Documenting events in a chronological order means recording them in the order of their occurrence.

Reverse chronology, on the other hand, narrates a story with the recent plot first and flows in the reverse order of occurrence.

A reverse chronological resume format holds a lot of significance as it is often adjudged to be the standard norm for all industries.

According to Silvia Rosenthal & Janet Hale in their book 'A Guide to Documenting Learning', bloggers are often advised to put recent dates to otherwise old articles.

This is done to give the readers the feeling that the post is recently written which generates enough interest in the reader's mind.

You can find this universally across multiple domains and industries. Newspapers and media platforms thrive on giving you the most recent updates and the same is followed in the blogging industry.Google posts recently-updated websites and articles first.

The same logic applies to a resume.

Recruiters are more interested in seeing your latest achievements & credentials, instead of mapping your professional journey.

They are specifically looking for what you are doing right now; the question of what you did 5 years ago comes later.

In our Guide on Reverse Chronological resumes, we'll majorly talk about the following:

Formats of a Resume

There are globally 3 formats used for a resume:-

Reverse Chronological Resume Format

There is a certain degree of awesomeness involved with this format.

This format specifically highlights your professional work experience by putting this section in the middle.

This format as it says is highly used format for all the working professionals.

Let us see a reverse chronological resume example:

reverse_chronological_resume_format-1-1

You will see that the work experience section shows a chronological order example of placing present job first and the previous job after that.

Chronological resume puts maximum emphasis on highlighting the points in the work experience, Achievements and Certifications sections in a reverse chronology.

Dates are mentioned with confidence knowing that it would showcase solid career path without many gaps in the same.

Functional Resume Format

Name here itself tells us that this resume is more based on functions, i.e. skills and abilities of a candidate.

Functional format is all about highlighting your particular skills that match the skill set required by the recruiter.

What we mean to say is that there might be a candidate with a very clear-cut career graph and solid career graph as compared to you.

But if your skill set and abilities are more relevant than this candidate then you can compete with this candidate on an equal footing.

In fact, you might just increase your chance of selection.

Think like this.

You have not been working from last 6 months but you have a good retail sales ability and particular skills which are relevant to a particular retail job vacancy.

And the other candidate though is working in retail sales presently and that also in a better brand but has not worked for this aspect of the profile.

Then who would be the better choice for the recruiter looking to hire for this profile?

Of course, the recruiter wants someone who can perform once he joins. And a showcase of those skills by you would guarantee the same.

So, when is a functional resume advantageous?

The answer is when you have many career gaps and not a concrete continuous work history.

Functional resume format still shows the work experience section but does not mention the dates.

So the absence of dates makes it safe for the candidate to avoid highlighting the gaps.

A drawback of a functional resume format is that since it is not widely used, it definitely puts the recruiter off looking at an unusual flow of information.

In many cases, the recruiter might even feel that there is something wrong with the career path of the candidate.

For this reason, we move to a next and more safer choice.

Combination Resume Format

As the name suggests, this format is an amalgamation of chronological resume format and functional resume format.

This shall be used when you want to highlight specific skill set and would also like to show work experiences stating dates of the same.

For more details, please visit our Guide on Resume Format

Reverse Chronological Resume - Why Should You Use It?

ATS Compliant

ATS is an automatic tracking system which is a machine recruiter specifically assigned to shortlist resumes before they actually reach human hands.

Now the fact is, it is not only the factual content which gets tracked on ATS.

It is also the format and dates and many other things.

ATS is specifically designed to shortlist a chronological resume.

So get ready to receive many interviews calls with this template.

Easy to Draft

A chronological resume template is easy to draft as you are just talking about the tasks performed in each job with dates mentioned.

Also, since there are plenty of examples of a chronological resume template available on the net, it would never be difficult for you to really authenticate the final resume.

Universally Accepted

The best bet about a chronological resume template is that it is a globally accepted format.

You would never have to keep changing the format while applying for different countries.

Once you have made your chronological resume, you are done till you grab a great job.

Recruiter Friendly

Needless to say, a chronological resume template is favourite for recruiters for the ease of information flow.

Such smooth flow of information proves easy to process during resume shortlisting and during the interview.

Career Advantage

A chronological resume template shows a clear trajectory of your professional journey which showcases you as a genuine and sincere candidate with no gaps.

This gives you an added advantage over the candidate who has many gaps in the work history.

Reverse Chronological Resume - Who should use it?

Chronological resume as we saw has many advantages but that does not mean that it is suitable for all.

Particularly the candidates who do not have a fixed career path and have taken many breaks in their career journey should avoid using it.

Chronological resume format is good for the candidates who have a concrete and continuous career path.

Chronological resume format is not good for candidates who are unemployed as of now.

It is because the first thing which comes to the recruiter's mind is that the candidate is sitting at home and is out of touch with work.

Then again, you might just get lucky if the recruiter is in hurry of hiring and an unemployed candidate could join on immediate basis. But this happens rarely.

Creating a Reverse Chronological Resume

Personal Information in a Reverse Chronological Resume

This section holds the top position in the resume.

Needless to say, it should not consume too much space in the resume if the resume is content heavy.

Refer to the image below:

personalinfo

Job Title and Professional Summary in a Reverse Chronological Resume

Rather than stating your career objective in a paragraph, it is more professional and universally acceptable to state your targeted designation and present designation as the Job Title.

At the same time, just below Job title, you must give a synopsis of the entire resume to make it easier for the recruiter to understand your work in just a few lines.

Refer to the reverse chronological resume example showcasing an example of Operations Manager targeting the position of Operations Head:-

summary

Key Skills in a Reverse Chronological Resume

Key Skills summarize the skills gained by a professional in small phrases presented in bullets.

This makes it very easy for the recruiter to scan them through.

The best thing about key skills section is that it is the best tool to clear ATS for necessary keywords.

Refer to the reverse chronological resume example:-

keyskills

Professional Work Experience in a Reverse Chronological Resume

This section plays the most important role as chronology is first defined in this section.

Here, you have to put your current or recent work experience first, followed by previous work experiences placing the last experience in the end.

As a general rule, keep all the information as one-liner to save space and give ample white spacing.

To make it easy for the recruiter to understand your work, bucketing and bolding of the work experience would come handy.

Refer to the reverse chronological resume example:-

chronologicalresumeworkexperience

Education in a Reverse Chronological Resume

This section comes immediately after the Professional Experience.

Education in a reverse chronological resume places the most recent degree/course first and followed by previous courses.

Refer to the reverse chronological resume example:-

Chronologicalresumeeducation

Training & Certifications in a Reverse Chronological Resume Template

Certifications form an important part of your career journey as they increase your skills, knowledge and bargaining power.

Literally speaking, a resume looks incomplete without a list of certifications due to the high increase in competition for each job.

An operations manager resume is incomplete without a six-sigma certification, a digital marketing expert's resume is incomplete without a social media marketing certificate, and so on.

How to add certifications in a resume, please visit our Guide on Certifications in a Resume

Honestly, recruiters don't care what certification you pursued 10 years ago.

We tend to forget what we learnt a few years ago.

Heck, we tend to misplace the certificates too.

Also, too old certifications tend to become invalid with changing times.

Don't eliminate them from the resume but simple placement in the reverse chronological order will take you to your dream interview!

Refer to the reverse chronological resume example:-

Refer to the reverse chronological resume example:-

Incorrect placement of Certifications

Certificationsinchronlogicalresume

Correct placement of Certifications

Certificationschronologicalresume

Awards & Recognitions in a Reverse Chronological Resume Template

awardschronologicalresume

As seen in the image above, recent awards and accomplishments are stated first followed by the later ones.

Reverse Chronological Resume Samples - By Profile

Reverse Chronological order example for Public Relations Associate

workex4chronologicalresume

Reverse Chronological order example for HR Manager

workex3chronologicalresume

Reverse Chronological order example for Operations Manager

chronologicalresumeworkex1

Reverse Chronological order example for Accounting Manager

workex2chronologicalresume

Reverse Chronological order example for Finance Associate

Finance_Associate

Reverse Chronological order example for Accounting Associate

FRANK_COSTANZA_Accounting_Associate-1
FRANK_COSTANZA_Accounting_Associate-2

Reverse Chronological order example for Marketing Head

GEORGE_COSTANZA_Marketing_Head-1
GEORGE_COSTANZA_Marketing_Head-2

Reverse Chronological order example for HR Associate

hr_associate_final-1
hr_associate_final-2

Reverse Chronological order example for Operations Head

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operations_final-2

Key Takeaways

Key-Takeaways

For any comments and queries, please comment below. We would be more than happy to help.