Chronological Resume

What a Chronological Resume Means, the Format and a Few Examples

Chronological resumes are possibly the most common types of resumes. The following article describes what a chronological resume is and provides a few tips on how and when to use this format. We also offer some expert advice on how to write an effective resume.

What is the Format and Style of a Chronological Resume?

This type of resume begins with a chronology of the applicant’s employment history, listing recent jobs first. This is seen as one of the most popular structures for a resume.

In most cases, employers like this format because they can easily see what positions the candidate held while working for other companies.

Work history is presented in reverse order in a chronological resume, starting with the present or most recent position. This type of document usually includes a career or objectives summary before the list of previous jobs.

Specific or specialist skills, education, and any certifications or affiliations should also be included after work history.

Main Benefits of a Chronological-Style Resume

As one of the popular types of resume, one obvious advantage of using the chronological résumé format is that the majority of prospective employers will recognize and probably appreciate it. 

Additionally, this type of resume puts a lot of emphasis on the candidate’s career history so it ensures your experience does not go unnoticed.


In What Situations is a Chronological Resume Suitable?

The chronological format is the most effective for those who have a long and extensive career history in the same field they are applying for. Presenting work history first and foremost, you instantly show a recruitment manager that you have plenty relevant experience.

When Should the Chronological Resume Not Be Used?

A chronological-style resume is not very effective for those who are beginning their careers or embarking on a new line of work. For instance, new graduates are unlikely to have much work experience and this format just highlights that fact.

It is best to avoid a chronological resume if you are making a career change. Although you may have an extensive career history, it probably relates to a different sector. Therefore, without relevant experience, a lot of potential employers will place your application in the “reject” pile.

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Are There Any Other Resume Formats?

With so much depending on your skills and work experience, you may benefit from using a different resume format. For instance, a functional-style resume is very focused on the candidate’s skills and work experience, much more so than their career history. Then there is the combination resume, which shows both the applicant’s skills and their career history in the chronological order. Alternatively, you may find a more non-conventional style more suitable if you are applying for creative work and want to use graphics and/or other visual aids.

How and Where Should You Begin with?

The process of designing a new resume from scratch can be quite difficult and time-consuming. Therefore, you could consider using an existing resume example or template to get you started. A template can be of great help for setting up the structure and/layout of a resume and these often show what sections you should include.  

Good resume examples can provide helpful pointers in terms of content and language. An example résumé might, for instance, demonstrate the type of “action” words to use.

In any case, remember not to just copy word-for-word from an example. Your new or revised résumé should show your unique skills, experience and career history and it should match the requirements of the position you are hoping to secure.