What is a Chronological Resume?

Mar. 21, 2017 How to get Hired


A chronological resume is the most popular, widely-used resume out there. In fact, it’s likely your current resume is chronological, especially if you’ve worked with Parker before. Chronological resumes are a sequential list (from most recent to oldest) of all your current/past roles. Educational information and certifications are typically housed in their own section(s), but are sorted the same way – most recent goes first.

Why is a Chronological Resume Popular?

Recruiters and hiring managers tend to prefer these resumes because of their ease and flow. Chronological resumes make it clear to see what skills you used, where you used them, and when you used them. It makes your skills more tangible and paints a picture of your on-the-job capabilities.

Why Avoid Skill-Based Resumes?

A skill-based resume, also known as a functional resume, focuses on specific skills and aspects of your experience. It doesn’t tout work history, just skill experience. Over the years, these resumes were slowly phased out by most job seekers, as they favor chronological formats.

Our Recruiting Manager, Kelli Whitecar, explains, “A skill-based resume tends to ‘date’ you. We often see them from candidates who are more mature in their careers and they use skills-based resumes to capture all the skills they have developed over the years. I typically ask candidates to switch to chronological resume, so they can significantly lower the risk of appearing over-qualified for a position.”

Does My Resume Need an Objective?

Sometimes on chronological resumes, you will find an objective on the top. Objectives originally displayed your motive for the job you apply for. Over the last several years, we’ve seen a decline in objectives. This may partly be because they were becoming used as a place to just cram buzzwords instead of discussing why you are the right candidate for the job.

The Muse says the only time to use an objective on your resume is when you’re making a huge career change. If you’re not making a career shift, scrap it. Save yourself the extra couple of lines.