A chronological resume is one of the three main resume types, and is one of the simplest to create. In this type of resume, your work history is listed with either your current job or the most recent position you’ve held listed first. Hiring managers typically prefer chronological resumes over functional or combination resumes because it is easy for them to see what positions you’ve held and how long you held them. Is a chronological resume the right choice for you? Let’s take a closer look.
Ideal for Spotlighting Work History
If you’re considering a chronological resume, you’ll be glad to discover that this particular resume type is straightforward and fairly quick to create. While functional resumes place an emphasis on your accomplishments and feature only a brief summary of your work history, chronological resumes are the opposite, with other elements taking a back seat to your employment history.
When to Use a Chronological Resume
Chronological resumes are best for people who have a strong work history. If you are new to the workforce or have been out of the workplace for an extended period of time, it is likely that a functional or combination resume will work better for you.
- You’re an experienced worker seeking employment similar to the job you have now. In this case, the chronological resume gives potential employers a look at your work history and shows them you’re already working in your field of choice. In addition, it tells them that your skills are current – something that may put you at an advantage over competing applicants.
- You’ve always held similar jobs. Hiring managers will quickly notice that you have an impressive body of experience that will make you an asset.
- You’ve followed a steady career track, gradually working your way into positions with greater responsibility. Potential employers can easily track your career and will want to interview you, particularly if you place a little extra emphasis on skills and accomplishments related to the position you are applying for. Most employers are eager to hire rising stars.
When to Consider a Different Type of Resume
Some employers prefer a Cv, a functional resume, or a combination resume. If you are not certain which type of resume will yield the best results, contact the hiring manager and ask which type of resume the company prefers to receive. In addition, consider using a different type of resume in the following situations:
- You’ve job-hopped a lot. Whether by chance or by choice, job-hopping often leaves a negative impression on hiring managers. Consider using a functional resume if you have a history of jumping from one job to another.
- You’ve changed career tracks multiple times. If you have tried different jobs out for size and changed career tracks more than once, it’s likely that you have many skills employers will find appealing. Highlight skill and minimize career change by using a functional or combination resume.
- You want to transition into a completely new career. If you have desirable skills, certification, or education and want to make a career change, a functional resume that places a large amount of emphasis on these aspects will prove more attractive than a chronological resume that focuses on unrelated positions you’ve held in the past.
- You don’t fit the mold. If you’re not sure that your past history will help you obtain the job you’re applying for, listen to your intuition and pick a different type of resume. Consider using a functional resume that highlights transferable skills you’ve acquired. This will improve your chances of winning an interview.
Key Elements of a Chronological Resume
While chronological resumes focus mainly on work history, they may contain some additional elements as applicable to your individual situation and the position you are applying for. In addition to a detailed job history listed in reverse chronological, consider including some of these useful elements in your resume:
- Job objective
- Brief career summary statement
- Applicable certifications
- Special skills, if applicable
You might notice that some of these elements are identical to those found in other types of resumes. Just remember that a chronological resume emphasizes job history, and keep other elements concise.