Reverse Chronological Resume Template Download

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Here’s the thing—

Chronological resumes might be the answer to all your resume troubles. Here's our 2021 Guide on Reverse Chronological Resumes to one-up your job hunt game! Download Traditional / Reverse Chronological Resume Format for Free Page 2. (4.4 based on 965 votes) This is an example of a Traditional Reverse Chronological Resume format.

Even though there exist several different resume formats, the chronological resume is arguably the best choice most of the time.

Want to know why?

This article will show you:

  • A good definition of a chronological resume.
  • Who the reverse-chronological resume format is best for.
  • A chronological resume template and sample resumes.
  • Expert tips on writing an effective chronological resume.
  • Examples of chronological resumes for over 30 professions.

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Sample resume made with our builder—See more templates and create your resume here.

One of our users, Nikos, had this to say:

[I used] a nice template I found on Zety. My resume is now one page long, not three. With the same stuff.

If you just want to jump right to the section you’re most interested in, use the table of contents:

A chronological resume lists your jobs starting with the current or most recent one at the top, followed by previous ones below. This type of resume focuses on your work history and professional achievements.

Chronological resume is the best choice for candidates with a consistent work history.

Plus—

The chronological resume format is arguably the recruiters' favorite.

Why?

A recent study from Jobvite reveals that 92% of recruiters regard previous job experience as the number one hiring factor.

When you come to think of it—

Experience and job titles are exactly what a chronological resume brings to the reader's attention.

So, if you choose to format your resume in chronological order, you can rest assured the recruiter will find what they're looking for.

But remember:

Even the best-written resume will get you nowhere unless it reaches a human reader.

Reverse chronological resume template download word document

You need to realize that over 98% of Fortune 500 companies use Applicant Tracking Systems, or ATSs, in their recruitment processes.

The ATS’s task is to initially scan and score the deluge of resumes a typical corporate opening attracts. This way, recruiters can focus on reading the resumes that meet the most important criteria defined in the job offer.

Chronological resumes are easiest to scan for the ATS. That’s what gives this format an additional edge in today’s hiring.

Want to make 100% sure your resume passes the ATS scan? Read: ATS Resume: Template & 10+ Tips on How to Pass the Resume Test

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Who Is the Chronological Resume Good For?

The reverse-chronological resume is most advantageous when:

  • You have several years of professional experience.
  • Your career progression has been steady, and preferably in one industry.
  • You don’t have gaps in employment on a resume.

That said—

You don’t have to have many years of experience to use the chronological resume format.

How’s that possible?

A chronological resume order is very versatile.

If you’re making a recent college grad resume, for example, you only need to rearrange the order of your resume sections, and put the education resume section first. Just make sure the entries in each section follow the reverse-chronological order.

And you’re pretty much done.

Now—

If you think none of the advantages of the chronological resume format would work in your case, consider opting for one of the other common resume structures:

  • Functional resume works fine if you want to focus on your skills and hide gaps in employment
  • Combination resume is good if you wish to draw the recruiter’s attention to both your skills and experience

Here’s a brief comparison of a functional vs chronological vs combination resume’s pros and cons:

Chronological Resume

Functional Resume

Combination Resume

Pros

  • Highlights experience and achievements
  • Easy to scan
  • Highlights your skills
  • Good for creatives with a varied portfolio
  • Highlights your skills and experience
  • Masks gaps in employment.

Cons

  • Requires consistent formatting
  • Exposes gaps in employment
  • Difficult to scan
  • Conceals your experience
  • Only for highly-specialized professionals
  • Hard to format and organize

Not sure if the chronological resume is the best format for your needs? Head straight to our detailed guide: Resume Format: Samples and Templates for all Types of Resumes (10+)

Here’s what sections a typical chronological resume template consists of:

  • Name and Job Title
  • Contact Information
  • Resume Summary or Objective
  • Professional Experience
  • Education
  • Skills
  • Additional Sections (e.g. Certifications, Interests)

Let’s take a closer look at how you can make the most of each of these sections on your reverse-chronological resume:

Name and Job Title

Even though this section of a chronological resume seems like a no-brainer, it may get tricky when you start thinking about what job title you should put.

Your current one? Or the title of the position you’re applying for?

Obviously, the dilemma is non-existent when both of them are the same.

Now—

If you’re pursuing a consistent career path (and this is what a chronological resume is best for) including your current job title makes perfect sense.

But what if you’re applying for a job of a marketer and only have teaching experience?

Well, if you’re making a career change resume consider using a combination resume format.

You can also modify the job title section slightly, and write something along the lines of seeking the position of [job title].

Or—

Don’t add any job title at all not to confuse the recruiter about your experience.

Looking for more information on what job title to put on a resume? Read our guide: 450 Job Titles that Work on a Resume & Job Hunt [Current & Desired!]

Contact Information

The rule of thumb is for your contact information on a resume to be current.

Most of the time, listing your mobile phone number, LinkedIn profile on resume, and, obviously, email address will do.

Just make sure your email looks professional.

If you need more information on how to make the most of the top section of your chronological resume head straight to our article: Professional Resume Header Examples & Why They Work [20+ Tips]

Resume Summary or Resume Objective

The first section of your chronological resume that gives the recruiter a glimpse into what you can do is called a resume profile.

The resume profile may take the form of a resume summary or resume objective.

The summary focuses on your previous relevant experience, and so it’s suitable for candidates who’ve been in the workforce for at least 2 years.

In contrast, the objective highlights your skills, and works great on any entry-level resume.

Reverse chronological resume format sample

Don’t have a clue how to go about writing your resume profile? Read our guides: Resume Summary Examples (30+ Professional Summary Statements)and 50+ Resume Objective Examples: Career Objectives for All Jobs (+Tips)

Professional Experience

Beyond a shadow of a doubt—

This is the heart and mind of a chronological resume.

Here’s how to make the most ofyour work experience on any resume:

  • Put your latest or current position up top. Follow it up with the previous ones. This is how the reverse-chronological resume order works.
  • List the dates worked, job title, and the name of the company for each position you held. You can also add the location of the company.
  • See to it that your recent work history is scannable. Use bullet points, not paragraphs. Up to 6 bullets per position will do.
  • Focus on presenting achievements on your resume, rather than responsibilities.
  • Make a special subsection for your key achievements to give them more prominence.
  • Start all bullet points with strong resume action words such as delivered, managed, boosted, achieved, etc.
  • Present the experience that’s relevant to the position you’re seeking. Omit everything else.

Need more advice on tailoring your resume? Head straight to our guide: 6 Tips on How to Tailor Your Resume to a Job Description (Examples)

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building a professional resume template here for free.

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.

Education

Depending on how much (or little) experience you have, you may want to put your education above the experience section on your chronological resume.

Either way—

The education section should clearly communicate your value to the employer.

If you have more than two years of professional experience, list only:

  • University name
  • Graduation year
  • Major

If you’re fresh out of school, you may consider adding information on:

You can find more information in our dedicated guide: How to Put Your Education on a Resume [Tips & Examples]

Skills

Template

The skills section is an important element of your chronological resume template.

Obviously, there’s no need for you to organize your skills in the chronological order. You can just as well list them alphabetically.

What’s important, though, is to make sure the list of skills on your resume consists of the relevant ones.

Here’s how to get the skills section on your resume right:

  • Make a master list of all the skills that you have. Include your soft skills, hard skills, as well as technical skills.
  • Take a good look at the job offer to see what skills the employer is looking for specifically. Note down these skills.
  • Go back to your master list, and find the skills you identified in the job offer.
  • These skills are exactly the ones you need to highlight on your resume.
  • Select up to 10 of these skills and list them in the key skills section on your resume.
  • It’s a good idea to pepper your entire resume with your key skills. Include some in your resume profile and work history as well.

Need more advice on how to put your skills on a resume? Here’s a guide you’ll want to read: 99 Key Skills for a Resume (Best List of Examples for All Types of Jobs)

Additional Sections

Putting additional sections on your chronological resume can always earn you extra points.

Just remember—

Relevance is the name of the game.

Only add the sections that may boost your chances. Here’s a couple of ideas:

Not really sure what sections to include on your resume? Read our guide What to Put on a Resume (20+ Good Things You Should Include to Win)

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Reverse Chronological Resume Template Download

Chronological Resume Samples and Why They Work

Now, let’s have a look at two chronological resume samples: one for a junior position, the other for a more senior role, and see what makes them effective.

Plus—

At the end of this section there’s a blank chronological resume template you can fill into write your own resume.

Chronological Resume Example—New Grad

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Key Takeaways

Here’s everything you need to know about writing a chronological resume:

  • Chronological resume template is one of the most versatile resume formats out there.
  • Chronological resumes draw the recruiter’s attention to your work history.
  • That said, they’re universal enough to be used by fresh grads and candidates applying for junior roles as well.
  • To make the most of your chronological resume you must tailor it to the job offer.

Do you have any questions about writing a chronological resume? Maybe you’d like to share advice on how to get everything right? Give us a shout out in the comments below. We’re always happy to help!

1. What is a chronological resume?

A chronological resume is a resume format that lists your work history in order of when you held each position, with your most recent job listed at the top of the section (i.e. reverse-chronological order).

The chronological resume is the most commonly used resume format in 2021, and is ideal for most job seekers because it presents qualifications in a logical way and accommodates people with all levels of experience.

The only time you may want to avoid using a chronological resume is if you have gaps in your work history or frequently change jobs. In these cases, consider using a skills-based functional resume or the hybrid combination format.

Here’s what a standard chronological resume looks like:

Structure of a chronological resume

Chronological resume template & example

Ordering your sections properly is important when writing a chronological resume.

To make it easy, here’s a reverse chronological resume template you can copy and paste and fill in with your own information:

Chronological resume template

1. Resume Heading

FIRST AND LAST NAME

Email: [email protected] Phone: 908 555 555 Address: 118 Washington Ave., New York, NY 10280 Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/yourprofile

2. Resume Introduction

Passionate [industry] professional with [# of years] years of experience. Seeking to use my expertise in [relevant skills] to fill the [position name] position at [Company’s Name]. A dedicated worker aiming to help contribute to [Company’s Name]’s goals and take on more responsibility as quickly as possible.

3. Work or Relevant Experience

Most Recent Job Title
Employer Name / Location / Start Date – End Date

  • Include a bulleted list of your accomplishments and responsibilities
  • Unless this is your only job, avoid using more than five bullet points
  • Add numbers (such as percentages or dollar amounts) to these bullet points to illustrate your specific achievements

Earlier Job Title
Employer Name / Location / Start Date – End Date

  • List relevant accomplishments from an earlier job
  • Assuming you no longer hold this job, use past tense verbs to describe your achievements

4. Education

Degree Name / Major
University, Location Start Date – End Date

5. Skills and Certifications

  • List your relevant skills and certifications
  • Include a range of hard skills and soft skills
  • Specify the actual names of software or tools you can use

6. Additional Resume Section

  • Here’s where you can add any other relevant information
  • For example, this section could be for any of the following: publications, languages, volunteer experience, or even hobbies

Want to see this format in action? Here’s an example of a chronological resume that you can download and use as for reference:

Chronological resume example

2. How to order a chronological resume

Not sure how to write your resume? Here are five steps to follow when ordering your resume in the chronological format:

1. Put your contact information at the top

List the following information at the top of the page in your resume header:

  • First and last name
  • Email address
  • Phone number

Additionally, include a link to your personal website (but only if it’s professional) or your LinkedIn profile.

Also note that while adding a mailing address to your resume used to be standard practice, it’s no longer necessary because most employers will contact you via email.

2. Open with a strong resume introduction

One of the best ways to get employers to read your resume is by starting it off with a convincing resume summary.

A resume summary acts as a highlight reel for your resume. In a few sentences it provides a quick overview of your relevant qualifications, goals, and most valuable skills.

Here’s an example of a great resume summary on a chronological resume:

Administrative Assistant with 2+ years of experience preparing flawless presentations, assembling facility reports, and maintaining the utmost confidentiality. Possesses a B.A. in History and expertise in Microsoft Excel. Looking to leverage my knowledge and experience into a role as Project Manager.

3. Write your work experience in reverse chronological order

Your resume’s work experience section is the core of a chronological resume.

List each relevant job you’ve held in the order you held it, with the most recent position at the top. Under each position, provide three to five bullet points outlining your primary accomplishments and responsibilities.

Keep in mind that the goal of your experience section is not necessarily to provide a list of tasks you performed at your past jobs, but to showcase your achievements and how you excelled in each role. The best way to do that is to add measurable accomplishments, with numbers, to your bullet points.

Numbers illustrate your accomplishments and provide the employer with a better understanding of your abilities.

Another way to make this section more effective is to start each bullet point with an action verb. Action verbs help you frame your responsibilities in a clearer, more dynamic way, making it easier for the HR manager to understand exactly what you’re capable of achieving.

Free Chronological Resume Template Download

Here’s an example of an action-oriented experience section on a chronological resume. Note the use of dollar amounts, percentages, and other specific numbers that illustrate the scope of the job seeker’s accomplishments:

Reverse Chronological Resume Template Download Word

4. Include a brief education section

Unless you’re a student or a recent college graduate, your resume’s education section should be short and simple.

Just include the following information:

  • Name of your school
  • The city and state it’s located in
  • The degree or certification you received
  • When you graduated
  • Your GPA (if it’s 3.5 or higher).

Here’s what an education section looks like in practice:

However, if you’re still in school or just graduated, the education section of your resume will be a bit different. For example, educational experience should be listed before professional experience on a student resume.

5. List your relevant skills

Include a skills section on your resume and list out any hard or soft skills you didn’t have an opportunity to specify in your experience section.

Your skills section should be concise, and only include resume skills that are directly relevant to the job you want.

If you’re not sure what skills to include, first take a look at the job description for the position. Usually, employers spell out the exact qualifications they’re looking for in the “Responsibilities” section of their listing.

For reference, here’s an example of what a strong skills section looks like:

If you’re well into your career and you want a resume that equally emphasizes your skills and work experience, then writing a hybrid resume instead may be your best choice