Chronological Resume - Writing Guide

Chronological Resume - Writing Guide

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What is a Chronological Resume?

A chronological resume lists your work experiences and achievements starting from the current or most recent one, and following up with previous jobs below. For this exact reason, the chronological resume is the perfect choice for job-seekers who have plenty of experience and achievements to list on their resume.

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What is a Chronological Resume?

What’s most important, studies point to the chronological resume being a favorite among recruiters, too. Why? Well, because you are applying for a job, so work experience in your resume will be the first thing a recruiter looks out for. But worry not, you can structure your resume in a chronological format even as a recent graduate too. Or, you 

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What is a Chronological Resume?

can opt for other popular formats fitter to your profile. But first, let’s go through the basics.

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Chronological Resume Structure

The chronological resume follows a straightforward structure. The only thing to keep in mind is that your current or most recent experience - be it professional or educational - comes first. The second most recent will follow, and so on. Here are the main and most popular sections for the chronological resume structure:

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Chronological Resume Structure

– Contact information – Professional title and resume summary/objective – Work experience and achievements – Education section – Your top soft/hard skills – Include optional sections (languages, certificates, volunteer experience, etc) If you’re a recent college graduate and want to build 

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Chronological Resume Structure

your resume in the chronological structure format, you still can. All you have to do is rearrange the order of your resume sections so that the education resume section comes first. Here, too, make sure that your education entries are listed from the most to least recent, and you’re good to go!

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When to Use a Chronological Resume Format

The three main types of resume formats are the chronological, functional/skills-based one, and a combination resume format of the two. What you choose to use will depend on the type of job you are applying for and your experience level. In the majority of cases, the obvious choice is the chronological resume. It is common, it highlights just the

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When to Use a Chronological Resume Format

right sections, and job recruiters prefer it over the other formats. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean you should just cross the other options off your list, especially if your work experience doesn’t amount to much.

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When to Use a Chronological Resume Format

Functional Resume Pros – Perfect for students or recent graduates, as it highlights your skills. – Offers creative space for a varied portfolio Cons – Difficult to pass through the ATS (Applicant Tracking System) that most companies use to scan through countless

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When to Use a Chronological Resume Format

resumes they receive daily. – It conceals your experiences, however minor they might be.

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When to Use a Chronological Resume Format

Combination Resume Pros – A great choice for job-seekers with a diverse skill-set, because it highlights both skills and experiences. – It can mask gaps in your employment history since you can also list your skills, so it’s the second-best option for those who lack work experience.

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When to Use a Chronological Resume Format

Cons – It is a really good fit only for highly specialized professionals who have a very diverse skill-set. Say, for example, that you’re applying for a role that requires expertise in 3-4 different fields, and you want to show all that in your resume - then, the combination resume really is the one for you. – It is hard to organize. As a professional with a diverse 

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When to Use a Chronological Resume Format

skill-set, it might be a challenge to decide which part of your expertise to prioritize in the combination resume format.

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How to Create a Chronological Resume

Start With a Contact Information Section The mandatory elements of the information section include: – First and last name – Phone number – Email address – Location – LinkedIn URL (optional)

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How to Create a Chronological Resume

Add a Resume Summary or Resume Objective Second in the chronological resume comes your ‘profile’ as a candidate, which is expressed through a resume summary or a resume objective. Wondering what the difference is? Well, the summary is a short (2-3 sentences) overview of your career so far and it is used in 90% of resumes - especially 

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How to Create a Chronological Resume

by those with two or more years of work experience. A summary is a perfect fit for the chronological resume. On the contrary, a resume objective represents your aspirational career goal and highlights your skills, making it perfect for entry-level professionals with little work experience, or job-seekers looking to completely switch career paths.

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How to Create a Chronological Resume

Fill in Your Work Experience Here are the key points you should keep in mind when it comes to the work section: – This is the most important so we’ll be repeating it as many times as it takes: your current or latest job position should be placed on top. Then come the previous ones, all the way to your earliest job position. – For each entry, list your job title and position, the company

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How to Create a Chronological Resume

and its location, as well as the dates when you were employed. – List your achievements and responsibilities, with a higher focus on quantifiable achievements, whenever you can. – Use bullet points instead of just text to express what you have achieved and what you were responsible for in every job entry.

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How to Create a Chronological Resume

– Tailor the resume to the position you are applying for. For example, if you’ve had too many jobs in the past and some of them don’t relate to the field you are now applying for, then they are just taking space. Feel free to omit them.

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How to Create a Chronological Resume

Add an Education Section Here’s what the education section consists of: Program Name: E.g. “MA in Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies” University Name: E.g. “University of Greenwich” Period Attended: E.g. “08/1214 - 05/2018” (Optional) GPA: E.g. “3.9 GPA” (Optional) Honors: E.g. “Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, 

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How to Create a Chronological Resume

Summa Cum Laude” (Optional) Academic Achievements: E.g. Papers you might have published, or awards received. (Optional) Minor: E.g. “Minor in Political Science”

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How to Create a Chronological Resume

Spice Up Your Chronological Resume With Your Skills Needless to say, the reverse-chronological order doesn’t really apply in the skills section. What you can do, however, is begin by listing your hard skills and then your soft skills. Unsure of what this means? Hard skills are measurable abilities. These can range from programming in Python 

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How to Create a Chronological Resume

language to knowing how to use Photoshop and InDesign. Soft skills are personal skills. They vary from attitude to flexibility, motivation and teamwork.

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How to Create a Chronological Resume

Include Any of These Optional Sections Last but not least, come these optional sections.Having them in your resume can earn you extra points and even separate you from the competitors, but only if they don’t make your resume longer than it should be (1-2 pages maximum) and if they are relevant to the job position.Some of those sections include (but are not limited to):

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How to Create a Chronological Resume

Languages: If you speak two or more languages, don’t fail to put that in your resume. To list them, simply categorize your proficiency level into native, fluent, proficient, intermediate, or basic. Hobbies & Interests: They can help humanize you and show a part of your personality that work and education can’t. If Volunteering Experience

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How to Create a Chronological Resume

Studies show that volunteering experience actually raises your chances of getting hired. Certification & Awards: If you have awards that make you stand out in your field or certifications from experts that are relevant to the position you are applying for, don’t hesitate to show them off!

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