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When to Use a Chronological Resume and How to Write One
A chronological resume may seem the obvious choice. After all, what other types of resumes are there? Actually, there are two other resume formats: functional and hybrid (sometimes called a combination resume). Which format is best for your job search depends on your circumstances and where you are in your career.
This article will explain what a chronological resume is and how it differs from functional and hybrid resumes. We will tell you who should use this format and why, and how to structure and write this type of resume. Lastly, we provide resume samples.
- What Is a Chronological Resume?
A chronological resume is one that emphasizes a job seeker's work experience, whereas hybrid or functional resumes emphasize a job candidate’s skills.
The goal of a chronological resume is to show career progression. For example, each change in job would ideally show increasing responsibilities. An employer is more likely to hire someone who has a proven history of successfully taking on additional challenges.
The goal of a functional or combination resume is to highlight the job candidate's current skills either because these are critical to the job or because the candidate has other reasons not to emphasize their work history—more on that later.
All of the resume templates shown here are chronological resume templates. Note that the work history section is presented before the skills section. In the work history section, the most recent employer should be listed first under the heading.
- The Chronological Resume Sections
The basic components of a chronological resume are the following:
Summary statement/objective statement
Work history with the most recent position first
- Which Job Seekers Should Choose a Chronological Resume Format?
A reverse-chronological resume is best for job seekers who can show steady progression in their employment history. For example, have you been in the same industry for a few years? Have you progressed from an entry-level accountant to a CPA? Have you been consistently promoted as you took on additional responsibilities? Are you looking for the next step up in your career?
If your career trajectory is an upward one, then you should definitely choose a chronological format because the reader can see that you are capable of moving to the next level.
- Which Job Seekers Should Not Choose a Chronological Resume?
If you do not have much work experience or are a recent graduate and cannot show consistent progression in your career, a functional resume might be better. A functional or hybrid resume would show off your skills without drawing attention to the fact that you don’t have years of work experience.
Job seekers who have gaps in their resume, entry-level candidates, those seeking a career change, or those seeking internships are examples of people who should not use a chronological format. A functional resume format or a combination resume format is best along with the submission of a well-written cover letter to provide additional supporting information.
An example of a functional resume format is shown below. You can download your own copy HERE. In this case, the candidate is looking to switch careers from sales to IT. Again, note that the skills section comes before the work experience section.
- Why Use a Chronological Resume?
In general, hiring managers prefer a chronological resume format because it is the one they are most familiar with. This format clearly lays out a candidate’s job history and their roles. Also, most recruiters look for this type of resume for senior positions.
The drawback to this type of resume is that gaps in a work history are difficult to disguise. Similarly, if you are early in your career path, the recruiter may focus on the experience that you don’t have rather than the skills that you do have.
If you are a job seeker who has been in healthcare but now wants to move into an accounting role, a chronological resume will focus on your sales history rather than the fact that you might have excellent accounting skills. Your sales history, in this case, is not what the recruiter needs to see.
- Writing a Chronological Resume
Resumes should be one page long unless you need to show an extensive history. This would be the case for someone in academia who has been involved in many years of research on a specialized subject. However, even if you are applying for a senior position, employers are usually only interested in your most recent experience.
- Contact Information
This section is standard for most resumes. If you have credentials, for example, CPA or MBA, these should appear after your name. For example,
Emma Tailor, MBA
Steven Adler, CPA
Contact information should include name, email, phone number, and social media handles, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and a website address if you have an online portfolio. A LinkedIn url is highly recommended, most professionals have one, and employers will want to check you out on the platform. Make sure that the information on your LinkedIn page matches the information on your resume.
An address is not necessary. However, if the hiring company states that they are looking for candidates from a certain area, it would be good to put the town and state.
Expert Hint : Don’t include graphics or images on your professional resume. These should be saved for your online portfolio.
- Summary or Objective Statement
The summary appears at the top of the resume and acts like a headliner—it should be short yet include a lot of important information. Your summary should be bold and memorable. It might help to first create your resume before coming up with your summary statement because you will then be able to synthesize your most important skills and achievements into a short sentence.
Before you write the job summary, you should research the company and study the job description so that what you say matches what the company is looking for.
Here is an example of a resume objective.
“Rigorous financial analyst with 3+ years of experience in financial statements and budget forecasting. Seeking an opportunity with a large investment organization to use client-facing skills and build successful portfolios. 100% client satisfaction achieved in past positions.”
The statement contains three key components:
a strong descriptive word (rigorous);
years of experience (3+);
a metric that proves the applicant’s worth (100% client satisfaction in past positions).
Tailor this format so that it is directly relevant for each job that you apply to.
Unless you need to show decades of experience, 10+ years of experience is the most that you should offer. Unfortunately, ageism is rife in the recruiting world, and while you don’t want to downplay your level of skill, you don’t need to draw attention to your age. Employers want to know that you are as current as possible where technology and industries are concerned.
The reason why the metric is so critical is that it is measurable proof of your value to the employer.
In all of your resume writing, it is prudent to mirror what the job description describes. For example, if the job description calls for “proven client-driven skills,” explain that you “increased the client adoption rate consistently for the past three years” in your past job. Use this presentation of measurable achievements in the work history section of your resume.
- The Work History Section
Under the work history header comes the main part of your resume where you list, in reverse chronological order, your most recent jobs, your job titles, and your accomplishments. Start with your most recent employer and work backward. Include the past two or three positions that you have held.
Use bullet points to show your accomplishments in two or five short, clear sentences. Address the skills that the job description calls for, and don’t add anything that is irrelevant.
Expert Hint : You can better tailor your resume by learning about the company through its website or even reaching out to a current employee via LinkedIn.
For each employer, give the name of the company, your position, the dates, and then explain your accomplishments. The resume examples show how to format this section.
As with the project summary, use action words rather than the passive voice, and include metrics to create more impact.
Here are some examples of bullet points. Note that each one uses a metric and an action verb.
Redesigned legacy spreadsheets resulting in 30% fewer inaccuracies and faster turnaround times.
Managed customer accounts totaling $170,000 with 100% customer satisfaction.
Led a team of five students to win third prize in Google Innovation Competition.
Redesigned company website and improved lead generation by 25%.
Use some of the wording that you find in the job description in your bullet points. For example, if the job description states "statistical analysis" as a requirement. Use the phrase "statistical analysis" somewhere in your bullet points. This will help your resume to pass the automatic screening software that looks for keywords.
- Skills Section
Any skills, professional experience, or accomplishments that you did not include in your work experience can be listed in your skills section. For some jobs, like tech jobs, skills are vital, and the reader should be able to determine your skills with a quick glance of your resume. That's why some resumes list them in a separate column.
Your skills can be hard technical skills or soft skills, like leadership, problem-solving, conflict resolution.
Here are examples of skills to include:
Hard skills: JAVA; Python; Acrobat; Statistical analysis; Excel spreadsheets, Microsoft statistical software; Invoicing; Enterprise systems
Soft skills: Management and Communication, Leadership, Problem-solving; Conflict resolution; Critical thinking
- Education Section
The education section of the resume should include your degrees and any industry certifications that are relevant to the position. State the school where you earned your degree. If you earned honors, for example, summa cum laude or magna cum laude, this information should be included
Expert Hint : Only include a GPA if you are just starting out in your career and your GPA is 4.0 or very close to it. Remember, if you are just starting out in your career, you should not be writing a chronological resume.
Some resumes place education in a separate column along with skills and other information, such as awards. This can make a resume easier to read and more appealing. See the example at the end of the article.
The last section is optional, but it can be used to show off your unique achievements. It might include languages, awards, presentations, publications, or hobbies if they are relevant. Depending on what you are including here, you can use a different title such as “Achievements,” “Presentations,” or “Publications.”
- Key Points to Remember
Finally, it is critical that your resume attracts attention from potential employers for the right reasons—your stellar work history—not the wrong reasons: typos. Proofread your resume, and then have another trusted eye read it for you to catch any mistakes or odd-sounding phrases.
Follow this guide and use the quick checklist below so that your resume ends up on the top of the shortlist pile.
Each job is not the same, so you should submit a different resume for each job.
Tailor your summary to each job.
Use keywords in your bullet points taken from the job description so applicant tracking systems do not reject your resume.
Use metrics in your previous job bullet points to show your worth.
Don’t include irrelevant information from your work history
Proofread your resume thoroughly.
Now, get ready for the interview!
- Chronological Resume Example
Here's an example of what a great chronological resume looks like. Feel free to download your own version HERE.
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What Is a Chronological Resume?
Definition and Examples
Chronological Resume Example
The benefits of a chronological resume, when to use a chronological resume, when not to use a chronological resume, getting started, formatting your resume, resume examples.
Lara Antal / The Balance
A chronological resume is one of the most common resume formats and there's a good reason for it: Employers tend to prefer it because it's straightforward and easy to scan.
If you’ve never created a resume before, and you’re sitting down to build one from scratch, you probably have a chronological resume in mind. And while that might be the best choice for you, it’s worth learning what chronological resumes do well—and how to properly format one so that you can use this resume type to best advantage.
A chronological resume lists your work history in order of date, with the most recent position at the top. It might include a resume objective or career summary before the list of work experiences.
It’s important to get the facts straight when you’re listing your work experience so that the employer won’t think that you’re lying on your resume should they decide to do a background check .
Make sure that the dates, job titles, salary history (if included), etc. are accurate before you submit your resume and application.
Education, certifications, and special skills follow work experience in this style of resume.
The chronological resume is one of the most commonly used styles, and its familiarity alone makes the information easier to absorb. Ideally, it shows the progression of a career clearly.
It can be easier to compile, too, since its orientation toward dates helps you to nail down the details of your own job history.
As it emphasizes work history, the chronological resume is most effective for candidates with solid experience in the field. By showcasing your work history front and center, you immediately show the employer that you have related experience and skills.
Although many employers prefer a chronological resume, there are times when it’s not the right choice. A few examples:
- When you’re just beginning your career: The chronological resume format will not work well if you are new to the workforce. You may have all the skills required and applicable experience outside the realm of paid work, such as volunteering and internships. But if you choose a chronological resume, the hiring manager will only see your lack of paid work experience, not your abilities. In this case, a functional resume , which emphasizes skills over linear job experience, will help you make your case.
- When you’re changing careers: Many employers will put your resume in the “no” pile if they see that you do not have directly relevant work experience. Choose another style, such as a functional resume that focuses on your skills and experience or a combination resume , which lists both your skills and your work history.
- When you have gaps in your work history: Maybe you’ve been unemployed for a long period of time, or have taken time out of the workforce to care for young children or ailing family members. Regardless of why you’ve been out of the workforce , choosing a format that displays what you can do, rather than your work history, will help you make the best impression.
- When you’ve frequently changed jobs: Employee loyalty is a thing of the past, and for good reason: very few employers keep workers for the whole of their careers anymore. However, too many job changes can look bad to hiring managers, who don’t want to invest time and money training an employee who’s going to jump ship. If you have a history of job hopping , a chronological resume probably isn’t the best fit.
Consider using a template to help you create your resume. Templates give you a ready-made layout and guide you through the process of filling it out.
Resume examples can help you see what kind of content you should include in your document, and how you should write and format it.
Chronological Resume Sample
Jane Applicant 999 Chugalug Way Wheaton, MA 60187 Cell: (123) 555-1234 firstname.lastname@example.org
Administrative coordinator seeks management position with a top corporation that will allow her to utilize her organizational and leadership skills while coordinating workflow and overseeing company logistics.
- Highly organized individual able to handle and oversee multiple tasks simultaneously.
- Experience scheduling employee training classes, staff meetings, and office relocations.
- Have accurately managed a multimillion-dollar budget.
Administrative Coordinator , Mannix Services, Naperville, IL December 2018- Present
Responsible for analysis of monthly, weekly, and daily sales reports.
- Achieved 100 percent accuracy for the past two years.
- Responsible for scheduling training classes, seminars, and conferences.
Administrative Secretary, Minnesota Life Insurance, Barrington, IL June 2016 - December 2018
Oversaw research and design of sales and training presentations, requiring fluency in PowerPoint, SlideShare, and Prezi.
- Responsible for scheduling a three-person training staff.
Facilities Assistant , SBC Warburg Dillon Reed, Chicago, IL May 2014 - June 2016
Responsible for balancing a $7 million facilities budget.
- Scheduled maintenance calls, staff meetings, office relocations, and construction projects.
General Manager , KSMR Radio 92.5 AM/94.3 FM, Winona, MN May 2002 - May 2014
In charge of a 36-member staff, as well as a 7-member management team, with duties that included disciplinary actions, budgeting, special requests, program scheduling, and hiring.
- Chaired a committee that received a grant for increasing station amenities.
Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, Winona, MN
Review resume samples for a variety of occupations and get downloadable templates you can use to write your own resume.
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Crafting a Chronological Resume: A Step-by-Step Guide for Job Seekers
Discover the power of a chronological resume! This guide provides step-by-step instructions to help you create an effective resume format, showcasing your career journey with impact. Learn how to highlight your skills, qualifications, and experiences, making a lasting impression on recruiters and increasing your chances of landing your dream job.
Table of Contents:
1) What is a Chronological Resume?
2) Why Choose a Chronological Resume?
3)How to Write a Chronological resume?
4) Dos and Don'ts
A resume serves as a marketing tool, showcasing your skills, qualifications, and experience to potential employers. One of the most widely used and effective resume formats is the chronological resume. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricacies of creating a chronological resume that will impress recruiters and help you land your dream job.
What is a Chronological Resume?
A chronological resume is a resume format that emphasizes your work history in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent position and working backward. This format highlights your career progression and showcases your professional growth over time. It is particularly suitable for job seekers with a stable work history and those looking to advance in their field.
Why to Choose a Chronological Resume?
The chronological resume format offers several advantages that make it a popular choice among job seekers. Here are some key reasons why you should consider using a chronological resume:
1. Highlights Career Progression: By presenting your work experience in reverse chronological order, a chronological resume allows recruiters to quickly assess your career trajectory and see your professional growth over time.
2. Demonstrates Stability: If you have a consistent work history with minimal employment gaps, a chronological resume can showcase your stability and commitment to your profession.
3. Easy to Read and Understand: Recruiters are accustomed to reviewing resumes in chronological order, making it easier for them to navigate and understand your professional background.
4. Emphasizes Relevant Experience: With a chronological resume, you can prioritize and highlight your most relevant experience, ensuring that it catches the recruiter's attention.
5. Preferred by Employers: Many employers prefer the chronological resume format as it provides a clear and concise overview of a candidate's work history, making it easier for them to evaluate qualifications and suitability for the role.
How to Write a Chronological Resume
1. list your contact information.
The first section of your chronological resume should include your contact information. This includes your full name, professional title, phone number, email address, and LinkedIn profile URL. Make sure to use a professional email address and provide accurate and up-to-date contact details.
2. Create a professional summary
Following your contact information, include a concise professional summary that highlights your key skills, qualifications, and career objectives. This section should provide a brief overview of your professional background and serve as a compelling introduction to your resume.
3. Describe Your Work Experience
The heart of a chronological resume lies in the work experience section. This section should detail your professional history, starting with your most recent position and working backward. For each role, include the company name, job title, employment dates, and a comprehensive description of your responsibilities and achievements.
4. List your Education
In the education section, provide details of your academic qualifications, including the degree earned, institution name, graduation year, and any relevant certifications or honors. If you have limited work experience, place more emphasis on your education to showcase your knowledge and skills.
5. Include Your Skills
Highlight your key skills and areas of expertise in a dedicated skills section. Include both technical and soft skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for. Be specific and provide examples of how you have utilized these skills in your previous roles.
6. Projects to be Included in Resume:
If you have worked on significant projects during your academic or professional career, consider including a projects section. This allows you to showcase your practical experience and demonstrate your ability to apply your skills to real-world scenarios.
7. How to List Your Certifications and Training:
Include any relevant certifications, training programs, or workshops that enhance your qualifications and demonstrate your commitment to professional development. This section can help you stand out from other candidates and showcase your willingness to learn and grow.
Dos and Don'ts
- Do tailor your resume to the specific job you are applying for, highlighting relevant skills and experiences.
- Do use action verbs to describe your accomplishments and responsibilities.
- Do quantify your achievements whenever possible, using numbers and percentages to showcase your impact.
- Do proofread your resume multiple times to ensure it is error-free and well-structured.
- Do use a professional and clean resume format that is easy to read and visually appealing.
- Don't include irrelevant or outdated work experience.
- Don't use generic or vague language. Be specific and provide concrete examples.
- Don't include personal information such as age, marital status, or religious affiliation.
- Don't exceed two pages unless you have extensive relevant experience.
- Don't rely solely on spell-check. Proofread your resume manually to catch any errors or typos.
Sample Chronological Resumes:
To further illustrate the concepts discussed in this guide, let's take a look at two sample chronological resumes:
Resume 1: Professional Experience Resume
Results-driven software engineer with 5+ years of experience in developing innovative solutions for complex business problems. Skilled in full-stack development, agile methodologies, and cross-functional collaboration. Committed to delivering high-quality code and exceeding client expectations. Seeking a challenging role to leverage my technical expertise and contribute to organizational success.
Software Engineer | XYZ Technologies | Jan 2018 - Present
- Developed and maintained scalable web applications using Java, Spring, and AngularJS.
- Collaborated with cross-functional teams to gather requirements and deliver high-quality software solutions.
- Implemented agile methodologies, resulting in a 20% increase in project efficiency.
- Led a team of 5 developers in the successful delivery of a critical client project, resulting in a 15% increase in customer satisfaction.
Software Developer | ABC Solutions | May 2015 - Dec 2017
- Designed and implemented RESTful APIs for a mobile application, resulting in a 30% reduction in response time.
- Conducted code reviews and provided constructive feedback to improve code quality and maintainability.
- Collaborated with UI/UX designers to create intuitive and user-friendly interfaces.
- Mentored junior developers and facilitated knowledge sharing within the team.
Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science | ABC University | 2017
- Relevant Coursework: Data Structures, Algorithms, Object-Oriented Programming
- Dean's List for Academic Excellence
- Programming Languages: Java, Python, C++
- Database Management: SQL, MongoDB
- Agile Methodologies: Scrum, Kanban
- Problem Solving and Analytical Thinking
- Team Collaboration and Communication
Certifications and Training:
- Certified Scrum Master (CSM)
- AWS Certified Developer - Associate
- Web Development Bootcamp – Udemy
Resume 2: Good Marketing Resume Format
Email: [email protected]
Dynamic marketing professional with 8+ years of experience in developing and executing successful marketing strategies. Proven track record in driving brand awareness, increasing customer engagement, and achieving revenue targets. Skilled in digital marketing, content creation, and campaign management. Seeking a challenging role to leverage my expertise and contribute to organizational growth.
Marketing Manager | ABC Corporation | Jan 2016 - Present
- Developed and implemented comprehensive marketing plans to drive brand visibility and increase market share.
- Managed a team of 5 marketing executives, providing guidance and support to achieve departmental goals.
- Launched successful digital marketing campaigns resulting in a 25% increase in website traffic and a 20% growth in lead generation.
- Conducted market research and competitor analysis to identify new opportunities and stay ahead of industry trends.
Assistant Marketing Manager | XYZ Company | May 2012 - Dec 2015
- Assisted in the development and execution of marketing strategies to promote new product launches.
- Coordinated with cross-functional teams to ensure seamless execution of marketing campaigns.
- Managed social media platforms and increased follower base by 50% through engaging content and targeted advertising.
- Conducted customer surveys and analyzed data to identify customer preferences and improve marketing initiatives.
Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Marketing | XYZ University | 2012
- Relevant Coursework: Marketing Management, Consumer Behavior, Brand Management
- President of the Marketing Club
- Digital Marketing: SEO, SEM, Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing
- Content Creation and Copywriting
- Market Research and Analysis
- Campaign Management
- Project Management
- Team Leadership and Collaboration
- Google Ads Certification
- HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certification
- Content Marketing Certification - Coursera
Crafting a well-structured and compelling chronological resume is essential for job seekers looking to make a strong impression on potential employers. By following the guidelines and best practices outlined in this guide, you can create a resume that effectively showcases your skills, qualifications, and experience. Remember to tailor your resume to each job application, highlighting relevant achievements and skills. With a well-crafted chronological resume in hand, you will be well-equipped to navigate the competitive job market and secure your desired position.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a chronological resume and other resume formats.
A chronological resume emphasizes your work history in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent position. Other resume formats, such as functional or combination resumes, focus on skills and achievements rather than the timeline of your work experience.
How do I decide if a chronological resume is the right format for me?
A chronological resume is suitable for job seekers with a stable work history and those looking to showcase their career progression. If you have consistent work experience and want to highlight your professional growth over time, a chronological resume is a good choice.
Can I include non-work-related experience in a chronological resume?
While a chronological resume primarily focuses on your work history, you can include relevant non-work-related experience, such as internships, volunteer work, or freelance projects. This can help demonstrate your skills and qualifications, even if they were acquired outside of traditional employment.
How long should a chronological resume be?
Ideally, a chronological resume should be one to two pages long. However, if you have extensive relevant experience, it is acceptable to exceed two pages. Remember to prioritize the most relevant information and keep the resume concise and easy to read.
How can I tailor my chronological resume to a specific job application?
To tailor your chronological resume to a specific job application, carefully review the job description and identify the key skills and qualifications required. Customize your resume by highlighting relevant achievements and experiences that align with the job requirements. This will show recruiters that you are a strong fit for the role.
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Chronological Resume - Writing Guide With 5 Free Templates
The chronological resume - also known as the “reverse chronological resume” - is the most popular resume format out there.
Particularly advisable for those with rich work history, the chronological resume prioritizes and lists your work experience and achievements from most to least recent.
This article is here to teach you all there is to know about creating a chronological resume.
- What is a Chronological Resume?
Chronological Resume Structure
- When to Use a Chronological Resume Format?
- 4 Free Chronological Resume Templates
- How to Create a Chronological Resume - Step by Step
- 9+ Chronological Resume Examples for All Industries
What is a Chronological Resume?
A chronological resume lists your work experiences and achievements starting from the current or most recent one, and following up with previous jobs below.
For this exact reason, the chronological resume is the perfect choice for job-seekers who have plenty of experience and achievements to list on their resume .
What’s most important, studies point to the chronological resume being a favorite among recruiters, too.
Why? Well, because you are applying for a job, so work experience in your resume will be the first thing a recruiter looks out for.
But worry not, you can structure your resume in a chronological format even as a recent graduate too. Or, you can opt for other popular formats fitter to your profile.
But first, let’s go through the basics.
The chronological resume follows a straightforward structure. The only thing to keep in mind is that your current or most recent experience - be it professional or educational - comes first.
The second most recent will follow, and so on.
Here are the main and most popular sections for the chronological resume structure:
- Contact information
- Professional title and resume summary/objective
- Work experience and achievements
- Education section
- Your top soft/hard skills
- Include optional sections (languages, certificates, volunteer experience, etc)
If you’re a recent college graduate and want to build your resume in the chronological structure format, you still can.
All you have to do is rearrange the order of your resume sections so that the education resume section comes first.
Here, too, make sure that your education entries are listed from the most to least recent, and you’re good to go!
If reading this is already looking too complicated and time-consuming, try out the Novorésumé online resume builder . Novorésumé provides 8+ free resume templates that follow the chronological resume structure.
When to Use a Chronological Resume Format
The three main types of resume formats are the chronological, functional/skills-based one, and a combination resume format of the two. What you choose to use will depend on the type of job you are applying for and your experience level.
In the majority of cases, the obvious choice is the chronological resume. It is common, it highlights just the right sections, and job recruiters prefer it over the other formats.
Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean you should just cross the other options off your list, especially if your work experience doesn’t amount to much.
Consider these other two formats, taking into account their advantages and disadvantages as well:
- Perfect for students or recent graduates, as it highlights your skills.
- Offers creative space for a varied portfolio
- Difficult to pass through the ATS (Applicant Tracking System) that most companies use to scan through countless resumes they receive daily.
- It conceals your experiences, however minor they might be.
- A great choice for job-seekers with a diverse skill-set, because it highlights both skills and experiences.
- It can mask gaps in your employment history since you can also list your skills, so it’s the second-best option for those who lack work experience.
- It is a really good fit only for highly specialized professionals who have a very diverse skill-set. Say, for example, that you’re applying for a role that requires expertise in 3-4 different fields, and you want to show all that in your resume - then, the combination resume really is the one for you.
- It is hard to organize. As a professional with a diverse skill-set, it might be a challenge to decide which part of your expertise to prioritize in the combination resume format.
4 Chronological Resume Templates
Below, you will find 5 chronological resume templates out of many free resume templates. Dig right in to find the best match for you.
#1. Creative Chronological Resume Template
#2: Modern Chronological Resume Template
#3: Professional Chronological Resume Template
#4: Functional Chronological Resume Template
How to Create a Chronological Resume
Now that we mentioned the traditional structure, let’s go through each section one by one to create the perfect chronological resume.
#1: Start With a Contact Information Section
Depending on the template you have chosen for your chronological resume, there is a possibility that your name will be directly followed by your professional title right at the top.
How do you fill up your professional title in chronological resume format? Easy. If you’re not looking to change career paths your professional title should be your current title. However, if you’re changing career paths, then choosing the combination resume mentioned above might be a better option for you.
Regarding the rest of the contact information section on your chronological resume, it should be current and lacking any typos. The mandatory elements of the information section include:
- First and last name
- Phone number
- Email address
- LinkedIn URL (optional)
#2: Add a Resume Summary or Resume Objective
Second in the chronological resume comes your ‘profile’ as a candidate, which is expressed through a resume summary or a resume objective .
Wondering what the difference is?
Well, the summary is a short (2-3 sentences) overview of your career so far and it is used in 90% of resumes - especially by those with two or more years of work experience. A summary is a perfect fit for the chronological resume.
On the contrary, a resume objective represents your aspirational career goal and highlights your skills, making it perfect for entry-level professionals with little work experience, or job-seekers looking to completely switch career paths.
#3: Fill in Your Work Experience
This is, without a doubt, the section that weighs the most when it comes to the chronological resume, so it’s vital that you get it right.
Your work experience section is there to show the recruiter what you can bring to the table through your past accomplishments and responsibilities and what the company would be gaining were they to hire you.
Feeling pressured? Don’t. There are many practices to help your work experience section stand out in the eyes of the recruiter.
If you are looking for more tips and tricks to help you take your resume to the next level, head over to our beginner’s guide on how to write a resume .
Here are the key points you should keep in mind when it comes to the work section:
- This is the most important so we’ll be repeating it as many times as it takes: your current or latest job position should be placed on top. Then come the previous ones, all the way to your earliest job position.
- For each entry, list your job title and position, the company and its location, as well as the dates when you were employed.
- List your achievements and responsibilities, with a higher focus on quantifiable achievements, whenever you can.
- Use bullet points instead of just text to express what you have achieved and what you were responsible for in every job entry.
- Tailor the resume to the position you are applying for. For example, if you’ve had too many jobs in the past and some of them don’t relate to the field you are now applying for, then they are just taking space. Feel free to omit them.
Here’s a close-up of a work experience section in the chronological resume:
#4: Add an Education Section
Generally, the education section comes right after work experience.
If, however, you have just graduated college and want to create a chronological resume to start applying for jobs, the education section can replace the experience section that you’d be lacking.
Either way, the education section should be brief but jam-packed with information that can communicate your values and skills to the recruiter.
Here’s what the education section consists of:
- Program Name: E.g. “MA in Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies”
- University Name: E.g. “University of Greenwich”
- Period Attended: E.g. “08/1214 - 05/2018”
- (Optional) GPA: E.g. “3.9 GPA”
- (Optional) Honors: E.g. “ Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, Summa Cum Laude”
- (Optional) Academic Achievements: E.g. Papers you might have published, or awards received.
- (Optional) Minor: E.g. “Minor in Political Science”
#5: Spice Up Your Chronological Resume With Your Skills
Needless to say, the reverse-chronological order doesn’t really apply in the skills section.
What you can do, however, is begin by listing your hard skills and then your soft skills.
Unsure of what this means?
- Hard skills are measurable abilities. These can range from programming in Python language to knowing how to use Photoshop and InDesign.
- Soft skills are personal skills. They vary from attitude to flexibility, motivation and teamwork.
Listing your skills has its own peculiarities, so don’t pay this section less attention than the ones above it, especially if you’re a recent college student. Pay attention to skills specifically required at the job ad and if you have them, make sure to include them.
Here’s an example of how your skills section can look like:
#6: Include Any of These Optional Sections
Last but not least, come these optional sections.
Having them in your resume can earn you extra points and even separate you from the competitors, but only if they don’t make your resume longer than it should be (1-2 pages maximum) and if they are relevant to the job position.
Some of those sections include (but are not limited to):
- Languages : If you speak two or more languages, don’t fail to put that in your resume. To list them, simply categorize your proficiency level into native, fluent, proficient, intermediate, or basic .
- Hobbies & Interests : They can help humanize you and show a part of your personality that work and education can’t. If
- Volunteering Experience : Studies show that volunteering experience actually raises your chances of getting hired .
- Certification & Awards : If you have awards that make you stand out in your field or certifications from experts that are relevant to the position you are applying for, don’t hesitate to show them off!
Not sure how adding volunteering experience works? Check our article on how to list volunteer experience on your resume .
10 Chronological Resume Examples for All Industries
Now let us walk you through a few practical examples of what the chronological resume looks like depending on the industry.
#1. Business Chronological Resume
In the world of business, accomplishments matter. This is why in this business chronological resume , the work experience section is jam-packed with measurable information on what the employee achieved in his previous professional experiences.
#2. Computer Science Chronological Resume
Computer science jobs are heavily based on hard skills - in addition to your previous work experiences, that is. So, make sure to include your hard skills on your computer science resume to impress recruiters.
#3. Architect Chronological Resume
As you can see from the example above, the sections that follow your work experience and education can be placed according to your profile. If, for example, you’ve worked on some side projects that you feel do your resume more justice than your skills, feel free to prioritize those projects.
In this article, you can find what’s expected from an architect’s resume in more detail.
#4. Nurse Chronological Resume
Action verbs can really make an active professional like that of a nurse shine. So when you list your achievements under your experience, use strong verbs that can paint a picture of who you are and what you can do.
#5. Pharmacist Chronological Resume
With plenty of attributes up their sleeve, the chronological format is the perfect choice for a pharmacist’s resume .
#6. Project Manager Chronological Resume
Project manager resumes have good chances to show industry expertise - given they hold the manager title - and highlight successful projects. Feel free to do both in your chronological resume, as shown above.
#7. Web Developer Chronological Resume
As you can see in the example, the candidate has chosen to place his courses and training above his education. When you have followed courses or have been trained in the exact field of work where you’re applying, it makes sense to rank the field-specific courses and training higher than your university education.
This article has more information on how to perfect your Web Developer Resume .
#8. Teacher Chronological Resume
This is another “special” example of a chronological resume. Right after the experience section, the candidate has listed their volunteering experience. Not normally the case, it makes sense here because the volunteering experience has been as a tutor - which is pretty much the same thing as a teacher in the teacher resume .
In cases when your volunteering experience is directly connected to the job you are applying for, feel free to list it under professional experience as well.
#9. Bar Manager Chronological Resume
For more info on how to update your own bar manager chronological resume for 2023, this is the article for you.
#10. Human Resources Chronological Resume
The example says it all: the chronological resume does wonders showing the peak of your work experience first, and then going back to your professional history and skills. This article on the HR chronological resume has more tips on how to perfect it.
Discover More Resume Templates
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And that’s a wrap!
Let’s do a quick recap of the main points covered in this article:
- The chronological resume - or reverse chronological - is a top choice among candidates with years of professional experience and a favorite among recruiters.
- The chronological resume focuses on your work experience, starting your current or most recent one, and following up with the rest - from most to least recent.
- Recent college graduates that want to use this format can - simply replace the work section with the education section, following the same reverse-chronological order.
- Save time and energy building the reverse chronological resume from scratch by using online resume builders , such as the one Novorésumé offers.
What Is a Chronological Resume?
A chronological resume is a popular format. It presents your work history and accomplishments in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent position. This format provides a clear and structured overview of your career progression and showcases your professional growth over time, allowing hiring managers to easily understand your employment history and progress in a particular field and quickly track your development.
Key Elements of a Chronological Resume:
- Work History and Accomplishments : Work history is the core of a chronological resume , including basic information such as the names of the companies you've worked for, your job titles, employment dates. It also includes a concise description of your responsibilities and achievements in each role. By highlighting your accomplishments, you demonstrate your value and potential contributions to future employers.
- Education : In a chronological resume, the education section is typically placed below the work history. It provides details about your educational background, including degrees, certifications , and relevant coursework. This section is included to showcase your academic achievements and qualifications.
- Skills : While the chronological resume format primarily focuses on work history, it's essential to include a skills section. Here, you can list relevant technical skills , soft skills , and any additional proficiencies that are relevant to the target job. This section allows employers to quickly assess your abilities and suitability for the position.
Benefits of a Chronological Resume:
- Showcases Career Progression : The chronological format highlights your career growth and demonstrates your increasing level of responsibility and expertise over time. It enables employers to understand your professional trajectory and evaluate your potential fit within their organization.
- Easy to Follow : Hiring managers are familiar with the chronological resume format. This makes it easier for them to navigate and extract the information they need. Its clear structure and logical flow enable recruiters to quickly assess your qualifications and make informed decisions.
- Emphasizes Relevant Experience : By presenting your work history in reverse chronological order, the chronological resume prioritizes your most recent experiences. This allows you to highlight your most relevant and up-to-date achievements, making a strong impression on potential employers.
- Demonstrates Stability and Consistency : The chronological format showcases your consistent employment history, indicating your commitment and dedication to your career. It gives employers confidence in your stability and reliability as an employee.
How to Create a Chronological Resume:
- Gather Your Information : Begin by collecting all of the necessary details about your work history, including job titles, companies, employment dates, responsibilities, and accomplishments.
- Structure Your Resume : Create a clear and organized layout for your chronological resume. Start with your contact information and a professional summary or objective statement . Then, list your work history in reverse chronological order, followed by your education, skills, and any additional relevant sections.
- Tailor Your Content : Align your experiences and skills with the specific requirements of the position, focusing on highlighting accomplishments and responsibilities that closely match the job you are pursuing.
- Use ResumeBlaze : Take advantage of ResumeBlaze's user-friendly platform, advanced resume builder tools, and intuitive interface and templates to easily create a professional chronological resume that stands out. Create a tailored resume that captures your achievements and qualifications, and unlock new opportunities in your job search . With our 7-day trial , you can experience the full capabilities of our service without any subscription fees .
A chronological resume is a powerful tool that can be used to showcase your career progression and relevant experiences. By understanding the key elements and benefits of this format, you can create a compelling resume that impresses potential employers. With ResumeBlaze, you can leverage the advantages of a chronological resume and increase your chances of securing your dream job .