A Basic Review of the Chronological Resume

Job seekers who have a solid career background and consistent work history should use the chronological resume format. When using the chronological format you would arrange your chain of employment in reverse chronological order. That is, you would list

Your resume is a powerful marketing tool that should quickly grasp the attention of potential employers and could possibly win you an interview, if it’s formatted properly and well written.  There are actually three main resume types that most job seekers use today and each has a distinct style---the chronological, functional, and combination. In this article we will focus on the chronological format. When deciding which format to use, take a look at your current situation and the position you are interested in applying to and choose the format that works best for you.

Just remember that when using the chronological format you would arrange your chain of employment in reverse chronological order.  That is, you would list your most current employer first, and then list other past employers going backward, in date order.  The nice thing about the chronological resume is that it's reader-friendly style allows prospective employers to view an applicant’s qualifications, accomplishments, and work history in a matter of seconds.  Most job seekers use this particular style and employers prefer reading them.  Job seekers who have a solid career background and consistent work history should use the chronological format. Job seekers, who have extensive gaps in their work history, or have little to no work history (college graduates), or in career transition, should use the functional resume style.

A big advantage of the chronological resume is, potential employers admire job stability (no employment gaps).  Another advantage is that employers can quickly identify past places of employment of applicants. It’s true that some companies are more reputable and impressive than others. And yet another advantage is, employers can easily decide if an applicant is a good match for the position they are seeking to fill.

A big disadvantage of the chronological resume is, although it’s illegal for an employer to ask a job applicant his/her age, they can determine the applicant’s age by the dates of employment listed in the job history section, and also in the education section, which list the year you received your degree(s).  Another disadvantage is employments gaps stick out like a sore thumb to recruiters and hiring managers, and thus, the applicant is often viewed as unstable and unreliable and lessens one’s chance of landing an interview.

Wrapping it up... Are you still indecisive about which resume type is best for you? If you have a consistent work history and a solid career background, then you should go with the chronological style. However, if you are comfortable with using the chronological format with one gap in your work history, go for it.  Just keep in mind that if you should land an interview, you will need to explain why to the recruiter and/or hiring manager. Perhaps you can justify the reason for the gap successfully. See related article here:    http://job-searching.knoji.com/got-employment-gaps-how-to-explain-gaps-in-your-work-history-to-potential-employers/   Now take a look at the example format below to get idea as to what your resume should include.  I’ve also included a sample copy of a chronological resume at the end of this article as well.

 

CHRONOLOGICAL RESUME SHOULD CONTAIN:

  • Header- include your name, address, phone number, and email address
  • Job objective statement- brief description of your career objective
  • Summary of Qualifications- highlight your core competencies, skills, and accomplishments
  • Work history- list dates of employment in reverse chronological order, name and locations of employers, your job titles, job duties and responsibilities
  • Education- List schools you’ve attended (reverse order), your degrees and area of concentration, awards, and GPA
  • Technical skills
  • Licenses or other pertinent information if applicable
  • Professional affiliations (optional)
  • Hobbies (optional)

 

 Sample resume below:

 

 Image credit: squawkfox.com

 

 

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