A chronological resume is one that lists your work experience in reverse-chronological order. Due to its heavy emphasis on your job history, this resume type best suits job seekers with consistent, strong work experience. Read on for expert tips on how to write in this format, as well as examples you can use to create your own.
How to Write the 3 Most Important Sections in a Chronological Resume
When using the chronological format, focus on these three sections:
Select resume section:
Your summary should provide a quick two-to-three sentence statement about your strengths. Mention your most impressive work experiences to demonstrate your career success to employers.
Feature skills that tie in with your experience, and are also relevant to the specific job you’re applying for. Include both hard skills (technical knowledge) and soft skills (interpersonal abilities).
This is the most important section of a chronological resume. Focus on your accomplishments, instead of just listing job duties. Energize the descriptions of your achievements by using action verbs.
Top 5 Tips
A chronological resume highlights your work experience, with your jobs listed in reverse-chronological order (most recent position first). Use our top 5 tips to help build your own.
Always ensure your information is accurate and complete.
While the templates and examples on Resume-Now are useful tools for creating your resume in minutes, make sure that you include your own information, and customize the content to fit the specific job you are applying for.
When writing your summary statement, skills and work history sections, always pay attention to keywords used in the job description, job title or other job search information. Make sure to use these keywords when you create your own resume. For example, if the job description mentions “project management” as a prerequisite, include the phrase in your resume.
Try to use at least one keyword from the job description in your summary statement to catch the attention of the recruiter, then include relevant qualifications in your work history and skills section. Include a mix of soft skills (i.e., your ability to work in a team or manage projects) and hard skills (specific technical knowledge you have that’s vital to the job, such as familiarity with specific software).
Jobs are about accomplishments.
When describing your work experience, don’t simply list your old job duties. Instead, focus on notable achievements, and use quantifiable measurements to explain how you made a positive impact. You should also use plenty of action verbs (i.e., “directed,” “led” or “instigated”) when describing your past accomplishments. If you’re not sure how to do this, take a look at the examples on this page.
Feature certifications or awards if needed.
If you’ve earned any certifications or industry-specific awards, or participated in activities and projects that are relevant to the job you’re applying for, you can include a section to list them. If you’re not sure how to best organize this information, our Resume Builder includes several templates that exemplify this strategy.
Use a clean design, with clean content.
It’s important that your resume has a clean design and is free of any grammatical errors or typos. Use one of our recruiter-approved templates to ensure your document has a professional appearance. If possible, have someone else proofread your resume for any errors you missed.
Ready to get started on creating a strong resume using these tips? Our resume builder will take you through the process.
Ready to get started on creating a strong resume using these tips?
Our resume builder will take you through the process.
Chronological Resume Samples by Experience
To help you create a great chronological resume, we’ve assembled some of our very best resume samples below. Follow these samples to create your own job-winning resume.
Though the job seeker lacks experience, he includes skills that relate to the position, like customer service, register operation and payment processing. He also states his goals clearly, noting that he wants to leverage his service and sales strengths.
Applicants with some experience should focus on tying in skills and job history, as in this resume example. The applicant also effectively employs measurable success metrics, such as “increases solve rate by 21 percent,” to immediately appeal to employers.
Chief Marketing Officer
In this resume, the applicant showcases his years of experience and his professional accomplishments in the summary, followed by an extensive rundown of work highlights. While a skills section is still present, the focus is on job history.
Recommended Samples by Job Title
These resume examples cover a variety of industries. Use them to compose your own resume in minutes.
In this resume, the applicant points out both hard and soft skills in the summary section to grab the employer’s attention. Her work experience also shows the hiring manager she’s proficient in the position. She lists her GED at the end, as education is not as important for this job.
This resume has a strong summary, pointing out relevant strengths and years of experience. The applicant does a good job of starting each job duty with a strong verb, such as “coordinating,” “interacted,” “implemented” and “arranged.” She also lists her business administration degree, which is relevant to an office position.
This resume showcases important sales associate skills, such as being a self-starter, as well as interpersonal, communication and customer-oriented strengths. In the experience section, the job seeker points out important accomplishments, such as meeting performance goals and maximizing efficiency, that hiring managers are looking for.
This job seeker does a good job of using effective keywords such as “strategic,” “problem-solving,” “data mining,” “business research” and “analyze”. The work experience section also shows a career progression, from intern to associate to business analyst, which demonstrates the applicant is learning and expanding his skills with each position.
In this resume’s summary statement, the applicant emphasizes her years of experience and ability to accurately operate in a fast-paced environment. She lists important skills such as being detail-oriented, maintaining records and confidentiality. In the work history section, she covers a variety of duties such as taking X-rays, sanitizing instruments, preparing patients and charting.
The summary does a good job of pointing out experience and qualifications as well as stating a clear goal. To grab the hiring manager’s interest in an instant, this job seeker lists work experience right after the summary. In the skills section, the applicant showcases industry-related qualifications and lists multiple hard skills.
Chronological Resume FAQ
Who should use a chronological resume?As the chronological resume format stresses work experience, it’s best suited for job candidates who have a robust job history from which to draw. This is a particularly useful format if your job experience relates directly to the new position you are seeking. To take full advantage of the format, come up with specific, detailed accomplishments for each job you’ve had. This demonstrates your career growth and abilities to employers.
How do you list your resume in chronological order?To write in the chronological format, list your work experiences in reverse-chronological order, with your most recent position first, working backwards in time. As a general rule, you should only include jobs from the past 10 years. Follow the same arrangement for your education section, with your latest, most advanced degree (or coursework, if you haven’t completed your studies yet) and school presented first.
Does resume work experience have to be in chronological order?In a chronological resume, your work history is always presented in chronological order. If you have gaps in your work experience or lack extensive experience, you may want to consider a functional resume, which focuses on your abilities and skills.
Do you put work experience or education first on a chronological resume?In the chronological format, work experience will appear first. This allows you to show hiring managers that you have the necessary experience to excel at a new job. Like your work history section, the education section should start with your most recent degree or accomplishment. You should include information about any degrees you’ve earned, relevant coursework, special accomplishments, and certificate programs.