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Chronological Resume

There are three different common resume formats: the chronological resume format, the functional resume format and the combination resume format. A chronological resume is a common form of resume that prioritizes the work history of a job seeker. Called a chronological resume or a reverse-chronological resume because it lists the employment history of a candidate in reverse-chronological order (with the most recent job title first), this is a good format for people with lots of professional experience. There are many benefits to this format, but also a few drawbacks that job seekers should consider when writing their resumes.

Examples of a Chronological Resume

If you want to consider chronological resume examples for inspiration, you will find a selection of high-quality resume examples from various industries and levels of employment via ResumeNerd. Take note of the skills, job titles and achievements listed in resume examples that are relevant to your field, and use these resume samples to create a great resume for a successful job search.

The Differences Between Chronological, Functional And Combination Resumes

Each of the three main resume formats has distinct features, strengths and weaknesses that make them best for different types of job seekers. Remember that the best resume is one that highlights the strengths of a job seeker while mitigating any weaknesses or gaps in experience that they may have. Here is an overview of each of the main resume formats and their key components:

  • Chronological Resume Overview

    As previously stated, the chronological resume focuses on work history and presents it in reverse-chronological order. Job seekers who have a lot of professional experience will find this format beneficial because it allows them to showcase their experience by devoting the majority of the resume space to work experience. Those who have gaps in their employment record, those with inconsistent professional experience and job seekers undertaking a career change will find this format less beneficial.

  • Functional Resume Overview

    A functional resume format emphasizes relevant skills. In this format, the skills section takes up the bulk of a resume, allowing a job seeker to showcase a range of technical skills, hard skills and soft skills. Those who have gaps in their employment history, or who are undertaking a career change will find this format beneficial. This format limits the work experience section, however, so those who have a large amount of experience may not find it useful.

  • Combination Resume Overview

    A combination resume format is one that balances the work history and skills sections, generally by limiting the education section and any additional sections. This allows job seekers to provide a broader, but slightly less deep, view of their skills and years of experience. This format is ideal for people who are at the mid-stage of their career path where their skills and experience are about equal in importance.

If you want to know more about these resume formats, ResumeNerd has an informative resume format overview that you can consider.

Is A Chronological Resume For You?

While a chronological resume format is widely accepted by hiring managers, there are some job seekers who will particularly benefit from using it:

-Those with ample relevant professional experience
-People who have moved beyond entry-level positions
-Those applying for jobs that specify a certain amount of work experience

Generally speaking, this is the most common type of resume that hiring managers see because most people who have some work experience will find it useful.

Chronological Resume Example

The Basics Of The Chronological Resume Format

Every chronological resume should include the following components:


The header of your resume should contain your contact information, including your phone number, email, LinkedIn profile (if available) and your full name.

Resume summary or resume objective

The resume summary or resume objective statement should be placed just below the header. This will either be a summary of your best qualifications (resume summary statement) or a statement of your career goals (resume objective statement). This should be no more than a few sentences or bullet points.

Skills section

The skills section should feature your six to eight most relevant skills. Because this section usually takes less space in a chronological resume, you should hone in on the skills that most closely match the job description.

Work history

In a chronological resume, the work history will be the largest of the resume sections. This should include up to the last 10 years of experience, presented in reverse-chronological order (starting with your most recent position). Some job titles may require more professional experience than 10 years, so be sure to check the job posting before you write your resume.

Education section

Once you have been in the workforce for two to five years, your education section will become less important, but you should still list the most recent and advanced academic qualifications you have earned.

If you follow this structure you will create an effective chronological resume for your job application. How effective your professional resume is will depend largely on the relevant hard skills, technical skills and professional experience you have, as well as how persuasively you write. If you have a great resume, your job search is likely to be quick and successful.

FAQ: Chronological Resumes

There is no such thing as a resume format that is best overall, but a chronological resume is the best type of resume for those who have a robust work history section. If you have a limited work history, this may not be the best resume format for you.

Yes, there are some additional sections you can include if you want to. Common examples of additional sections include certifications, awards, projects and internships.

Anyone who doesn’t have a lot of work experience will find a chronological resume less beneficial. In this case, a functional resume may be a better fit. If you’re changing careers, you can also consider a combination resume, which focuses on relevant skills and work achievements.