Strategically Tweak Your Resume's Dates If You Job Hop

Employers generally don't like to read that prospective employees have a history of jumping from one job to another. If you've had more in-between jobs than a single, steady one, it may be worthwhile to rethink the placement of your resume's dates.

Photo by simplyrikkles.

While you shouldn't be outright dishonest in your resume, US News & World Report's On Careers blogger Karen Burns says that job hoppers shouldn't shine a high beam on their resume's dates of employment either. This means being strategic about placement and avoiding dates as headers or positioned in the left hand margin. Instead, Karen suggests listing dates at the end of job descriptions, using only years, not months and years.

She also says to try lumping all your in-between, temp, freelance and other non-steady gigs together rather than listing them out individually. Hit the full link for her remaining resume tips for job-hoppers, and while you're polishing your resume, consider ditching the "references available upon request" line.

Five Resume Tips for Job Hoppers [U.S. News & World Report]


    Better still: don't include dates at all! If you're still righting your resume as a sequential series of jobs, you're probably under-selling yourself.

    Far better to rewrite it as a series of competencies, and then use achievements from various jobs as evidence of that compentency. For example:

    * Recovered a troubled $30M project by working closely with the 3rd party supplier and the client organisation...

    At the end of the CV you can certainly list the organisations that you've worked for, but that ought to be the very last thing there. And I can almost guarantee that no-one will read that far without already having decided whether or not to give you an interview.

    Yes I have often wondered what to do about the dates. It raises qstns by the agency. Will review mine ASAP.

    Thankfully, besides a couple of short lived jobs just after I finished high school, I was with my last employer for ~5 years. Since then though, I was out of work for ~7 months following a redundancy and interstate move. Working again now (albeit temp), but the big gap looks less than impressive, so may be well worth adopting a year only model.

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