The Most Common Error in Resumes

Published on 27 May 2010 in Blog

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The most common mistake I see in resumes is having a mix of hyphens and en dashes in the resume date ranges.

There are three types of dashes in the world:

Hyphens: used to join compound words. Example: mother-in-law

En Dashes: a dash that is the width of a letter “n.” Used to show ranges. Example: 2005–2009

Em Dashes:  a dash that is the width of a letter “m.” Used to show additional information. Example: My mother made a pie on Monday—boy, was it good!

The AutoCorrect feature in MS Word tries to be helpful and when you type “space hyphen space” it thinks “oh, this is a date range” and will turn the hyphen to an en dash for you (unless you disable this feature).  But if you type, “space hyphen up-arrow” it does not.

Thus one can get a mix of hyphens and en dashes in your date ranges.

According to The Chicago Manual of Style a date range should be punctuated using an en dash and no space before and after: 2005–Present

Check your resume—this is an easy error to fix!

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My next blog post: Overcoming Resume Myopia

One Response to “The Most Common Error in Resumes”

  1. Lori Jablons says:

    Great post, Jack. This is such a common mistake that, as you said, is so easy to fix.

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