Reverse-Chronological Resume Format

The Chronological Resume Format (or Reverse-Chronological Resume Format, to be more exact) is the most widely used format out there—and for good reason. Its straightforward approach markets your strengths in a clear and convincing fashion. And it gets past the gatekeepers—the scanning software—easier.

No surprises in your work history? Then this format may be right for you.

What is a Reverse-Chronological Resume Format?

The most common type of resume format is the Reverse-Chronological resume. After contact details and your opening statements, list your most recent job first, then list your previous job second, and so on and so forth right up to your oldest job, which is last. In a nutshell, this format involves listing all your jobs in chronological order but ordered from most recent to oldest. 

When Should You Use This Format?

The Reverse-Chronological Resume format is preferred by applicants and recruiters. This format is suitable for job-seekers at all levels—all the way from entry-level through to executive levels. However, before you use it for yourself, check whether this format will work for you. This resume type will be suitable for you if:

  1. You do not have sizeable gaps in your career history.
  2. You have made notable upward progress in your career and would like to showcase it.
  3. The job you are applying for is very similar to the earlier job experiences that you are showcasing.
  4. You have remained in your previous positions for lengthy periods of time, which would highlight your loyalty and reliability.

When Should You NOT Use This Format?

Although the Reverse-Chronological Resume format is very popular, it may not be suitable for some people or in certain situations. Avoid this format if:

  1. You have many or sizeable gaps in your career history.
  2. You have hopped around many jobs, working in each position for brief periods of time.
  3. You are applying for a job in an industry that has no similarity to your current one.

What Should You Include in This Format?

Just like any other format, this format has several sections. Some of them are:

  1. Name, address and contact details
  2. Professional summary or brand statement
  3. Skills and highlights
  4. Professional experience
  5. Qualifications summary
  6. References

The reverse-chronology order applies to the Professional Experience section, where you list your most recent job first and your oldest job last. You must provide the following details for each job:

  1. Job title
  2. Organisation name
  3. Dates
  4. Location (if relevant)

Click here for a Chronological Resume sample

In summary, this format is perfect for marketing your career growth, long service, and the reputable organisations that you’ve worked for, and to pitch yourself based on the relevance of your skills and experience to the advertised position. 

If you are out looking for a job, it is very important to know what to sell and how to sell it. On average, a recruiter spends about 8 seconds looking at a resume. And in the current digital age resumes are electronically filtered long before an actual human ever looks at your resume. It's vital to be equipped with the right resume to get your foot in the door.

Return to the homepage for more information or click the link to learn more about how to write a resume