A chronological resume lists your employment history in reverse chronology order, beginning with your latest position at the top. This is probably the oldest resume format and for years was the most popular. It was designed to allow employers to see people’s entire career history without having to look through huge folders of resumes. Using a chronological resume can put you at an advantage when seeking a new job.
As a general rule, always begin your career summary in the top left-hand corner. Be sure to indicate any special skills you have developed during your entire education or other experience that directly apply to the specific job. If you’ve worked in several fields or have a lot of experience under your belt, this is a good time to identify these accomplishments so potential employers know what to expect from you.
Beginning in the middle of your career summary, list your qualifications or certification accomplishments. You should include all degrees, certifications and specialized training you have acquired. These must be relevant to the job you are applying for. Some employers may not require formal training or qualifications; however, others do. Make sure your resume format indicates that you were trained for the position or certification that is being applied for.
The next section of your resume format should be a concise statement about why you are seeking a certain position. Use bullet points to break up long sections of text. State specific skills you possess that are relevant to the position for which you are applying. Use the same formatting style as the accomplishments section to add impact and clarity to this section.
Your work history will vary greatly depending on the position you are applying for. Your work history will also vary if you are a teacher or a service provider. You should make sure your format is clear and concise when reporting your work history, particularly if you are applying for different positions within the same company. For example, when writing about your work history as an education consultant, you should use the same resume format that you would use to detail your educational qualifications. A bulleted list of your accomplishments and references is more effective than a detailed paragraph about your work history.
The next part of your resume format is addressing the qualifications you have to offer. You should use specific words and phrases to describe your qualifications, such as your career progression, qualifications for the job titles. Be sure to list your job titles in order of relevance. Most hiring managers prefer to see a resume with a list of job titles followed by a summary of the responsibilities associated with each job title. This format makes it easy to quickly see your career progression and ensures your contact information is easily found.
The final part of your resume format is your education information. You should provide a very brief description (one to two sentences) of your educational background. This should match your career progression description. This means that you may want to include your degree(s) and any certifications earned or professional licenses that may be relevant to the job you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a position as a teacher, you may want to explain that you have served as a teacher for four years or more. Include any special training or seminars you have attended.
When following a chronological resumes format for contacting a potential hiring manager, remember to include all relevant dates. It is natural for you to think that you have been employed for years and you might think that you can put this information on your resume. However, recruiters do not follow chronological resumes because it takes them time to evaluate your complete past. Using a chronological resume format forces the recruiter to put all of the relevant dates on the same date. If the job posting you are responding to does not specify a date for employment, contact the human resources department or an HR consultant for specific information.