The best way to show time at a workplace on a CV is start date - end date.

However, my question is this: What's the best way to show various dates, without being long winded.

Jan 2015 - Aug 2015, Dec 2016 - Jan 2017, Dec 2018 - present

In this particular case it's for volunteering (which could explain the time lapse between dates), but I don't want to put

Jan 2015 - present

as that is misleading. Any more elegant solutions

  • 2
    how important is the work you did as a volunteer to the job you are applying for? If it is very important then you might have to be very accurate, if not very important, then your accuracy is also less important. – mhoran_psprep Dec 16 '18 at 12:18

Jan 2015 - Aug 2015, Dec 2016 - Jan 2017, Dec 2018 - present

Seems overly clunky to me as a reader - it interrupts my reading for no real purpose.

Since this is a volunteering role, you can term this as

2015-present - various short-term volunteering jobs

And expand on the details as required. The key thing here is to help the interviewer to read your resume as easily as possible.


"Jan 2015 – present" isn't misleading in itself as a way of specifying the period of time over which you have been volunteering.

It's only misleading if you present it as if it was a single, uninterrupted period, since it clearly wasn't uninterrupted.

If you have the space, you might consider something like this:

Jan 2015 – present, various short-term volunteer positions at Acme Club

  • Jan 2015 – Aug 2015, role 1
  • Dec 2016 – Jan 2017, role 2
  • Dec 2018 – present, role 3

For positions where the details aren't relevant, you can just cut out the bullet point list entirely, leaving just the heading. Since it's specified "various short-term volunteer positions" (or something similar), I doubt many would interpret it as a single, long, uninterrupted period.

For positions where the details are relevant, listing the different roles separately under a heading provides the benefits of both easy readability and the required details.

Notice how this isn't really all that different from how you might present a long-term job in which you showed a progression in skills and assignments.

Also, unless the place where you volunteered is really well known, then you probably want to add a very brief (one or two sentences tops) summary of what they do, and maybe a web site address where one can learn more. Presumably there's a reason why you're including it on your CV in the first place; help the person reviewing your CV see that reason.

And remember: you don't really have one single CV. Rather, think of the document you work on as your master CV, which you tailor to each job application. It's far easier to cut things out when tailoring than to add things.

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