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 maybe right for you.

What is a Reverse-Chronological Resume Format?

The most common type of resume format is the Reverse-Chronological resume. To put it simply, after contact details and your opening statements, your most recent job is listed first, while your previous job is listed second, and so on and so forth right up to your oldest job, which is listed 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?

As a matter of fact, the Reverse-Chronological Resume format is preferred by the majority of job applicants as well as recruiters. This format is suitable for job seekers at all levels— Entry, Mid and Senior/ Executive/ Specialist levels. However, before you use it for yourself, you may want to check whether this format will really work for you. This resume type will be suitable for you if:

  1. You do not have large 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 stayed in your previous positions for long periods of time, which could highlight your loyalty and perseverance

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. Do not use this format if:

  1. You have many or large gaps in your career history
  2. You have hopped around many jobs, working in each position for only short lengths 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 a number of 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. Referees

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 sample of a Chronological Resume Template

In summary, this type of format is perfect for marketing your career growth, long service, and the reputable organisations that you’ve worked for, as well as 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 age of digital disruption, resumes are often electronically filtered long before a real human being ever looks it over on your resume. It’s vital to be equipped with the right resume to get your foot in the door.

Please feel free to return to the Format Resume page or visit the homepage to learn more about how to write a resume.