Referral fees may be earned for purchases made using links on this site. To learn more, see my disclosure.
A chronological resume is a resume format that puts the emphasis on your work experience.
The sections of a chronological resume are typically organized as follows:
Work Experience - List jobs in reverse chronological order (most recent job first, oldest job last)
Unlike a combination resume or a functional resume, a chronological style resume does not contain a separate section where you can summarize your relevant skills. In a chronological style resume, your skills are communicated as you describe your job duties and accomplishments in the work experience section of the resume.
Strengths of a Chronological Resume
Easy to prepare
Highlights a strong work history
Trusted by employers
Weaknesses of a Chronological Resume
Draws into focus any weaknesses or gaps you may have in your work history and makes them very difficult to minimize
No separate section to highlight skills, so your skills can become completely buried and not easy to see at a glance
Can highlight your age, which can be a concern for experienced workers and younger workers
Can become repetitive if you have held the same type of job at a few different companies
Limited flexibility in how the information is organized, which sometimes means that the most important information is not at the top of your resume
Who Should Use a Chronological Resume
Job seekers who have a strong work history that is directly related to the work they are currently seeking are the only people who should consider using a chronological style resume. If there are any issues or concerns with your work history, a chronological style resume will not be a good option for you.
To help you decide whether your work history is strong enough to stand up to the scrutiny of a chronological resume, consider the following characteristics of a strong employment history:
You have worked for several years doing a job that is the same as or similar to the type of job you are currently seeking.
You are not making a career change.
You have not been out of the workforce for an extended period of time. It has been less than six months since your last paid employment.
You do not have gaps in the last few years of your work history.
You have not held several jobs in a short period of time.
Your work history shows professional growth and advancement over time through promotions and/or increased responsibilities.