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I was just looking over my resume and noticed a few inconsistencies regarding the formatting of dates for education.

  1. Should the graduation date from a program be included on the resume?
  2. Should the start date of the program be included on the resume?
  3. Should only the year be used or month too? If it's the month, at my school the actual graduation was several months after the last day of exams.

For example should it be "Harvard University, 2006 - 2010" or "Harvard University, 2010" or something different?

Also, I once was told not to bother with high school as if you went to university it implies you finished it.

  • If it's your only degree putting a date range or even a date seems silly. You completed it. In my personal experience, managers looked at me funny because I took 5 years instead of 4 to finish my two degrees. Go figure, I got funny looks from one manager, because I took an extra 6 months to finish 3 credits for that second degree.B.S. degrees. – Donald Jan 22 '17 at 5:23
  • How do you specify other dates? Surely you have something other than your education on your résumé; are those specified by year only, year and month, or in some other manner? I don't think consistency in presentation has ever hurt anyone. – a CVn Jan 22 '17 at 11:57
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For your resume there is no need to specify the years your were in college. You are telling them you completed the degree.

Some advise you not to include the graduation date because that reveals something about your age. But if you have other employment dates on the resume they will be able to determine your approximate age anyway.

If you are submitting a resume in your last year of school for a position that requires a particular degree level, then putting your expected date of graduation is useful because they need to know that you will have the appropriate degree by the time you start. It works the same way while applying for an internship. They want to know your major, but also need to know that you are still a student and where you are in the program.

Now when it comes time to filling out a background investigation form, you will probably need to supply the dates you were in school so they can verify the reasons for any gaps in employment/schooling.

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As a hiring manager, I would expect the year of completion or graduation of any courses listed on a resume. Start date is less relevant. This is followed by your first post-graduation job for a nice neat history.

There are some suggestions that you don't include the date if you are starting to get older - I'm not sure about this strategy, as having no date may convey this idea to the recruiter or hiring manager, too. Personally, I've never discarded a resume on this - but I'm aware others might.

You are right about high school - though it may be useful for your first job.

  • This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post. - From Review – Rory Alsop Jan 22 '17 at 12:19
  • @RoryAlsop the answer may have been terse, but it was an answer... Is this more verbose one more to your liking? – HorusKol Jan 22 '17 at 20:45
  • Hi Horus. That wording is boilerplate generated by review, but yes, this is much better, and I have upvoted accordingly. Thanks – Rory Alsop Jan 22 '17 at 20:59

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