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Writing a Chronological Resume

written by: AlexisW•edited by: Trent Lorcher•updated: 9/22/2009

A resume typically includes an employment history, skills, educational details, competencies and achievements. Many colleges are now asking for resumes from prospective students to get a quick glimpse of what those students have done. Here are some tips for writing a great chronological resume.

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    Is a Chronological Resume Right For You?

    A chronological resume contains information written in a certain order. The information lists accomplishments in the order they were obtained working from the most current information first. For instance, the most recent employment would be listed first followed by the one before that and so on. This applies to education details as well as qualifications.

    It is said that most prospective employers prefer this type of resume as they can, at a glance, assess qualifications and employment history. This type of resume works best for those who have experience rather than those fresh out of high school or college.

    While it is the most basic, a chronological resume is straightforward, simple and very effective when details flow correctly. However if one has large gaps between employment, it is perhaps not the most suitable. This resume gives no leeway for explaining gaps. A prospective employer may well put it aside at first glance without giving one the opportunity to explain.

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    Tips for Writing a Chronological Resume

    Although resumes can take many forms, they are generally meant to be only one to two pages long. For this reason they need to be structured in a way that grabs the attention in the shortest possible time. At their core, chronological resumes should make it easy for an employer or college admissions rep to skim through, yet gain maximum information.

    Start with your most recently held position, followed by 2-4 previous positions in reverse order. Each position should be identified with a header that illustrates the dates including month and years. Following the dates, include the companies name and all the relevant detail abouts about what you did. In order to make the resume easier to read, you could use bullet points to illustrate duties and skills. You should also include a reason for leaving each previous position.

    If your resume is presented correctly and your information is accessible, an employer or college will be able to assess at a glance whether or not you have either the experience or qualifications needed.