Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Writing Your Best Resume - The Chronological Approach


Your employment record is the primary organizing principle for this format, a job-by-job historical narrative of your work effectiveness.


This format emphasizes formal qualifications for the work you are seeking. It is most appropriate for directly qualified candidates with linear progression paths and showcases the track record of clearly pertinent, often increasingly responsible experiences. Use of judgment in grappling with job challenges is emphasized.

Recruiters and some hiring managers are accustomed to, and often prefer, the chronological format. Many find it familiar, straightforward and easy to use when making preliminary decisions concerning the candidate.


For candidates who are starting or changing a career, this format emphasizes the lack of direct, in-depth experience in the targeted career area. It underscores past identity rather than future potential.

Gaps in employment, conspicuously brief or long affiliations, and time periods elapsed since certain qualifying experiences are spotlighted.

Rather than accenting accomplishments on the job, it lends itself to a somewhat dry, repetitive recitation of job responsibilities.

It often does not help the candidate who is in the latter stages of their career. Someone with many work experiences can struggle making their pitch with a chronological resume because their best skills and attributes can get lost in the details.

When to use:

The chronological format is particularly effective for people with clear-cut qualifications, who are continuing or advancing in a particular career direction. It can be acceptable for other, less qualified people. This format is productive if you cite relevant skills and tasks that support your career or job search objectives.

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