There are three styles of resumes in use today: combination, functional and chronological. Each style has its strengths and weaknesses. The chronological resume is most effective for individuals that are looking for a job that logically follows the progression of their careers.
Because a resume is like an advertisement, job seekers want to use a format that best highlights their job skills, and accomplishments. Each format has a distinct set of advantages and disadvantages, and choosing the right resume depends on two critical factors:
Immediately below is a complete listing of each section appearing in a chronological resume. At the end of this article, there are links to a sample document that can be downloaded for free.
Like most styles, the chronological resume starts off with a banner that includes the writer's name and contact information. This includes street address, telephone number, and email address.
The next section is a table of the job seeker's educational background. Many job listings provide both the "required" and "desired" level of education. If this information is deemed important by the individuals screening each applicant, then it's better to place it upfront in the document. The applicant is either qualified or not qualified for a job.
The third section in this format contains a bulleted list of the certifications, educational honors, or professional licenses held. For example, a certified public accountant would include that accreditation in this section of the resume.
This fourth, and final, section of the chronological resume is what really defines this particular format. In the work experience section, the writer would include a reverse chronological listing of their work experience.
The list below details some of the strengths of a chronological resume:
The list below details some of the weaknesses of a chronological resume:
The chronological resume format arranges the applicant's career history into a timeline sequence that runs through what they've accomplished in the past. Shown below is an example demonstrating how that format appears on a resume:
ABC Manufacturing Corporation, Some City, Kansas 2006 - 2015
Responsible for managing the operation of a 150,000 square foot plastics manufacturing facility operating on a 24 x 7 work schedule. Maintained the quality of product, while setting annual records for production quantities at the facility.
CBA Laboratories, City Harbor, Maine 2004 - 2006
Managed plastics research laboratory responsible for replicating small scale extrusion operations. Developed several low temperature techniques that later became the primary patent under which second generation plants were constructed.
While the above information helps to explain the outline of this resume, it's easier to illustrate how this information is applied with an example: Chronological Resume Sample. This document can be used as a starting point, or template, when composing the actual resume.
If the chronological resume does not seem well-suited to a particular situation, there are two other formats to choose from. In fact, it's a good idea to become familiar with both the functional and combination resume formats before preparing or finalizing a resume.
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