually just say 2007-2010 and then try to emphasize summers only in the description.

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Sasha January 4, 2013 at 3:58 pm

I think that’s acceptable on the resume, I have done a similar thing in the past, when I worked as the admin assistant in several departments of a large non-profit while going to college. It never flustered any hiring manager, to my knowledge. I was hardly asked about it.

As for the online application systems….well I would probably list each instance singly. Yes it’s a pain in the butt, but if there is no other way to indicate that it was summers only, and not a block of 3 years, that might be the best way to go.

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Ask a Manager January 4, 2013 at 4:27 pm

I think that’s fine!

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AnotherAlison January 4, 2013 at 4:47 pm

I did this on my resume when I was looking for my first post-college position and it confused the heck out of one interviewer, and it was the only interviewer to whom it was actually relevant. (It was a telemarketing job and the interview was for a customer support engineer, so they wanted to know how I liked working on the phone.) They thought I had 2 years experience when I had winter break only experience. I can’t think of a better way to do it, but just be sure you’re very clear about your time there and they aren’t misinterpreting it. People just don’t read well, I guess. None of the other interviewers even brought it up, but the experience was irrelevant to most positions I was looking at.

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Sandrine January 4, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Thanks to Alison I updated my resume with

mm/yyyy to mm/yyyy – Job Title (Company, Location)
Task

Because I don’t have major accomplisments to list for those :P.

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Waiting Patiently January 4, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Is going back 10 years still the rule of thumb? Ive been with my current employer for almost 6 years but I have a one huge gap on my resume because I was a stay at home mom plus I went back to school to finish a degree. Before the gap, I was in a completely different field of work. I worked my way up through the ranks from front desk clerk, auditor, front desk supervisor to the accounting department for a hotel chain. I leave it there so I can account for ten years of work history. Sometimes I want to take it off because most interviewers never really ask me about those jobs.

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Ask a Manager January 5, 2013 at 3:39 pm

I’d still keep the 10 years on there, even though you’re never asked about it — it’s still part of fleshing out your professional history.

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Erica B January 6, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Even if you’ve been at that job for 10 years? I’ve been at my full-time job for 9. Next year, I will have the easiest resume ever! Not really though, because I have spent atleast half the time also working a part time job as well, and also running a couple school PTO’s..

But really though, say you’ve had your job for 10+ years, do you include anything prior?

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Ask a Manager January 6, 2013 at 10:56 pm

In your case, yes. The commenter above was asking whether she had to go back as far as 10 years, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t go back further than that.

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KarenT January 4, 2013 at 5:28 pm

What do people do when they’ve had three promotions that were really just title changes?
At my company, I went from being a Teapot Associate, to Senior Teapot Associate, to Executive Teapot Associate. In my industry you would know that the duties were the same, but that Executive Teapot Associates get more complicated projects. It’s really more about a salary bump and highlighting who key teapot associates are. I feel it would misleading to write Executive Teapot Associate (May 2009-May 2012), but perhaps redundant to write all three titles when the job is really the same.

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PEBCAK January 4, 2013 at 10:02 pm

Yes, write all three titles. It is not redundant; it shows a progression for the very reasons you describe.

I do something like this:

Company name, location, etc.
Teapot Analysis Manager 2010 – 2012
Accomplishments

Senior Teapot Analyst 2008-2009
Teapot Analyst 2006 – 2007
Accomplishments

The key here is that the jump to “senior” doesn’t change much, but shows I was a good analyst, so I don’t list a separate set of accomplishment. The jump to manager means a whole new type of work. If you are saying that, in your case, all three were the same kind of work, then just list all three and then the accomplishments underneath.

I think the important thing to remember, with all of these questions, is that the point is to clearly convey the most important information. No manager is going to throw out a resume because you didn’t put the information in the exact order or format that she would have.

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KarenT January 5, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Thank you :)

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Anonymous January 5, 2013 at 12:37 am

What is your take on the use of icons in a resume? (i.e. along these lines, but not exactly this: http://oi47.tinypic.com/2rgj7nd.jpg )

I assume you’d encourage minimalism and that qualifications will speak louder than images/creative formatting (which could potentially come across as jarring), particularly if the applicant isn’t a graphic designer. Still, in the interest of aesthetics and potentially standing out from a crowded field (communications or marketing, in this case), I’m curious to know what you think of this approach.

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Ask a Manager January 5, 2013 at 3:38 pm

It’s hard to get past that “interests” section — they need to get rid of that! But other than that, I think this is fine. I just wouldn’t count on it making you stand out — it’s still got to be the content of your resume that does that!

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Jen in RO January 5, 2013 at 3:02 am

I have a formatting question too. I worked as a freelance copy editor for a year back in 2009, then I got another (unrelated) job. However, I’ve done freelance copy editing in parallel with the new job too. So far I’ve kept my resume as:
Feb 2009 – Dec 2009
Freelance copy editor for publishing houses x and y
Jan 2010 – present
Technical writer

I’ve tried conveying that I’m not out of touch with editing by having it as below, but I don’t really like it…
Feb 2009 – Nov 2012 (date of my last edited book)
Freelance copy editor for publishing houses x, y, z and t
Jan 2010 – present
Technical writer

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Jen in RO January 5, 2013 at 3:04 am

Oops, missed the question: does anyone have a better idea of formatting these jobs? (And, if other copy editors are around, what kind of achievements do you list?)

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Lore January 5, 2013 at 2:15 pm

I would go with the latter. Copy editing is changing so much and so constantly right now, especially for digital publication, that I would be reluctant to hire a freelancer if I thought she hadn’t done any copy editing in three years. The overlap can be mildly confusing to someone reading the resume, yes, but I do the same thing on my resume and I’ve often found it to lead to fruitful conversations.

In terms of achievements, here’s some things I like to see on a resume when I’m hiring a freelance copy editor: long-term relationships with particular publishers or editors (people who like your work and rehire you often); working on multiple books or project by the same author (same as above); expertise or depth of experience in particular subject areas.

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Jen in RO January 5, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Thanks for the input! I’m not in the US and copy editing is probably somewhat different here (I’ve only worked on translations, dead tree books), but your comment makes me want to go back to it and see if anything exciting is happening. (I’m listing it because it’s related to tech writing, employers here tend not to pay copy editors on time, so I’m not planning on going back to it as a career… but I always come out of “hibernation” for my favorite authors!)

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Josh S January 5, 2013 at 2:17 pm

As someone who has done freelance work in parallel with full time work, I’d go with something like this:

Jan 2010 – Present
Technical Writer

Feb 2009 – Nov 2012
Freelance copy editor for publishing houses x, y, z

Your freelance experience IS employment that you want to recognize and even emphasize (depending on the client). If you are pursuing other freelance work, you would be well within your rights to put the Freelance Copy Editing as “Feb 2009 – Present” as well. You’re just between projects.

The only thing is that I’d put your current full time job at the top, since that’s more “chronological”. But if you’ve got both your full time stuff and freelance stuff current, then put whichever is most relevant to the job at the top.

Good luck!

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Jen in RO January 5, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Thanks! You’re right about the order, it’s mixed up due to commenting too soon after waking up :P

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CareerGoods January 10, 2013 at 6:04 pm

It’s the little things that make a difference :) I have to say that as a Recruiter, I prefer when people include the month as well. I want to know exactly how long they’ve been there.

Also, if someone is still working at the position, even if they’re about to leave within a month or two, I’d recommend indicating “present”. They can explain that they are about to leave the position once they get to the interview stage.

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Sara January 11, 2013 at 8:09 pm

Hope I’m not late to the conversation, but how about if all your jobs have been temporary/seasonal in nature, or a contract that ended prematurely? Is there some way I can indicate that? because as it is, my resume looks like that of a job-hopper when in reality I have never quit a job prematurely (I left one after 16 months for health reasons). If one were to read it, you would know instantly that they were temporary (US Census, tax season etc) but I’ve been told that most dont’ really take the time to read the resume beyond a quick glance.

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Ask a Manager January 13, 2013 at 3:55 pm

You can usually indicate with things like this:

Research analyst (4-month contract)

Teapot maker (seasonal)

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Sara January 13, 2013 at 6:49 pm

Thank you! I never really considered putting any indications, but since I’ve started reading this blog I’m more aware of how bad job hopping looks, so I want to make it clear that I’m really not one.

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Veronica March 31, 2013 at 3:05 am

Thank you so much i have been searching for this answer for hours and I am so grateful I have found it :)

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Lillian April 15, 2013 at 6:06 am

Hi,

My boss is relocating between June and July to a different university, so I am currently looking for a new job. I have worked there for about 6 and a half months. How should I address this on my resume?

Thanks!

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Anonymous May 1, 2013 at 12:27 pm

I am currently in a job (3 months) and i applied for another job during my probationary period i did not include my current employment because i don’t want my current work place to know that i am looking for a new job, is it ok to leave out your current job on the application?
Thanks :)

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Anonymous May 4, 2013 at 5:44 pm

I was laid off from my last position mid April. I had updated my resume and I removed a position that was over 8 years ago. About a week ago I decided to re-include it (it showed off more of my general admin skills). I ended up tweaking an older version of my resume and did not realize I had not updated the dates of my previous position from Present to April 2013. I’m a bit mortified because I sent out this resume saying “Present” when I haven’t been in that position for about 3 weeks. I’ve even sent this resume to two recruiters who have submitted it on my behalf to two possible jobs. I’m not entirely sure what to do. Should I re-submit my resume to the two recruiters letting them know it was updated with new dates?

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Katherine May 23, 2013 at 11:59 pm

I worked at a company for many years and am still on payroll, but now I only work as needed, as a sub. How do I list that on my resume for dates?

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KellyK May 24, 2013 at 8:55 am

Since you sort of had two positions with the same company (one permanent and one sub), you could break it down like this:

Chocolate Teapots, Inc., 2001-Present
Teapot Assembler (substitute), 2010-Present
[little blurb about filling in in your previous role]
Teapot Assembler, 2001-2010
[all your accomplishments, etc. in this role]

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brbigcountry July 24, 2013 at 8:48 am

Do I have to list my current job on my resume? A company is interested in me based on my position prior to my current. My current position has nothing to do with the job I am interviewing for. The company that is interested in me has a copy of my older resume prior to my current position.

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Jen August 4, 2013 at 3:00 pm

How would you list temping if you’re filling in a short number of days at different companies, but you’ve been doing it consistently and the tasks are all similar (ie: all clerical)?

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Douglis September 5, 2013 at 6:29 pm

What a great series of questions and answers! Here’s one that has not been covered yet — I am currently working 3 (yes 3!) part-time jobs all in my field. What determines the order they are listed in on the resume? Newest to Oldest? Vice-versa? I’ve currently went with the following, but think it minimizes the longevity of the 3rd:

Company 1
sole-practitioner
June 2013 – present

Company 2
design associate (part-time)
June 2012 – present

Company 3
adjunct professor
June 2003- present

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Ramu October 12, 2013 at 3:25 pm

hi,

I worked in a company as a part timer for last 2 years of my undergradute, and now i am working in the same company as a full time employee, how do i mention that in my resume??

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John January 5, 2014 at 1:47 pm

I have the same question but I worked with 2 different contractors and now a Full-time. Please reply.

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cece January 5, 2014 at 11:15 pm

If currently employed, but are planning on quitting your current job for the one your applying for, should I even list it? for example I have only worked there for 4 months in a restaurant atmosphere, and I am applying to a customer service position at a museum.

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Sarmar January 30, 2014 at 12:03 am

When applying for an entry level position in which my current and three most recent jobs are not obviously relevant, should I still list my jobs in chronological order? The most relevant job that I had was from 2001-2008 and I have had several jobs since then, although my specific job title at these positions is not related to the job for which I am applying.

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happy February 2, 2014 at 3:31 pm

I am currently working an organization. But while filling a form of other organization, it is asking to fill working experience in dates only. So what should i fill in “Till Date” column.

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