A common question job seekers have is, “Do I need to include the graduation year on my resume?” There are a few reasons why one may want to leave their graduation year off a resume. The major reason is age discrimination which unfortunately still does exist in the workplace today. It goes both ways. Some job seekers fear that they’re too “old” and others think they’re too “young.”
Do you Need to Include the Graduation Year on a Resume?
The answer is usually no, you don’t need to include your graduation or degree year on a resume for a couple of reasons:
It Gives Away Your Age
This is especially true for those over 40; there is just no need to give away your age.
But won’t they tell your age by the amount of work experience you have?
The answer is no, and we discussed this in an article on “How far back should your resume go.” You don’t need to include every position you’ve ever held. Not only does it give away your age, it stuffs your resume with irrelevant information that’s more likely to annoy a hiring manager than anything.
You only need to include the last 10-15 years of experience on your resume.
Also, don’t let the “age” myth get you down. Sure, there are certain industries or companies that discriminate against older applicants but studies have revealed that an older candidate is more likely to get hired than a millennial. Older workers have also been found to be more loyal to employers and less likely to bounce around when they receive a better offer.
The only time you should include the graduation year on your resume is if you’re young and have very little work experience. Those who have just graduated college usually don’t have much work experience so including the graduation year shows the hiring manager that you were occupied with school.
One of the quickest ways to get your resume rejected is by including irrelevant information. Although including your graduation year is not as bad as including irrelevant experience, it is still irrelevant.
Remember to keep your resume relevant and do the “who cares” test. The “who cares” test is simple. Put yourself in the shoes of a hiring manager and examine your resume to determine what the hiring manager will actually care about. Anything that isn’t relevant to the industry or position you’re targeting should be removed.
Here is an example of an education section on a resume that doesn’t contain the graduation year:
You don’t need to include your degree date on a resume unless you’re a recent graduate. Honestly, a hiring manager couldn’t care less when you graduated. Including it can actually hurt you as age discrimination does still exist today.
Including the year of graduation is irrelevant, unnecessary and can do more harm than good. Remove anything that can be a cause for rejection and focus on relevant information that tells the hiring manager that you’re both qualified and the perfect fit for the position.
Good luck with you job search!