Reverse Chronological Resume
Highlight Your Work History.



The reverse chronological resume style is the most commonly used style. It is also referred to as simply a chronological resume.

This type of resume shows your work history in reverse chronological order.

This simply means that your most recent job is listed first, followed by each of your previous jobs in order by date. Your work history is the primary part of your resume when using this style.

To help determine if a chronological resume may be your best choice, you need to understand when to use this style.



When to use a reverse chronological resume…

  • You have a solid work history with limited or no gaps in employment.
  • Your most recent job is related to the job you are seeking.
  • Most or all of your experience is in the same career field, and you are seeking a job in that field.

This style…

  • presents an easy to follow, traditional format.
  • provides a logical history of previous jobs and accomplishments.

It is favored by many employers because it clearly shows your work history. It has a built-in timeline, which makes your history easy to follow.

When your work history is obvious, a hiring manager is able to quickly identify your qualifications and link them to the position you are applying for.



How to write a reverse chronological resume…

Start your resume with a career summary. You can also name this section "Summary of Qualifications," or something similar.

Then you will present your work experience in reverse chronological order.

Showing your work history in chronological order builds credibility through your experience. It also shows your career growth, over time.

Note: If your education information is not covered in the functional section, add an education section, followed by any other sections that showcase your qualifications.

This style works to your advantage if you have a strong, stable work history, with no significant gaps in employment.

You also have an advantage if your most recent job is related to the job you are seeking, because the employer can quickly identify your experience, and connect it to the job opening.

Before you decide to use a chronological resume, make sure this style is the best fit for your situation.



Disadvantages...

  • Gaps in employment dates may stand out if there are breaks in your chronological order.
  • Frequent job changes may lead an employer to assume that you will not stay in the position very long.
  • If you lack work experience (i.e. recent graduate), there may not be enough information to list in reverse chronological order.

In most cases, the chronological resume is a safe choice. The other options are a functional resume or a combination resume. Read more about the other two options to ensure that you are making the best choice.


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