Chronological Resume Format: Examples and Tips
The chronological resume — also known as the reverse-chronological resume — is the most popular resume format used by job seekers. It’s particularly useful for candidates with extensive work experience, as the reverse-chronological order resume focuses on work history to show career growth. Read on to learn how to write a chronological resume, review our examples, and create your professional resume using our Resume Builder.
What is a chronological resume?
A chronological resume is a resume format that emphasizes your work history, focusing on your top job accomplishments and responsibilities, along with related top skills. The chronological resume format places the work history section below the professional summary, so the recruiter or hiring manager will see your experience and career progression right away.
While the most popular, you might want to steer away from using the reverse-chronological resume format if you have no experience, are changing careers or have a significant gap between jobs. For these situations, there are other formats from which to choose.
How to write a chronological resume
Also known as a summary statement and resume summary, this section is the first chance to present yourself to the hiring manager. To start your chronological order resume the right way, give a quick overview of your top skills and qualifications that make you the best candidate for the job.
In a chronological resume, the work history section takes up the most space because it’s the focus of this format. Present your work experience in reverse-chronological order, showing how you’ve grown through the years and progressed in your career.
Even though the skills section is usually placed below the work history, as this reverse-chronological resume example shows, it’s still essential to feature key skills. Feature six to eight skills that complement your work experience and resume summary. It helps the hiring manager understand who you are and what you can do.
As the name suggests, the education section in a chronological resume is where you list your academic credentials and any special training or certificates you have. You don’t have to include your graduation date if you graduated more than 10 years ago.
Chronological resume examples
A resume example is a great way to get inspiration and see the chronological resume in action. Use the chronological resume samples below as a guide for your own resume, and find more job-specific examples on our resume examples page.
We also have dozens of resume templates you can use, including free reverse-chronological resume templates for Word you can easily download and edit. Our templates come in various categories, from professional resume templates to creative, modern and more.
Chronological resume example for administrative assistant
The sole focus of a chronological resume is to highlight career advancement. In this particular case, the candidate shows how they have grown through the years and taken on more responsibilities.
Sample of a chronological resume for a bank branch manager
Like this chronological resume sample, list the financial services you’ve specialized in and concrete details on the activities you’ve led, such as managing a staff of 12 employees or overseeing customer service, staffing and other operational duties.
Chronological resume format for principal
Mention experiences in which you’ve had to manage large groups of faculty and students in your reverse-chronological resume. Add any recognitions you’ve received for your work (e.g., your school receiving an award for academic excellence).
Sample chronological resume for event coordinator
In the work experience section of your reverse-chronological order resume, list examples where you’ve organized various events for groups of all sizes and show how you’ve been able to collaborate successfully with clients.
Chronological resume sample for financial analyst
Give examples of how your analyses and recommendations have resulted in positive outcomes for clients and businesses, like the reverse-chronological resume template above. Don’t forget to list your knowledge of job-specific software in your skills section.
Sample of a chronological resume for medical assistant
Focus your reverse-chronological resume on communication skills, empathy and other intangible qualifications necessary for working with patients and specific medical training and certifications.
Chronological resume format for warehouse manager
Like this reverse-chronological resume example, use your work history to show how you’ve improved operations and profits as a manager, using specific numbers that demonstrate your effectiveness (e.g., improving inventory accuracy by 25%).
Sample chronological resume for pharmacist
This particular chronological order resume features the candidate’s extensive work history, published articles and other credentials that make them an expert in their field. It’s extensive, thorough and detailed.
Chronological resume sample for retail manager
Give examples of how you’ve increased company revenue while ensuring customer satisfaction. Don’t forget to list intangible abilities important to the job in your reverse-chronological resume, such as team leadership, time management and attention to detail.
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Chronological resume format FAQ
How to write a resume that stands out when using the chronological format?
There are several ways to make a chronological resume stand out, but the following no-fail tips are our favorite.
- Use a resume template to give your resume a professional and polished look. Our premium and free resume templates are professionally designed, ATS-friendly and easy to customize.
- Make a great first impression with an enticing professional summary or resume objective. Think of it as an elevator pitch — a short but compelling overview of your top qualifications. For example, “Attentive and knowledgeable massage therapist with a five-year track record of solid customer service and a knack for building relationships. Experienced in a wide range of massage techniques, including deep tissue, Shiatsu and trigger points.”
- Focus on your accomplishments to make an impact. Hiring managers want to see what you can do for them, not a list of tasks you performed at previous jobs. Be specific and use numbers to make your point. For example, “Increased customer satisfaction by 30% in two months.”
Will the chronological resume format work for me if I’ve never had a job?
Since chronological resumes focus on employment history, we suggest using the functional resume format if you’ve never had a job. A functional resume is great for first-time job applicants because it highlights skills and education.
How many pages should a chronological resume format be?
Ideally, a chronological resume should be one-page long. Still, two pages are acceptable if you have more than 15 years of experience; showing your entire work history will benefit you. If you think you need more than one page for your chronological resume, ensure it’s concise, relevant and easy to read.
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