Who Should Use a
Chronological Resume Format?
Choosing the right resume format is an essential step in proving to recruiters and hiring managers that you are the right person for the job. You should use a chronological resume if you:
Have work experience and a strong career trajectory.
If you’ve been in the same field for a few years or more, writing a chronological resume will help show your steady progress in your chosen field. Using this format can help hiring managers see quickly that the position you are applying for is the next logical step in your career.
Have a consistent work history.
Recruiters look closely at an applicant’s work history. If you’ve been employed consistently over the course of your career, this format will help show off your reliability.
Have held the same job titles in different industries.
If you’re looking for a similar job title in a different industry — say, being an executive assistant in an ad agency instead of a law firm — this resume format is also a solid choice.
Who Should Consider a Different Format?
Just because recruiters love this format doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for everyone. Some job seekers might be better off choosing a functional or combination format to show off their unique skills and experience. The resume format you choose will depend on several factors. Consider choosing a different format if:
You have little to no work experience.
You’ve been with the same company for years.
If you’ve been with the same employer for many years in a variety of roles, this format might not highlight your achievements as well as another choice.
You’re making a major career change.
Since a chronological resume format emphasizes direct work experience over skills, those making major changes in their professional lives should choose a functional or combination resume to highlight their transferable skills.
You have major employment gaps.
Long periods of unemployment between jobs will be highlighted with this format. Choosing a different resume format can make gaps in employment less noticeable.
You’re a job hopper.
If you have bounced around from job to job or have some experience in a variety of different fields, this resume format will make those detrimental details obvious.
3 Great Uses for a
Chronological Resume Format + Examples
Highlight a Strong Career Progression
This job seeker has used the chronological resume format to show off her strong career progression as she seeks a new role as an event planner. Since the chronological format makes it easy for recruiters and hiring managers to scan a candidate’s work history, it’s clear at a glance that Amy has risen through the ranks during her career.
Highlights a Solid Work History
Other candidates use this format to show off a solid work history, with no gaps or layoffs in sight. It works well for this mid-level job seeker because it shows a consistent, industry-specific work history. The chronological resume format aligns the employment dates to quickly show that there are no gaps in the timeline of the applicant’s career.
Highlights Job Tenure for Those Switching Industries
This job seeker adeptly uses the chronological format to show off his breadth of experience and relevant roles as he seeks a position in a new industry. The format helps recruiters see quickly that this candidate has held roles as an executive assistant for more than nine years and that his skills transfer easily from industry to industry.