A resume is basically a retrospective look at your professional career history-along with formal education and skills and qualifications gained from various stages of this progression to where you are now. It offers a dissection of your value to a potential employer, but showing an overview as well as detailed information on what you can offer a particular position and company with what you know. This said, if you aren’t accurate in this retelling of your career history; you can end up looking like you are trying to deceive a potential employer. One of the most innocent ways that people look like they are committing what is called resume fraud is by guessing on the dates of their employment. In this article, we explain the importance of never guessing the dates that you began or stopped employment with a company-and what to do if you aren’t sure of these exact dates.
So, why it is so important that you create a resume that has dates which are correct? For no other reason that it is your reputation and credibility on the line when a potential employer reviews your resume; and you certainly do not want to have a negative connotation associated with your name by the employer and/or the industry; because you goofed the dates and looked like you were trying to deceive the hiring manager or human resources. There is certainly no greater requirement to any position than a person’s ability to be truthful-at least to the company that they are working for. They will be quite possibly trusting you with a wealth of insider information and training; and if you cannot even apply for a job without lying, certainly they cannot trust you with potentially millions of dollars worth of information and company asset.
This said, if you are trying to put together, and you are not-in fact-trying to deceive anyone-as is most certainly the case; you need to be as careful as possible to ensure you look as innocent as you are. So, the first step is to take some time and try to figure out the dates. Ask colleagues, perhaps call up previous employers, and ask family and friends to get at least a verifiable beginning and end year for employment. Also, a good tip is always to get the correct year of employment; while the month is much less important-so do not stress if you cannot remember the actual month you began or ended a job. Moreover, if you can-switch your resume format to a functional format; which focuses more on the skills and qualifications that you have as opposed to the dates in which you acquired them.