Chronological Resume Format

Will the Chronological Resume Format work for you?

The chronological resume format is the most commonly used style because it is the easiest to create and it has a logical flow to the way an individual's personal background is presented. It is written in reverse chronological order—with your most recent education and experiences listed first.

Employers often prefer this format because it appears to be less subjective. In other words, it seems to be more "factual".

It is also much easier to read. Why? Part of the reason this format is easier to follow is that it is the most common format used and employers are used to seeing it. They know what to expect. Another reason is that each section of the resume is defined and categorized making it less cumbersome to work through.

Choosing the style of your resume is very important. You have to make the best First Impression possible. If you don't grab the reader's attention within seconds, you will not get another chance to do so. The decision to put a resume in the "Keep" stack or the "Trash" stack is made quickly.

You have to make an awesome First Impression

The resume is one of two significant parts of doing that, too. (The Cover Letter is the second part of the "first impression" equation.) An employer only gets a limited amount of information from you and this piece of paper has to convey how wonderful you are. You want to get a phone call for an interview, right?

Take into account what employers want as well as what you have to offer, then balance the two by using the most appropriate format.

Is this the best format for you? Ask yourself:

  • Do you have a solid employment history?

  • Is your educational background a plus?

  • Have your past jobs shown increasing responsibility?

  • Will you be continuing in the same line of work?

  • Have you worked for some well-known companies?

  • The Chronological Resume Format

    The Chronological resume format is good to use in many circumstances. When it is well-written, it will almost never work against you, except perhaps in the most progressive of industries.

    This resume format is perfect if you have a solid background with continual employment, longevity with an employer (or two) and/or great academic credentials.

    While some view this resume format as a bit stodgy, it is still the one most employers prefer. It is easy to read and hiring managers everywhere see them all the time. They know what to expect from a chronologically formatted resume and where to look for the information they need.

    Employers scan resumes, right? They really don't sit down and read each one from top to bottom. They look for the important details…the things that stand out. If you have a stable work history, employers will hone in on that with this kind of resume style. Your experience will reflect a career progression with increased responsibility along the way. For this reason, it is an excellent choice.

    Only you can choose which resume format is the best one for your situation. If in doubt, use this style as it is the most recognized and is considered to be the "traditional" format preferred by most employers.
    No matter which one you choose, what matters most is what you put on that piece of paper, not what the layout looks like.

    Click here for a Chronological Resume Format "template" - pdf format

    Click here to go back to the Resume Formats page

    Or click here to press on to the Functional Resume Format 

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