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To Hide, Or Not To Hide Dates On Your Resume, That Is The Employment Question

Updated: Nov 21, 2023

If you are one of those job seekers ready to paraphrase Shakespeare when it comes to crafting your resume, and say ‘To hide or not to hide dates on your resume, that is the employment question’, allow me to answer it with another Shakespeare quote. If you omit dates from your resume and send it, there are good chances the employer will say: “Something’s rotten in the resume”.

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So, the short answer would be No, you should not hide the dates on your resume. A somewhat longer answer would be No, you should not hide the dates on your resume because of these reasons:

  • You won’t actually be able to hide anything

  • You’re doing more harm than good to yourself

In this article, we will dig deeper into why people decide to remove dates from their resumes and get an outstanding resume, which dates are usually removed, how they do it and why they really shouldn’t be doing it, and the benefits of hiring a professional resume writing service near you.

Why do people hide dates on their resume?

Hiding various dates, including education or previous employment, usually revolves around the lack of self-esteem, or around fear that the job seeker will be deemed not good enough for the position. Some people fear that if they show they finished their education decades ago, their knowledge would be perceived as irrelevant, so they decide to hide it. It’s a strong argument, because research has been conducted on the matter and the results aren’t good – there is a lot of age-based discrimination in offices all over the States.

Another argument is about frequent job switchers, or people with employment gaps. They fear that if they show how often they changed jobs, or how long they were left without one, their potential new employers might perceive them as either frivolous, unprofessional or simply not good enough.

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Why not hide dates on your resume

All of these are very strong arguments, but they are countered quite easily. For the seniors, there is something called “The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)”, which ‘forbids age discrimination against people who are age 40 or older’. Also, would you really want to be working in a company that would discriminate people based on their age? Probably not.

But perhaps the strongest argument is this – you’re not really hiding anything. This also relates to younger job seekers, those with employment gaps, and frequent job switchers.

Employers who become interested in you after seeing your resume will probably think one of two things:

  1. What is this person hiding? I want to know what they’re hiding

  2. I don’t care what this person is hiding, the resume looks good, let’s set up an interview

If you omit dates from your resume, you’ll ring the alarm in every recruiter’s head. They’ve been through so many resumes in their lifetime that they notice these things quickly. Suspecting you’re actually hiding something isn’t good for the employment process – the trust is eroded, and you haven’t even met the person yet.

They will look you up online through your LinkedIn account which you should have. They might even call you in for an interview, just to ask why you decided to omit the dates. What will you answer? That you didn’t trust the recruiters and thought they’d be age-biased and discriminatory? That you don’t believe you’re competent? There’s really nothing you can answer that will lead to a positive outcome in the interview.

The second scenario is that they don’t really care, in which case, you might as well have left the dates on the resume and avoided the risk in the first place.

How to properly hide employment dates on your resume

Omitting dates from a resume is usually done by choosing the functional style resume. Using a functional resume to hide employment dates has been used by thousands of job switchers, and those with big employment gaps. Instead of listing previous job positions and education reverse-chronologically, the functional resume places emphasis on the skills and achievements the person has made in the past. In a functional resume, there isn’t really much room for dates, and with a professional resume writing company, these can look mighty fine.

Even though the chronological type is the default, other types are gaining popularity, especially the functional resume, and the hybrid resume, which takes best of both worlds.

Why you should never try and hide dates on your resume using a chronological resume

A little honesty can go a long way, which is particularly true when you’re trying to find a new job. Being deceptive is not something you should do, especially not with someone who you’re looking to spend eight hours a day, five days a week, for years to come.

Omitting dates from your resume can do little good – you’ll either be seen as a trickster, or the recruiter will think you don’t trust their judgement enough. And that is not the way to go, if you want a shiny new job. Instead, leave the dates but place stronger emphasis on all the positives – your previous achievements and knowledge which the recruiters can put to good use in their company. If you’re unsure how to do that, you can always hire a reputable professional resume writing service, to create a custom-made resume for job hoppers, or people with employment gaps.

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