How to Format a Chronological Resume

Learn how a chronological resume can help you land that dream job

Man with a confused look on his face holding a resume.
Trying to land that perfect job? Follow our
tips on how to format a chronological resume.

Maybe you've just graduated from college, are looking for a career change, or—given the times—you just plain need a job! No matter what the reason, writing a resume is your first step in securing that job. The confusing part about resumes is that there are several different types to choose from: functional, chronological, combination, targeted, and mini, to name a few. This article is going to discuss the chronological resume—what it is, and how to write one.

What is a chronological resume?

A chronological resume is perhaps the simplest resume to write and is often the format that is most preferred by employers. It is a fact-based resume that allows employers to quickly skim through and get a feel for your work experience and qualifications. It's easy to write because it is dictated by your own history.

A chronological resume lists your work history in order of date, starting with your most recent position and working backwards. While it's a great format for those with a solid work history, it can be a little more problematic for those with varied jobs or recent graduates, since it can highlight frequent job changes, gaps in employment, or a lack of experience. If you are a recent graduate or have little experience, you can always put the education section ahead of the work experience section. Sometimes it can also be helpful to look at chronological resume examples to visualize how to best organize your resume.

What should I include in my chronological resume?

A chronological resume contains the following components:

1. Personal details: Your name and contact information, including mailing address, telephone number, and email address. 

2. Objective: This is an optional section where you can briefly define your career objectives.

3. Work experience: Start with your most recent position. List all of your work experience, even if it wasn't employment based. Use bullet points to describe your duties and responsibilities; provide the most information about your current position and less for each remaining one. Try to begin each bullet point with an action word (e.g., consulted, organized, or built).

4. Education: Begin with your highest degree and work backwards. Include all schools you have attended and list any diplomas, degrees (including majors and minors), and awards you've received.

5. References: It is best to simply state that references are available upon request, unless they have been specifically requested.

Strong resume? Check. Dream job? Check.

A well-written resume goes a long way in helping you land your dream job. A resume is like a first impression; you only get one chance. If yours is riddled with errors or lacking vital information, you probably won't get that all-important interview, so be sure to go over your resume carefully. Our resume editing experts are always more than happy to take a second look to ensure that your resume is as perfect as it can be.

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