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I have seen a number of resumes mentioning a list of significant projects worked on, which also mention the start and end dates, like so:

McCool Project (Jan 2009 - Jul 2009)

  Achieved this, achieved that, achieved some more cool stuff, and then some more, etc. etc.

I am wondering if mentioning the start and end dates of projects, or even the project duration is really necessary. After all, wouldn't the recruiter be more interested in what your achieved than whether you started in January or March, or even how long the project lasted? Is there any good reason at all to mention this?

Note: I am referring to projects done while being a full-time permanent employee. For a contract-based job, I can totally understand why this information is necessary. (Thanks to JeffO's comment below. )

  • Are these contract work projects or projects that occurred while being an employee? – user8365 Nov 25 '14 at 14:02
  • @JeffO Good question. These are projects done while being a full-time permanent employee. – Masked Man Nov 25 '14 at 16:31
  • Do you believe anyone reading the resume would take the time to find out the details of the size of the project in every case? By stating it in the resume, this can be a way to state the size of the project as a 2 week project is quite different from a 2 year project, at least to my mind. – JB King Nov 25 '14 at 18:05
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After all, wouldn't the recruiter be more interested in what your achieved than whether you started in January or March, or even how long the project lasted? Is there any good reason at all to mention this?

Knowing someone worked on a project with a multi-year lifespan is a huge difference than a project of a few months!

You have to deal with the outcomes of your decisions a lot more when you have a project for 3 years than you do for six months. This is beneficial (especially when applying to more senior roles). If I am looking for someone to work on a large project I almost assuredly will prefer people with experience on longer projects.

For those who have many years experience with one company it can help separate out into a more readable fashion the project work one did during their time with that company. For example, having five years with one company might be a single "wall of text" without some delineation, especially if you never got promoted/etc.

If I worked on a project five years ago in many fields this also may mean my skills are somewhat outdated. Clarifying this is helpful.

Additionally, for people who worked primarily contract work that is largely how a resume will appear.

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Not all project experiences are created equally, but I don't think giving date ranges is important. Overlapping projects can look confusing. I would be more concerned knowing the following:

  1. What are you currently working on?
  2. What part(s) of the project were you involved in?
  3. What was the amount of completion of the project?

There's no guarantee a 3 year project was seen through completion or if you were involved during the initial planning stage.

Usually dates of employment are given to help identify gaps along with the amount of time spent there. The dates of individual projects within a given job doesn't tell me what I would really want to know.

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I would hesitate in adding project dates to my resume. I'm involved in the recruiting process and project dates are not useful to me. To determine the size and scope of a project would require much more than just the project start and end dates. The dates would take up valuable real estate on the resume that is better used to highlight your accomplishments.

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