Dates of Employment

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012 - How to Write a CV


Dates of Employment

One of the problems many older job seekers have, and those without continual employment time lines, is the inclusion of dates of employment within both their Professional CV and Job Application.

My answer to solving any CV Writing Problem is always to look at the problem from the employers view point. That way you can see what needs to be there, and figure out how to fill the resultant communication gap.

The problem with dates, is that many assume that it can be used to discriminate against them or get their job application rejected:

  • The older job seekers from age discrimination
  • The younger job seekers due to lack of experience

We have covered overcoming lack of experience in another post, so in this one we will concentrate on the ageism issue.

Firstly, yes, there is age-based discrimination, but it is not as prevalent as you may think/conclude. The employers issue always comes down to first to relevancy of skills (Technical Fit). The problem, and if there is any discrimination, is at the next stage within the Social Fit criteria, and its a question of whether you the job seeker will adapt to a new environment? Answer that, showing willingness to adapt to new cultures, systems, technologies and particularly team environments, and that will no longer be a problem in your job search.

The dates problem can be answered simply by focusing on what the HR professional will focus on:

  1. The last five years of experience is highly relevant
  2. All experience gained in the last seven years is trainable
  3. Beyond that, it is interesting work history

Hence in Stae2 of the 5 Steps To Employment, I showed job seekers (and those planning a career development) the Career Development Plan Template. This shows you how to:

  • See your career options moving forward as an HR professional will in a job application
  • Choose three options in which you have a strong opportunity to be happy/get employed

By following this plan, you resultantly focus of your Professional CV on the most relevant information, ie: that gained in the last five/seven years. Beyond that, as long as there is a consistent time line, then don’t worry.

In example….

Excluding Dates of Employment

Michael, an employed job seeker, asks: How can I show my experience without dates attached? I do not want the dates to show on my Job Experience

In Answer:

HR people will focus on the last 5-7 years of experience, ie: what you did and achieved. Anything beyond that is considered interesting career history, but effectively for most outside the academic/medical/legal world as career history. Hence, why focus on it, let alone include it, if its not assessed?

A concistent and continual timeline is an essential key of converting Job Applications into Telephone Interviews (other wise the employer thinks “what are they hiding”), but you don’t need to list everything from your last day of school.

Good Luck!
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One Response to “Dates of Employment”

  1. Linden Ruckle Says:

    Great article, very much appreciated! Thanks – Linden

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