One of the most common types of resumes used today is a chronological resume. If you’ve ever created a resume before, chances are it was a chronological resume. The straightforward resume format is easy to scan quickly and highlights your most recent work history.
This guide walks through how to create a chronological resume, why it’s beneficial, and when you should use one. If you want to perfect your resume, consider using a resume writing service to help you stand out from the crowd.
What Is A Chronological Resume?
A chronological resume is a resume format that lists information in chronological order, starting with your most recent work experience and other information. Chronological resumes work well because they allow employers to quickly view your most recent experiences, which are often the most relevant.
Benefits Of Using A Chronological Resume
There are several benefits to using a chronological resume when applying for jobs. Here are a few benefits of using a chronological resume format:
- It’s one of the most common types, so recruiters and HR professionals are familiar with it and can scan it quickly.
- Chronological resumes can also display a timeline of progression if you’ve been able to move up the ladder in your career without significant employment gaps.
- It may be easier to recall older career and education experiences when listing information reverse chronologically.
When To Use A Chronological Resume
Using a chronological resume is a smart idea for showing a natural progression of relevant work and other experiences and accomplishments. It’s also the ideal resume format if you have a longer work history. If your work is in the same field or another relevant field, a chronological resume will showcase your experience.
This type of resume isn’t ideal if you have gaps in your work experience or change jobs often. A chronological resume will only bring attention to those gaps and potentially raise questions and red flags with recruiters and hiring managers. It’s also not the best format for job seekers just starting their career since it will highlight your lack of experience.
How To Write A Chronological Resume
Formatting a chronological resume is relatively easy. Take time to gather information, including work history dates before you sit down to create your resume. Some of the sections may vary depending on your focus or career field, but typically a chronological resume is structured the following way:
Here’s a brief overview of what to include in each section of a chronological resume.
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Your resume header should include personal information like your name, address, email, and phone number.
Summary or Objective
A resume summary appears towards the top of your resume and meant to grab the attention of whoever is reading your resume. Consider it as a quick 3-4 sentences showcasing your career highlights and accomplishments. It can also include mentions of your strongest skills.
You can also use this area to speak on your career objective. If you go this route, tying the objective to career experiences can be a compelling way to get the attention of a hiring manager.
This is where you’ll list your employment history, starting with your current or most recent job and working backward. You can either list your job title first or the company name, but make sure to include both at the beginning of each job listed. Then, list your employment start and end dates, including the month and year if possible, like this:
- June 2016 - Present
- October 2011 - May 2016
Follow this with bullet points describing the work that you perform or any achievements from your employment. Find ways to incorporate numbers, which give context to your achievements. For example, if you were a sales manager, you could say that sales revenue increased 23% in the district under your leadership.
The education section is where you would list any formal education experience, starting with the highest degree you’ve received first and working backward. List the college or university name and location (city, state), the years that you attended, and the degree earned, including your major. You can also list any certifications that you’ve earned that are relevant to your career field.
You can also include a skills section on your chronological resume, but it might not be necessary depending on your career field. If there are specific hard skills required for the position, you should include them here. You can also list any soft skills that are relevant to the position you are applying for within the company.
Chronological Resume Sample
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a chronological resume and a functional resume?
A chronological resume is a resume with career and educational experience formatted in reverse chronological order from the most recent to the oldest. It’s geared towards individuals with a lengthy, consistent employment history. A functional resume primarily focuses on your skills and expertise over your employment history.
What is chronological order?
Chronological order is the order in which events occur, from first to last. A chronological resume uses reverse chronological order to list work and education experiences.
What is a reverse chronological resume format?
A chronological resume is actually written in reverse chronological order. The employment history and education sections of the resume include your experiences from the most recent to the oldest.
What are the five types of resumes?
The five primary types of resumes are chronological resume, functional resume, combination resume, mini resume, and targeted resume.
The Bottom Line
Choosing the right resume format could be the difference between landing job interviews (and ultimately a job) and ending up at the bottom of the stack of potential candidates. Use the formatting above to start creating a chronological resume if it makes sense for your situation. If you need help creating a resume, the best resume writing services can take the information you provide and transform it into a scannable format guaranteed to catch the attention of potential employers.