Headhunter and resume expert Jim Giammatteo says the following is the worst resume mistake you can make.
What's scary is not the misstep but the fact it's a mistake you could easily commit and one Giammatteo says can immediately tank your chances in the screening process.
So, what's the big blunder?
Leaving months off your resume.
Giammatteo says job hunters who list employment thusly are (intentionally or unintentionally) misleading headhunters and screeners, people who will not miss - or fall for - the omission.
Why is stating experience such as "ABC Company, San Diego, CA 2008–Present" or "XYZ Company, Los Angeles, CA 2003–2008" such a sin?
"When a gatekeeper looks at this, the first thought that comes to mind is that you are hiding gaps," Giammatteo tells Careerealism. "You were fired or let go from XYZ Company and it took a while to find another job. They will assume that you could have been unemployed as long as one year — from January 2008 until December 2008."
Many IT professionals experience employment gaps. There's nothing wrong with stating that on your resume, but it's job search suicide to leave it out.
"I don’t know where this practice got its start, or how it did, but I suspect at least some of it stems from bad advice dished out by 'those in the know,' " he writes. "For future purposes (and for your own reputation), if anyone suggests being less than honest on your resume, or job application, or anything for that matter… run!"
So instead of fudging, creating writing or hoping HR won't figure out your ruse, list the months and years of your employment.
"Even if the gap is a full year, you’ll make yourself look honest by listing it. No matter what you do, if you don’t list the months you’ll earn a red flag. And once you get one red flag, the gatekeeper starts looking for other things that are wrong with your resume. You’ll be guilty until proven innocent — if you get a chance," Giammatteo says. "There isn’t a gatekeeper in the world you can fool by leaving the months off your resume."