What is a chronological resume?

Before writing a chronological resume, naturally you need to know exactly what it is and when it should be used.  The components of this kind of resume are basically the same as any other, but the format is difference.  In this case, you begin by including a list of your work history, starting with your most recent job.  The job just prior to that goes next, et cetera, and your first job last – it is reverse chronological order.  A lot of employers consider these the best resumes, because it is much easier for them to see what jobs you have had, when you had them, and how long your employment lasted.

As such, the chronological resume is very good in certain situations.  For instance, it is considered the perfect resume for people who are seeking entry level positions.  It is also ideal for people who intend to stay in the same field in which they currently work, they simply want to work at another place.

As you will see in a moment, the chronological resume outline is really what makes it different from other types.  In truth, the first part of the format for a chronological outline is basically identical to most other designs.  It is just the way you list your job history which differs significantly.

The chronological resume begins with the identification section.  It is absolutely vital that your prospective employer is able to get in touch with you.  The identification section should thus include your name, your address, your primary phone numbers, and your email address.  If this happens to be an academic resume in addition to a chronological one, then you can also include the name and address of your high school, as well as your home address.

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The next section is devoted to your job objective(s).  This is actually an optional section, so it does not always have to be included.  Generally, college graduates and people who are changing careers should include their job objectives.  Of course, it can amount to personal preference as well.  Whatever the case may be, make sure that you clearly explain what kind of work you would like to do, and try to keep it short.  Traditionally, anything between two lines and four lines is plenty.

The third section lists your key accomplishments.  In this part of the resume outline, you are writing a kind of executive summary.  Any accomplishment that could catch a potential employer’s eye should go here.  You can give this section different titles, some of them more appropriate for different positions.  A few examples include: Professional Profile; Summary of Accomplishments; or Summary of Qualifications.

The next two sections are interchangeable for some people.  If you have just graduated from college, your next section should be the education section, followed by the one detailing your professional experience.  If you have experience with full time work, then the order is reversed.  At any rate, your education section needs to include any schools you have attended (including high school), your majors/minors, your degrees, and any honors and awards you have received.  If you are a recent graduate, you may be asked to use your GPA, whereupon you want to choose the highest, whether it is your overall GPA, your college’s GPA, or the GPA you got in your major.

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The personal experience section is the same as work history, and as mentioned, it will be different in a chronological resume.  Along with the dates of your employment in reverse chronological order, you include the name of your company, your job title, and your major accomplishments – those should be in bullet format.  Stay away from talking about duties and responsibilities, and use transferable skills to make yourself look really good.  The final parts of the chronological resume outline are your affiliations and interests, and your references.

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