Pros and Cons of the Chronological Resume

A Chronological resume format typically consists of:

-A brief opening section summarizing key skills.

-A work history that describes UNIQUE RESPONSIBILITIES and CONCRETE SUCCESSES for the jobs you’ve held, typically listed from most recent to least.

-A few brief closing sections listing things like, “Education”, “Professional Memberships” and other credits RELEVANT to the type of position you’re seeking.

Should you use this format for your resume? Read on for the Pros and Cons:


-CLARITY. Keep in mind that most hiring agents spend SECONDS scanning a candidate’s resume. Within that time they need to see IN-DEMAND SKILLS and, most importantly, QUANTIFIABLE RESULTS. A Chronological structure makes this easy via a brief summary up top, followed by a work history that SEPARATES duties from successes. This structure engages visually, then follows it up with just the right amount of detail to garner interviews.

-MANAGEABILITY. Many job seekers opt for other resume formats because they believe it’ll help obscure career gaps and excessive “job hopping”. Nothing could be further from the truth. Recruiters/hiring managers are trained to spot these issues on a candidate’s resume, and when they do, your attempts at hiding will only cast your candidacy in a negative light. The Chronological format allows you to be upfront about these issues, and present them naturally within the context of your entire work history, thereby minimizing its impact.

-ADAPTABILITY. Let’s face it: most job seekers don’t have the time to write up new drafts of their resume every time they wish to apply to a new position. This is where a Chronological format shines. By utilizing this structure, you can essentially keep your work history and closing sections AS IS, while only revising the opening section. This saves time and maximizes the number of positions you can submit to.

-ACCEPTANCE. The Chronological format is THE STANDARD amongst hiring agents in the current marketplace. You can be assured that using it will mean your resume gets serious consideration when submitting.


-TOO MUCH DETAIL. The flexible structure of the Chronological format often leads to job seekers trying to include every single aspect of every position they’ve worked, along with non-pertinent interests and affiliations. It is CRITICAL to edit, and edit well.

-EXCESSIVE VISUAL TWEAKING. Don’t try to “help along” your resume by adding extraneous sections and flashy graphics. Maintaining the simple structure as outlined above ensures readability.


The Chronological format is THE BEST choice for job seekers, and can, if used effectively, SIGNIFICANTLY lessen the duration of your job search. If you need help, seek out the help of a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW).

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