Custom Search

Bad Resume Advice

by Ted
(Van Wert, OH)

You recently advised someone with employment gaps on their resume to eliminate the month of the dates of employment and just put the year down.

Well, lo and behold, every agency and employer WANTS THE MONTH included and will not accept any resumes without it.

I have tried it in my last five interviews.

I have explained to the agencies and the employers that the month was eliminated because of this article that was written by you as a professional advisor.

The employers and agencies have mentioned that your article is ludicrous and misleading and will not accept your argument. I had to put the months back on the resume because the agencies and employers have demanded it!

So much for your professional advice.

Mike Petras comments:


Sure...every employer prefers you put the month and year of your jobs on your resume.

If you have a seamless job problem.

But what do you do if you've made too many job changes or endured a long stretch of unemployment, and you suspect this is the reason you're not getting any callbacks?

This was the point of my article.

You need to do something to get companies to stop focusing on this and pay more attention to your skills and accomplishments.

There is nothing ludicrous, misleading, or unethical about this anymore than not putting the year you graduated from college on your resume.

Even so, no one should ever lie on their resume.

What's ludicrous is that so many companies today still blatantly discriminate against job seekers for all kinds of flimsy reasons.

So what do you do about it?

You simply have to know how to play the game to maximize your chances of getting a call back.

Do these tactics work all the time? Of course not. Nothing works all the time.

Are a handful of companies not going to like it or advise you otherwise? Sure...but at least they're talking with you.

The only purpose of a resume is to get the attention of an employer and get them to reach out to you. Period.

Any kind of response from an employer--even if it is to ask you to change something on your resume--is better than no response at all.

There are lots of opinions about resume formatting and appropriate information you should include or exclude on your resume. Take your pick.

If you are young in your career with minimal baggage, most of these resume formats will work for you.

However, if your career has had a few jolts along the way, there are ways to minimize this on your resume to improve your chances of getting a call from an employer.

If your resume gets you a job interview, it's done its job.

I've been an executive recruiter for over 16 years. During this time I've received thousands of resumes from job seekers. I don't recall ever eliminating someone from consideration for one of my openings because they just put the years of employment on their resume instead of the month and the year.

I've also sent tons of resumes to my client companies with just the years of employment and don't ever recall a single complaint. And I've placed people at senior management, professional, and executive levels with major corporations.

I'm not sure what level of jobs you are applying for. It's possible that hourly type jobs are pickier about this. If you're getting a lot of push back, you simply have to go with the flow and let the chips fall where they may.

But for the record: there is nothing misleading, ludicrous, or unethical about any of my recommendations. My intentions are pure and I sincerely want to help struggling job seekers break through the job brick wall.

The article I wrote was brief and didn't go into much detail about the psychology of resumes. For more information about my insights and experience with resumes, go to this page on my website: Best Outline of a Resume.

I hope we can still be friends! All the best to you in your job search.

Mike Petras

My Book | My Jobs Board | About Me | Home Page

Comments for Bad Resume Advice

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Nov 06, 2015
by: Allyson Bruder

Thanks for writing this post.

Dec 20, 2011
Resume Writing Service and With Too Many Jobs
by: Teresa K

Mr. Petras:

Already I have posted your another string the fact that my physician husband has had too many jobs and it is going against him in his job search. Thank you for your helpful response.

He hired a resume writing service to do his CV for him and they came back with a two page CV (which was very professional in appearance). There is one problem. They believe that he should only go back five years in employment history (at which time his "too many jobs" becomes glaringly evident) and that against your advise they include the month and the year, not just the year.

This appears to be a Catch 22. Put all his work history down and he looks like he's got a problem. Leave it out and it looks like he is lying. We are talking 10 years of work history not accounted for and they will find out. Physicians have to account for all jobs in the hospital credentialing process.

What to do? He has an interview soon in which he has already been given the topic of the interview...why has he had so many jobs?!

Thank you and I hope to hear from you soon.

Teresa K.

Mike Petras Comments:

The only purpose of a resume is to get a face-to-face interview. You don't have to include your entire job history. The idea is to use your resume as a marketing tool to get you in front of a hiring authority. Once there, you can build value and win them over.

In my opinion, only including 5 years of job history for someone in the third trimester of their career will look suspicious, but it's not being dishonest. Also, including months and years is not the end of the world.

For now, go with what your professional resume writer suggests and see how it goes. You can always tweak your resume later.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Difficult Interview Questions You Dread.