Chronological Resume Example & Writing Guide

The chronological resume format is the most popular resume format worldwide. Learn how to write it with our comprehensive guide!
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You can use several resume formats to write your resume, but the chronological resume format is by far the most popular one. 

It’s not surprising, given that it’s easy to make and skim. And this is just one of the reasons why it’s a favorite among job seekers and recruiters alike!

This guide includes everything you need to know to write a job-landing chronological resume.

Let’s jump right in!

Key Takeaways

  • A chronological resume highlights your work experience by listing it in reverse-chronological order. 

  • Besides being the most popular resume format, a chronological resume is also ATS-friendly and keeps your resume well-organized.

  • You should use a chronological resume in most cases, except if you’re looking to conceal employment gaps or switching careers without having relevant work experience.

  • To write a chronological resume, you should list your contact information, write a compelling resume objective or resume summary, and feature your work experience.

  • A chronological resume also needs to list your past education and showcase your skills.

What is a Chronological Resume? 

reverse-chronological resume example

A chronological resume, otherwise known as a reverse-chronological resume, is a resume format that brings your work experience to the forefront. 

Using this resume format means listing your work experience at the top of your resume in reverse-chronological order, starting with your most recent position and professional achievements.

This gives the chronological resume format a great advantage over other resume formats. It naturally draws the recruiter’s attention to the most important part of your resume—the work experience section. Not only that—it also puts the most recent (and likely the most relevant) jobs you’ve held into the spotlight.

Besides that, the chronological resume has more benefits over other resume formats. It’s:

Benefits of Chronological Resume

  • ATS-friendly. The chronological resume format is the most compatible with ATS, which means that the software can easily scan your resume without rejecting it because of formatting issues.

  • Popular. Out of all resume types, the chronological resume is the most popular worldwide, so recruiters are highly familiar with it. On top of that, recruiters generally favor this resume format over others!

  • Well-structured. Chronological resumes are well-organized, as they list your work experience and education details in reverse-chronological order. Because of this, recruiters can easily skim your resume and instantly see your career development.

When is a Chronological Resume Format the Right Choice?

Essentially, there are three most common resume formats:

3 Common Resume Formats

But how do you know which one is right for you?

In short, the chronological resume format is the right choice in most situations. That said, it works especially well if you have many years of experience in the same industry.

As we mentioned before, this resume format has many advantages over other resume formats, with ATS compatibility being perhaps the most important one. 

ATS rejects around 75% of job applications simply for unsuitable formatting. As such, you can automatically increase your chances of passing the ATS scan just by choosing the chronological resume format over others. 

That said, there are rare cases in which this resume format might not be the right choice for you, such as when:

When Not To Use a Chronological Resume

  • You have employment gaps. By listing your work experience in reverse-chronological order, the chronological resume can accentuate the gaps in your employment. If you’re looking to downplay them, you might be better off using a functional or combination resume format. 

  • You’re going through a career change. If you’re making a career change and don’t have relevant experience in the field you’re transitioning to, you might want to choose another resume format (e.g., combination) to play up your transferable skills.

It’s also important to note that you don’t need to have tons of work experience to write a chronological resume. While some recent graduates go for a functional resume, you can, in fact, write an effective chronological resume even if you have zero work experience!

6-Step Guide to Writing a Chronological Resume in 2023 

Now that you know more about what a chronological resume is, let’s go step-by-step over the process of writing one!

#1. List Your Contact Information

The first step of writing any resume, including a chronological one, is to add your contact information. It’s easy—just make sure you list it correctly because otherwise, the hiring manager might not be able to get in touch with you.

So, here’s what you need to mention:

Mandatory Information

  • Your full name

  • Your job title (optional)

  • Your phone number

  • Your email address

  • Your location (city and state/country)

You can also include other relevant information, such as your LinkedIn URL, social media handles, portfolio, personal website, or blog. Just make sure they’re all up-to-date and relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Your contact information section should look something like this:

Correct Example

Olivia Burton Flight Attendant 012-345-6789 Boston, Massachusetts

#2. Write a Compelling Resume Objective or Resume Summary

The next step in writing a chronological resume is to include a brief but impactful resume statement to catch the recruiter’s attention.

Here, you have two options:

Resume Objective vs. Resume Summary

  • Resume objective. A resume objective introduces you and your career goals in 2-3 sentences. You might want to choose it if you don’t have relevant work experience (e.g., you’ve recently graduated or you’re switching careers).

  • Resume summary. As the name suggests, a resume summary provides a short overview of your professional background, including your skills, top achievements, etc. It’s a great option if you have enough work experience to write one.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s start with a resume objective. To write a compelling resume objective statement, follow these 3 simple steps:


And here’s an example of an effective resume objective:

Correct Example

Attentive Computer Science undergraduate student looking to join Company X as a part-time Associate UX Designer. Experienced with front-end coding, including HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Seeking to advance the skills and knowledge gained in college and contribute to Company X’s success by improving mobile app accessibility.

As for the resume summary statement, here’s what you want to do:

What to Do

  1. Start with your professional title and years of experience.

  2. Mention your most relevant skills.

  3. Include a professional achievement or two.

Here’s what a powerful resume summary looks like on a chronological resume:

Correct Example

Energetic and patient Math Tutor with a Master’s degree in Applied Mathematics and 7+ years of experience preparing students for SAT and CLEP mathematics exams. Experienced in working with students with learning disabilities, including dyscalculia. Invented a teaching technique that helped 93% of students pass exams, of which 27% passed with higher than the class average grades.

#3. Feature Your Work Experience in a Reverse-Chronological Order  

Done crafting a resume statement that’ll surely entice the recruiter to read your entire resume? Great, then it’s time to focus on the star of the show—the work experience section!

To make sure your chronological resume is well-structured, you want to list your work experience details in reverse-chronological order. Here’s what each entry should include:

Mandatory Sections

  • Job title. Make sure it accurately describes your role and avoid ambiguous buzzwords (e.g., ninja, wizard, superman, guru, etc.)

  • Company name and location. If the company you worked for isn’t a household name, you can also briefly describe it.

  • Employment period. To ensure that your chronological resume is easy to follow, use the mm/yyyy format in each entry.

  • Responsibilities and achievements. For more recent jobs, use more bullet points (up to 6) than for older positions (2-3 bullet points work just fine).

By now, you should have a good work experience section, but this might not be enough to stand out from other candidates with similar work experience. So, here’s what you want to do to perfect and make the most of this section:

What to Do

  • Highlight your achievements. While other candidates might’ve had similar jobs, they probably haven’t accomplished the same results as you. So, whenever possible, highlight your professional achievements and use numbers to provide more context.

  • Use action verbs. Besides helping you stand out, action verbs (e.g., managed, trained, delivered) also help you save space and ensure that your resume fits on one page. 

  • Tailor your work experience section for the job. In short, what works for a line cook won’t work for a receptionist. Simply remove irrelevant work experience and add keywords from the job listing to convince the recruiter that you’re the right candidate for the position.

Here’s an example of a top-notch work experience section:

Work Experience Section Example

Work Experience Travel Agent Company X Miami, Florida 04/2016 - 08/2022

  • Increased travel sales by 37% by upselling international attraction packages and improving the travel agency’s social media presence.

  • Negotiated a contract with a vendor by 25%, which saved $250,000+ annually.

  • Provided high-quality customer service for clients, prepared customized travel packages, booked flights, hotels, cruises, airport transfer services, and car rentals.

  • Assisted clients with international driver’s licenses, tourist visas, travel insurance, and other travel-related documentation.

  • Administered the agency’s social media profiles, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, created weekly posts, organized contests, and replied to messages.

#4. List Your Past Education 

Besides your work experience, you also want to include your education details on your chronological resume. Naturally, to maintain consistency, you should list your education in reverse-chronological order, starting with your latest degree.

As a rule of thumb, your education section in a chronological resume should be short and sweet. For this reason, there’s no need to include your high school education if you have a college diploma.

Here’s what each entry in your education section needs to include:

Mandatory Sections

  • Degree, for example, MA in Mechanical Engineering

  • Academic institution, or, in other words, your university or college

  • Attendance period, which should also be listed using the mm/yyyy format to keep your chronological resume well-organized

If relevant, you can provide additional information such as:

  • GPA (only if it’s 3.5+)

  • Minor

  • Relevant courses

  • Academic achievements

  • Honors

Here’s a good example of an education section on a chronological resume:

Education Section Example

MA in Molecular Biology, Cell Biology & Biochemistry Boston University 09/2019 - 05/2021 BA in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Boston University 08/2015 - 05/2019

#5. Showcase Your Relevant Skills 

After writing an impactful work experience section, you should list your skills in your chronological resume.

Here’s how to do it right:

How to List your Relevant Skills

  • Stick to relevant skills. Instead of listing all of your skills, only mention the ones that are relevant to the position you’re applying for. The best way to do this is by comparing your skills to those mentioned in the job listing. If you have any skills that match what the company is looking for, make sure to write them down. 

  • Separate your soft skills from your hard skills. Every job requires a set of soft skills and hard skills, which is why you want to include both types. And, to ensure that your chronological resume is well-ordered and easy to follow, list them separately. 

  • List proficiency levels for hard skills. Let’s face it—there’s a big difference between a beginner and an expert at Python programming. To help recruiters understand how good you are at each hard skill, mention proficiency levels (beginner, intermediate, etc.)

And here’s an example of what the skills section on a chronological resume should look like:

Relevant Skills Section Example

Soft Skills Leadership Prioritization Innovation Attention to detail Teamwork Hard Skills MATLAB—Advanced Troubleshooting—Advanced Prototyping—Intermediate PHP—Intermediate Machine learning—Beginner

#6. Enrich Your Resume with Additional Sections 

Filled in all the above-mentioned sections and still have some space left on your chronological resume? Perfect—use it to add some optional sections and make your resume stand out!

Here are some additional sections you should consider including on your chronological resume:

Additional Sections

  • Publications. If you’ve written any publications that are relevant to the job you’re applying for, don’t let them go to waste—list them on your resume!

  • Awards. Have you received an industry, community, company, or any other award? If it can enhance your job application, make sure to note it down.

  • Languages. No matter the job you’re applying for, knowing more languages than your native can never hurt your application. Just make sure to be honest about your proficiency level to avoid unpleasant surprises.

  • Associations and organizations. If you’re a member of a field-related professional organization, include it on your resume to show your passion and dedication to the industry.

  • Hobbies and interests. Although your hobbies and interests don’t carry as much weight as relevant publications and awards, they can make your resume more personal. 

Additional sections on your chronological resume should look something like this:

Additional Sections Example

Professional Affiliations

  • Association for Women in Computing (2020 - Present) Independent Member


English—Native or Bilingual Proficiency Romanian—Native or Bilingual Proficiency

Hobbies and Interests

  • Website design

  • 3D modeling

  • Game development

Free Chronological Resume Template 

Name and Surname

Phone number: 000-000-0000 | Email: | Location: City, State

[Adjective] [your job title] with [years of experience, if applicable] in [your area of expertise, if applicable] looking for a [position] job at [company name]. Eager to apply [relevant skills] gained through [work/volunteer/other experience] to help [company name] [mention what you can do for the company].

Work Experience

Most Recent/Current Job Title

Company      City, State

[Start date] — [End date]

  • For recent jobs, use 5-6 bullet points to list your top achievements and responsibilities

  • Use action verbs to make your responsibilities and achievements stand out

  • Add numbers to quantify your achievements

Previous Job Title Company      City, State

[Start date] — [End date]

  • For recent jobs, use 5-6 bullet points to list your top achievements and responsibilities

  • Use action verbs to make your responsibilities and achievements stand out

  • Add numbers to quantify your achievements

Oldest Job Title

Company      City, State

[Start date] — [End date]

  • For older jobs, use 2-3 bullet points to list your top achievements and responsibilities

  • Use action verbs to make your responsibilities and achievements stand out

  • Add numbers to quantify your achievements


[Degree] in [Major]

[University/college name]

[Start date] - [Graduation date]


Soft Skills

  • Skill #1

  • Skill #2

  • Skill #3

  • Skill #4

  • Skill #5

Hard Skills

  • Skill #1

  • Skill #2

  • Skill #3

  • Skill #4

  • Skill #5

Additional Sections

  • Add any relevant additional sections (languages, licenses, publications, hobbies, etc.)

Closing Thoughts 

And that’s all you need to know to write a job-winning chronological resume!

The main takeaway of this guide is that the chronological resume format is the most suitable option for 99% of candidates. To make an effective resume, all you need to do is list relevant details of your professional background in reverse-chronological order.

Kervin Peterson
Kervin Peterson
Career Coach
Whether you need help preparing for an interview, optimizing your LinkedIn profile, or creating a resume, you can rest assured that our dear Kervin Peterson can help! Kervin is a man who can turn obstacles into experience with his eyes closed, always striving to bring the most to the table. Other than being a career coach, he’s a new dad and loves nothing more than hitting the gym and spending time with his family!

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