Dates are important because they provide valuable information to the recruiter:
- Dates indicate how many years of experience you have in your field.
- Dates indicate your longevity in each position and whether you have a habit of job-hopping.
- Without dates, the recruiter assumes you are trying to hide something.
- If your volunteer work is appropriate to your expertise, add it to your resume, with dates to show your dedication to your area of interest.
- You do not have to list month and year of hire and month and year of departure unless you only have a few positions or a few years of experience. The year started and year ended is sufficient for those who have more than 5 years of experience.
- If you are a student or recent graduate, then using the month and year is important to show your work experience while attending school.
Explain breaks in service:
- Make sure you indicate why if you have a break in service. This can be addressed in your cover letter by indicating you took off time to care for an ill family member, to travel, to attend school, or due to a layoff.
- You do not have to go into a lot of detail about the break in service—don’t tell a whole sad story, just give a quick statement. If the reason is complicated, then discuss with an advisor first to see how to express the issue simply.