Graduation Dates on Your Resume

I read a couple resumes recently that had unusual graduation dates. The dates listed detracted from the impression the resume made.

Six Years of High School

A candidate with a bachelor’s degree and 40+ year career listed his high school on his resume. With a bachelor’s degree, there is no need to list high school. This isn’t a major problem though. The problem was range of dates. The high school listing had the dates 1961-1967, a six year time period. I don’t know if this was a typo, if the school system considered high school to be 7th through 12th grades, if the candidate had repeated a couple years or if there was another explanation.

Including the dates raises a question that is meaningless. The candidate’s performance in high school more than forty years ago has nothing to do with their capability today. Additionally, including the range of dates makes no sense. It is generally assumed if you include a single date, it is the graduation date. Finally, many older workers report instances of age discrimination. Highlighting your age with a high school graduation date can’t help your search, and may hurt it.

Super Fast Bachelor’s

A candidate listed their high school graduation and their college graduation dates. They included the months of each. This made it clear exactly how long the candidate had been in college – a year and a half. Reinforcing this, the candidate listed the number of credit hours completed to get the degree and a 4.0 GPA. Ordinarily, I would assume a graduation date only 18 months after getting out of high school would indicate a diploma mill, but the school is a big state school with a good reputation anyone would recognize. My conclusion is the date is either a typo or the candidate is lying. Neither is a good impression. There was no need to list the high school, or any of the graduation dates.

Employment dates are a critical element of a resume, but graduation dates are optional. Unless you are a recent graduate, drop your graduation dates. They will offer little value.