Chronological Resume Writing Guide

Get the best out of the standard resume format

Resume Templates

You’re probably asking yourself …

What is the definition of a chronological resume?

How do I write a chronological resume?

What does a chronological resume include?

…Well do not fret! We have the answers to all these questions and more to help you find out if this is the right resume format for you, if it suits your needs and your career goals, advice on how to write a chronological resume and even chronological resume templates and practical examples.

The chronological resume structure permits candidates to promote their career stability and showcase their work history as their main asset, highlighting their achievements and responsibilities in each position they’ve held as promises for the new vacancy.

The following guide to writing a chronological resume will help you navigate the difficult world of basic resume creation and offer you tips to optimize your resume for the job you want.

You will find out how to create a resume with the right sections to include and find expert tips and resume samples to follow.


What is a Chronological Resume?

The most well-known resume format type is the chronological resume, often favored by human resource specialists for it’s all-encompassing style.

The Chronological Resume is the traditional resume structure which is also known as the reverse-chronological resume as it refers to the manner in which the work experience is listed, starting from the most recent position and working backwards.

Employers generally like the chronological resume format because it is simple to follow and offers the information that they’re looking for in a straightforward layout. It provides an overview of your career history, showing your progression and highlighting accomplishments throughout.

The main body of the chronological resume is made up of the timeline of work experience of each candidate, wherein it is useful to detail the responsibilities and achievements of each position.

The chronological resume structure usually includes an objective or summary statement to begin with and follows with the reverse chronological list of positions held and respective details and finally also includes the academic career of each candidate.

Some may choose to include more sections depending on their personal experience and the position they’re applying for. These sections could include skills, volunteering experience or publications for example.

Pros and Cons of the Chronological Resume

Read on for the advantages and disadvantages of the chronological resume format to help you decide if this is the style of resume structure that best fits your field and professional profile.

Chronological resumes are excellent resources for job applications for candidates with an obvious vertical career path, for those who have lots of experience in a certain area or expertise in a specific field or industry and wish to progress in that same discipline.


  • One of the advantages of the chronological resume format is that it allows you to indicate all the various responsibilities or accomplishments from different positions in bullet point form or in a descriptive paragraph following each job. This permits the hiring manager to see not only the work history with the corresponding dates, job title and company but also to review the achievements and functions that the candidate managed while in that position.
  • From the three types of resume formats, the chronological resume layout is potentially the easiest because it is essentially a list of past experiences that does not require much analysis and it is also the preferred choice for many employers due to its easy-to-read structure.
  • Another positive aspect of the chronological resume is that as it is the most common and routine of the resume styles, it is easily read by Applicant Tracking Systems too, which means that if the categories, keywords and general information is clear, it is more likely to survive the first round of eliminations. A surefire way to get an ATS-ready resume is by using a resume template.


  • However it is not necessarily the best type of resume format for jobseekers who have periods of work history where they are unemployed for whatever reason or if they have changed companies or job roles many times.
  • Nor is the chronological resume format ideal for changing careers as it focuses heavily on the experience the candidate can offer, which is not usually the strength for someone looking to change profession.
  • Another disadvantage of the chronological resume is that as it is so well-known, it can be hard to make your resume stand out as the general rule of this style is that it is not creative or eye-catching. Hiring managers can see this as positive as it reduces prejudices but of course it does not allow for employers to see much of the candidate’s personality, thus all applicants are reduced to their academic and professional abilities and experience.

In cases like these, it is more appropriate to use other types of resume formats such as the functional or combination resume.

Tips for Writing the Chronological Resume

The following tips will help you learn how to make a resume with the chronological format that will grab the reader’s attention and convince potential employers to put you on the short list for an interview.

Making a chronological resume can raise certain questions, such as what do I need to include in the work experience section? Or how can I attract attention with a chronological resume format? And of course, how do I format a chronological resume?

The following tips will serve as guidelines for learning how to create a resume with the typical chronological resume format that will stand out in the application process.

To complete the chronological resume layout it is vital to include the contact information, work experience, education and a killer resume objective section which will hook the potential employer.

As the most important part of the chronological resume structure, the job history section will require the majority of your time and attention.

For the work experience section in a chronological resume, it is essential to always include the following information:

  • Beginning and end dates for each position at least with the month and year;
  • Job title
  • Company name
  • A list or paragraph detailing the responsibilities and achievements for each role.

Within the chronological resume work experience section, you will need to use action verbs, statistics and numerical facts to provide evidence of what you are claiming to have achieved in each position as well as including the skills you learned in that particular post.

As the generally accepted resume format for executives and professional resumes, it is vital that you always use formal language with a well-structured resume layout and remember to double-check the finished resume for errors, typos, spelling mistakes, anything that could jeopardize your chances at getting an interview.

For student resumes and other profiles, there are different resume layouts, each with hundreds of resume examples available.

To help you create an outstanding chronological resume, you can always use an online resume builder and follow the easy-to-use guide and examples available. There’s no need to suffer alone when we’ve all been there before!

Chronological Resume Templates

Once you understand what a chronological resume is and how you can format one yourself, it comes as a great relief to know that there are hundreds, if not thousands of chronological resume templates which are available to help you plan your winning resume.

Resume templates often come with example sections and information for you to get a better understanding of how to complete your personalized resume.

Chronological resume samples can be used for all levels of professional, in a variety of sectors and adapted to the needs of each candidate as the applicant must simply complete the sections that are appropriate for them using their personal information.

Not all chronological resume example sections are necessary and jobseekers can rearrange their resumes if they feel that certain areas need to be promoted or that others may not add anything to the application.

Using a chronological resume sample can give you a better idea of how your final resume will look and allow you to see the resume as it is being constructed which can help to avoid errors.

ResumeCoach offers an assortment of chronological resume templates for all different styles and levels to help you build your ultimate resume to land the job of your dreams.


Last modified on July 6th, 2020

Jobless due to COVID? Let Resume Coach help you get your next job ASAP.