’19 or 19′? (How to Abbreviate a Year)

Including a year in formal writing or resumes comes with a few rules. You might be asking yourself what those rules entail when trying to abbreviate a year like 2000 into ‘00.

Don’t worry. This article will help address that question to see how to abbreviate a year appropriately.

How Do You Abbreviate a Year?

You should place an apostrophe before the last two digits of a year when abbreviating it. The apostrophe acts as a sign of omission, showing readers that the first two digits are not included. For example, 2019 becomes ‘19, and 2022 becomes ‘22.

Here are a few more examples to show you:

  • School dates: Jan ‘19 – Mar ‘21
  • Oct ‘15 – Oct ‘17

As you can see, it’s possible to abbreviate a year. You should do so if you want to save time or space on something like a resume. However, some people prefer to stick to the traditional four-digit year (i.e. 2021 or 2022).


You should place an apostrophe before the last two digits of the year. An apostrophe acts as the first two digits in the year.

For example:

  • 2019 becomes ‘19

Therefore, the apostrophe in ‘19 represents 20 (the first two digits).

This is standard practice when abbreviating years in any formal or informal written piece.


You should not place an apostrophe after the last two digits of the year. This does not make sense because you are not removing digits after the last two numbers.

Therefore, placing an apostrophe after 19 if you abbreviate 2019 makes no sense.

An apostrophe in abbreviations replaces the original omission. That’s why apostrophes must come before abbreviations when removing the first two digits.

  • Correct: I completed this course during Oct ‘19.
  • Incorrect: You could have done this from Mar to Jun 19’.

Should I Abbreviate a Year in My Resume?

You can abbreviate a year in your resume. It’s entirely dependent on you. You should only abbreviate a year when you have also abbreviated the months, as this will stay more in line with the rest of your writing.

There is nothing fundamentally wrong with using abbreviations in a resume. It is not informal to abbreviate something (in most cases).

However, you should be careful with abbreviations if you’re going for overly formal roles. You want to be as clear as possible, meaning that apostrophes and abbreviations might remove some of that clarity.

If you’re unsure, we recommend writing the full year. It’s the difference between two or four digits. Overall, that’s not going to change much about the professionalism of your resume.

You may also come across it in other formal contexts. For example, you might feel like abbreviating a date in a formal letter or email. This is perfectly acceptable if the date isn’t the most important piece of information in your correspondence.


You should abbreviate a date by including an apostrophe before the last two digits, e.g ‘19. An apostrophe allows you to show that certain digits have been omitted.

You can use abbreviated years on a resume, but you should stick to long-form years if in doubt.