What if I Can't Remember My Dates of Employment on a Resume?
A good resume includes your skills, educational background and work experience. Many people struggle with the work experience section, as remembering exact start and end dates from old employers can prove difficult. If you cannot remember all of your dates, you can still create a good resume.
You may be able to locate your previous dates of employment if you cannot remember them off hand. Documentation from your previous employer often shows start and end dates of employment. For example, a welcome package could include a hire date and your exit interview could include your last date of employment. You can use W-2s from previous years to narrow down employment dates. You can also contact your previous employer directly or the Human Resources department at the company for assistance.
A chronological resume lists your work history in reverse order, starting with the last position you held. Most chronological resumes include the month and year you started and stopped working for the company. If you can remember the year, you can omit the month portion. A functional resume focuses on your skills, rather than your past work experience. With a functional resume, you can omit the exact working dates from the work history section of your resume.
Using a functional resume, or omitting dates from a chronological resume, can lead a hiring manager to suspect you have gaps in your employment. The hiring manager may ask you why you did not include the dates on your resume. Speak honestly during the interview and explain that you held the job several months or years ago and cannot remember the exact date. Make sure you explain any gaps in your employment or explain that you have worked steadily, and that you did not want to simply guess the dates of your employment.
Do not estimate or make up any dates on your resume, including the work history and educational background section. A prospective employer can easily verify the dates on your resume by contacting your former employer. Estimating your employment dates could make it seem like you lied to the hiring manager, which may prevent him from hiring you.