Chronological Resumes – A Reliable Resume Format

As its name suggests, the chronological resume presents information and work history in order of date — usually in reverse. Many employers are known to prefer this over other resume formats because it’s easy to see the pattern of the applicant’s career …

Your choice of resume format — whether chronological, functional or a combination — will depend on your employment background. If you’ve pretty much stayed in the same career field and have been regularly employed, this style can show the development of your professional experience simply and clearly.

It also has the great advantage of being easy to read quickly. This can prove very useful if you’re in competition with a large number of other applicants. Your resume needs to catch the attention of the recruiter in just a few seconds.

The simple structure of the chronological format gives you the opportunity to highlight the best aspects of your application for the position you want. Many job-hunters acknowledge its value for reasons including the following:

  • it’s easy to emphasize key experience
  • jobs can be listed in detail
  • it suits those staying in same job or career
  • it can easily incorporate an objective section and skills summary
  • it’s traditional in some areas such as legal and academic professions

The chronological or reverse-chronological format is comparatively easy to draft because it does not typically call for selective presentation of experience and attributes. It can therefore appeal to professions whose style tends towards a conservative approach. It allows the candidate to highlight employer names and show a detailed work history where appropriate.

If you are planning a career change — or wish to put the emphasis on your qualities and skills rather than your career path to date — the chronological style may not be right for you. Look at examples and explanations of a functional format to see if this will suit your purposes better.

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