When I was in my Master studies, I did all the courses from 2012 to 2013, but I didn't present my thesis, so I didn't graduate. I got a job and I've been working there since 2014. Then, in 2020, I wrote my thesis and obtained the degree. How can I write this in my CV?

I don't want to write (2012-2013) since my official certificate says I graduated in 2020, nor (2012-2020) since there's a big gap and I don't want the people who read it to think that it took me 7 years to write a thesis, cause that's not the case, I wrote it in six months in 2020.

I was thinking in something like: (Coursework: 2012-2013, Graduation: 2020) or (Coursework: 2012-2013, Dissertation: 2020). Do you think it's correct and understandable, or should I write this in another way?

  • Did you have any employment outside the university during those years? Oct 10, 2021 at 20:48
  • Yes, I've been working since 2014, I edited the question.
    – J. Doe
    Oct 10, 2021 at 21:26

2 Answers 2


If you had a full time job in 2012 and 2013 you don't have to mention that you were also taking classes. Just say masters in x from y 2020.

If you didn't have enough employment in 2012 and 2013 and don't want to leave a gap then what you propose Coursework: 2012-2013, Dissertation: 2020 would work. Though they could ask questions about the delay.

Normally you don't need to mention the yeats you attended only the graduation date, unless you ate filling a gap in your employment history.

  • Indeed - Remember potential employers see CV after CV after CV and will spend 30-60 seconds scanning it for the key points at best. Don't overthink it. The only thing that may stand out is a history of shortly held roles.
    – Techlead
    Oct 14, 2021 at 8:23
  • @Techlead "Don't overthink it" Except that often it won't even reach an HR person nowadays because it got screened our by an automated system.
    – nick012000
    Dec 9, 2021 at 3:59

Recruiter here! :)

Including dates in resumes/ CV is not a rule set in stone ;) If you feel like their hurt you more than they help you, just don't include them. Chronological resumes are not the only option available. You are the only one that can tell your own story - sell it in the way that provides you and the employer the most value. When in doubt, remember: resumes should work as value propositions, not biographies ;)

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