Your resume will act as your first impression to recruiters in your job search, so it needs to be good if you hope to impress.
This means that not only do you need to get the content right, but you also need to format your resume effectively to provide an easy reading experience.
And if you want to tidy up the page – right aligning your dates can be a great tactic
But if you’re not sure how to do this, you’ve come to the right place.
Below, we’ll show you how you can easily right align your dates step-by-step in Word or Google Docs
How to right align resume dates in Microsoft Word
Here’s how to align your dates using Microsoft Word:
- Make sure you can see the ruler at the top of your Word document. If you can’t see this, click on ‘View’ at the top of the page and tick the box that says ruler
- Now, you should be able to see a horizontal and vertical ruler
- Next, click on the ‘Home’ tab, and from the ribbon locate the ‘Paragraph’ section. Then click on this
- Within the Paragraph section, click on the ‘Tabs’ button and this should open a dialog box
- In the dialog box, you’ll see a section that says ‘Alignment’. Select ‘Right’ from this section
- At this stage, you can also change your margins to move the text further to the right of the page, if you want to. You can do this by using the ‘Tab stop position’ section in the dialog box
- Once you’ve selected the right alignment, click ‘Set’ at the bottom of the box and you’re ready to go
- Now, go back to your document and type your text for the left-hand side, for example, your job title or employer
- Then press the tab button on your keyboard and the cursor should jump over to the right side of the page. You can now enter your dates on the right-hand side
How to right align resume dates in Google Docs
If you’re using Google Docs instead of Word, right aligning your dates can be done a little differently. Simply follow the steps below:
- At the top of your document, you should see your vertical ruler
- Decide how far over you want your right-aligned dates and click on the corresponding number on the ruler
- When you click on the ruler a dialog box should appear
- From the box, select the option that says ‘Add right tab-stop’
- Now click next to the text you’ve typed on the left-hand side, this will be the name of the company or possibly your job title
- Then hit the ‘Tab’ button on your keyboard and the cursor should jump to the right-hand side, where you have set the tab-stop
- You can then type in your dates
Why right align dates in your resume?
There are several reasons you might want to right-align your dates on your resume. Firstly, it helps your resume to look clean and helps improve readability, making it easier for the recruiter to skim through and take in the most important information.
Secondly, right aligning your dates puts the dates out of the recruiters view slightly, allowing you to highlight company name and your job title (which will be more important to them)
Do you have to right align dates in your resume?
No, you don’t have to right-align your dates, it’s not a hard rule that has been set out by recruiters. However, for the reasons we’ve outlined above it can be more beneficial.
That being said, it really depends on the layout of your resume and if you wanted to place more emphasis on the dates. For example, if you’ve been at a job a really long time and want to highlight your dedication to the company you might left-align your dates instead.
How to format job dates in your resume
As well as getting your alignment right, you also need to make sure you choose the correct format for your dates. While some will try to remember the exact day they started their jobs, others might try to disguise employment gaps by only including the years.
However, the correct way to format your dates is by including just the month and year you started and ended your employment.
You can include the full name of the month, but for longer months you may wish to abbreviate to the first few letters, for example, Aug or Sept.