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Having a well-presented chronological resume significantly increases your chances of landing a job interview. In this article, you will find a detailed step-by-step guide , free examples and free templates to help you create a compelling chronological resume.

Chronological Resume Versus Other Formats

There are three main types of resume formats:

Choosing the chronological resume for the right reasons will impact your chances of standing out among your competitors. Keep reading to understand the differences between the three types of resumes and how these might apply to you.

Functional Resumes

Whereas A chronological resume focuses mainly on work experience and previous job activities, a functional resume, also known as a skills-based resume, focuses on your talents and achievements.

Ask yourself which you want to highlight. The following key points can help you choose the best type of resume for you:

  • Work experience
    The chronological order clearly displays a history of professional growth and maturity. In a functional resume, you don’t display a progressive history of professional growth and maturity like you would in a chronological one. Are you applying for a position where a particular role in your employment history is relevant? If yes, the chronological resume might be the best choice for you.
  • Skills
    The functional resume gives a quick view of your abilities and training. The chronological format covers the skills related to the achievements or job duties you decide to mention. Are your skills your biggest strength when applying for the new position? If so, a functional resume may be more effective in your case.
  • Starting a career
    Recruiters usually prefer the chronological resume over the functional, but the former may not play in your favor if you have little or no work experience. A lack of experience is more noticeable in this resume format.
  • Work gaps
    If you stopped working for a long time, it’s easier to conceal that in a functional resume. But if the gap was a long time ago, there is no reason to avoid the chronological format.
  • Changing careers
    If you are looking to change your career, a chronological resume would make the transition more obvious. You may want to go with the functional format in this scenario.

Combination Resume

The combination resume, as the name implies, puts together information from chronological and functional resumes. Consider the following to help you decide whether a chronological or a combination resume is a better fit for you.

  • Focal point
    A combined resume showcases work experience and the time at each position, as does a chronological resume, but it has a strong emphasis on the skills you have acquired. Assess how similar your work history is to the position you are applying for. It may be necessary to focus your skills so your previous roles seem more alike. On the other hand, if you have remarkable achievements, chronological is the better format for describing them.
  • More responsibility
    If you are applying to a higher-level position than the one you currently hold, you can use a combined resume to highlight your skills and still show the recruiter your impressive work history.
  • Repetition
    A flaw of the combination format is that it can easily become repetitive. The chronological outline is less redundant.

Chronological Resume Examples

These chronological resume samples will help you understand how this layout works and help you visualize your resume.

Experienced Electrician

Architect

Compliance Officer

Nursing

Young Teacher

Chronological Resume Templates

If you think the chronological layout is best for you, you can get started building your own. You already know how this resume looks from the previous samples. Now, you can easily create your own with our chronological resume templates.

Chronological Resume Layout

An effective chronological format has certain characteristics that help you get the desired impact from your resume. Try to incorporate these characteristics into your resume to make it stronger. For example:

How to Create a Chronological Resume

Now that you have the tools you need, here are instructions you can follow to write an effective chronological resume.

Chronological Outline

The structure of a chronological resume is simple and straightforward. There are some indispensable elements, and the order in which you display them is important. The outline of your resume should look something like this:

In reverse-chronological resumes, the employment section is the most important and should be listed before your education. You can add additional sections for Professional Affiliations or Languages after Education. Doing this may enhance your resume as long as it doesn't extend the resume to more than two pages.

Here are the exact steps you need to take to create each of the sections.

Before Starting

Go back and review the job description. Each job you apply to is different, and you'll need to adapt the description of your activities and achievements to the specific position you are seeking. Search for keywords in the job description. Ads usually describe what the company is looking for in a candidate via these keywords.

Later, you will use the same keywords to write about your past roles. Think about any of your achievements related to the job requirements, and jot them down. Using the same keywords when you create your resume will help make clear that you have what the company is seeking in a candidate.

There is a good chance your resume will be screened by an applicant tracking system (ATS). The ATS scans for keywords from the job description before an actual person looks at your resume. Resumes may be discarded at this step if they don't have enough of the required keywords, so make sure to include them.

In this example, it is not clear what the executive's specialty is. Of course, every company would like to hire someone "highly motivated," but just using the phrase alone doesn't show it is true. The last sentence could also be improved by describing "ongoing professional development" in more detail.

Now let's have a look at this example:

Objective facts and measured statements are what make the second profile example better than the previous one. Quantifiable information in a summary has the following benefits:

It's also important to showcase the growth you achieved and advancement you made:

Recap

A chronological resume allows the recruiter to see your employment history at a glance. Learning to write this document effectively will help you land a job interview and continue consistent professional development.

Let's review some of the main points for achieving this:

If you follow our recommendations, they will help your resume to stand out, and recruiters will be more likely to notice it.

Using a Resume Builder

The previous chronological resume templates and samples will help you considerably, but a resume builder will make it even easier to create a better resume. Use our free resume comparison tool and choose among the best resume builder tools for you.

The builders you will find offer a variety of features that apply to every kind of resume. If you've decided that a chronological format best suits you, make sure to use features that preserve the chronological order. For example, you can pick a text-based layout with a professional look that will let you highlight your work experience. Remember that chronological formats have a traditional layout, so pick one without images or graphics.

Pick a template that has enough space for you to emphasize your work history, which is important when you're writing this resume format. The builders allow you to customize your template according to your needs.

You will also see the option to use keyword phrases to enhance your resume. If you use this feature, be sure to sprinkle the text with relevant keywords for your job experience, and use a traditional writing style. Don't risk your professional image by using bold adjectives or statements.

A resume builder will make the process of writing your resume much easier. Follow the steps below for using the tool successfully.