Can I use '14, '15, '16, etc., instead of the full four digits?

  • 1
    In what context? As part of a sentence or as the years when listing your experience? Personally, I'd advise against it. You want your resume to look professional, and in most cases that means formal. Besides, you're still using 4 key strokes to write '14, why not write 2014?
    – user18397
    Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 0:05

3 Answers 3


According to this source the correct symbol to abbreviate year using two digits is an apostrophe:

When abbreviating a year, remove the first two numbers and indicate the omission by using an apostrophe:

  • 2009 becomes ’09 (not ‘09)
  • 2010 becomes ’10 (not ‘10)
  • 2525 becomes ’25 (if we're still alive)

Notice I said apostrophe, not single opening quote.

You could use whatever you want on your resume, your choices will make your resume more or less effective, also depending on who will read and how you articulate different solutions for presentation.


Why? Is that extra bit of space needed for something?

My advice is to stick with the generally accepted four digit year. While resume styles evolve, this is not the place for you to push the envelope. You want the reader to have no objections to your resume to start getting into their heads.

  • Thank you. Yes, it was an issue with space. But I will take your advice. Cheers.
    – user18779
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 4:01
  • I do agree with the advice, which is great, but I feel the question is unanswered. So getting back to the question, can I use abbreviated? The OP could use whatever he/she wanted, but what digit would be best understood as an abbreviated year? This is still to answer and I'm curious to know if there is any ;)
    – a--m
    Commented Nov 4, 2018 at 10:55

Like others, I don't recommend it. Why? Because people who read resumes do not treat them like a book. Your resume will go into a big pile (or the electronic equivalent) that someone has to go through. They're going to skim each one to give a rough yes or no and then they'll go through the yeses more carefully.

Anything that interferes with this process or makes it harder for the resume screener to interpret is going to increase your chances of being sent to the no pile.

Seriously, you're saving one digit. How is that worth it? Now, you can save a couple digits with date ranges. 2012-14 instead of 2012-2014. That is standard and easy to skim. But avoid the '12 bits. It's something that someone reading carefully will figure out but harder on someone skimming.

  • I hate the "2012-14" notation, myself. Not so much that particular example -- that one is reasonably clear -- but, say, "2009-11". Does that mean the years 2009, 2010 and 2011, or does it mean the month November 2009? Context might (and probably does) make the intended meaning more clear, but that shouldn't be necessary. As you say, your first goal is to get your CV (or résumé) into the "look at in more detail" pile; anything that requires much thought in scanning the document seems more likely to reduce than improve your chances of getting to that point. Once you're there, you're golden.
    – user
    Commented Nov 4, 2018 at 17:34
  • Fair enough. I wouldn't use it in a doc like a resume either. But if I really REALLY had to lose a few characters...
    – Cyn
    Commented Nov 4, 2018 at 21:49

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