To save space, my CV only lists years for start/finish dates. So for example, it would say "Manager at FakeCo: 2014-2016" and omit the month of the start/end date.

This has the side effect of concealing gaps and making short experience appear longer:

  • The format hides gaps that do not roll over a calendar year change. A gap from January 2016 to December 2016 is invisible.
  • The format "pads out" positions - a position started in December 2015 and terminated in January 2017 looks like 2015-2017, which "feels" like 3 years.

Of course, I would never claim a falsehood in an interview when asked, but the interviewer cannot ask about gaps if he does not see gaps, and I don't want to mention them unless asked. Also, recruiters looking at the resume before they have had a chance to ask me questions might be misled into thinking I have more experience than I really do.

Is this okay, or should I put down months on my CV to be as honest as possible?

  • 3
    How much space you save with 2015-2017 vs DEC 2015 - JAN 2017? What about 2015-2015 + 2015-2015 for JobX JAN 2015 - JUN 2015 and JobY JUL 2015- DEC 2015 Mar 27, 2017 at 20:09
  • It might be acceptable if you worked 15 years at one company and no longer remember what month they hired you. Other than that, it'll probably generate more questions than you'd like. Mar 27, 2017 at 20:40
  • I would not recommend that. In nearly 20 years of hiring experience I have not seen this done, and this would lead to may additional questions unless the time span of your career is at one or two places. How many characters are you saving anyway?
    – Neo
    Mar 28, 2017 at 17:16

3 Answers 3


Exact dates are not required.

But the nearest month is.

Otherwise it is not that truthful. Started a job i December and finished in Jan will count as two years?

  • 4
    It will also look suspicious if you omit the months. Potential employers will probably ask you to add the months and if they turn up big gaps in employment, they will assume dishonesty on your part. Mar 27, 2017 at 20:15
  • Exactly year/month will do
    – Ed Heal
    Mar 27, 2017 at 20:16

It's acceptable, but I wouldn't advise it. It might look suspicious to a hiring manager, especially for a position that's more recent than a few years ago.

You can definitely count on them bringing it up in an interview at the very least, and the lack of detail might raise a flag in their mind as well.

Plus, if they're doing their due diligence, they will call the company you worked at, and will find out the exact dates you worked anyway, so you're really not accomplishing anything by trying to 'pad out' the time you worked.

It's better to instead come prepared with a reason why you were unemployed for the majority of 2016 - what exactly, we can't say without knowing more about your situation.

But the bottom line is - hiding this information doesn't do you any favors.

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    Being that vague for something that recent would seem fishy. Change it to 2000 and 2001 or even earlier and it not a big deal IMO. Mar 27, 2017 at 22:11
  • @EvanSteinbrenner Changing the dates for a place you worked at, which is what your wording suggests, would be even more problematic once they call up and find out you didn't work there in those years. Better to just give the actual dates you worked at the places you worked.
    – Zibbobz
    Mar 28, 2017 at 13:18
  • 1
    I didn't mean to imply that they should use fake dates just that something that some fuzziness in something that is from ~15 years ago is more reasonable and understandable than something that is a year or two ago. I know I started January of last year at my current job. I also happened to start in January at my job prior to that and that was 5 years ago. I have no freaking clue offhand what month I started in when I started a prior job back in 2000. Mar 28, 2017 at 18:30
  • @EvanSteinbrenner You're right - that is acceptable. It's just the way you phrased your comment sounded like you were suggesting that OP change the years for which he worked at that company, which is why I brought it up to clarify that.
    – Zibbobz
    Mar 28, 2017 at 19:57

The rule of thumb I was once told and have followed since: If I've been there more than 5 years, year is fine. If less than that, tend to put the month and year and be ready to explain the reason you were only there X time. That's where you get to explain and stay on your toes IF the question should pop up.

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