The focus of a chronological resume is time. Employers, when viewing a chronological resume, glance at the dates first. They are looking at how long you have worked at one place and if there are gaps in your employment history. If your work history shows that you tend to get a job and stay there for several years, the chronological resume is for you!

Benefits of Using a Chronological Resume

  • Emphasizes work history and longevity
  • Traditional and most widely accepted among employers

If you have large gaps in your work history or have had a number of jobs in a short amount of time (less than two years at each position), or are changing careers, a functional resume or a combination chronological/functional resume may be more effective.

Employer Viewpoint "I prefer the reverse chronological format because I review at least 50 to 100 resumes every day. I don't have an abundance of time, and therefore, look for those candidates whose resumes most closely reflect the experience we currently seek for our open and upcoming requisitions. We always keep all resumes on file for future positions."

Deborah Kanter, Employment Manager
EMC Corporation

Key Points to Remember When Using a Chronological Resume

  • Detail only the last three to five positions or employment covering the last ten to fifteen years.
  • Detail three or four accomplishments in each position with the most relevant ones in the top half of the resume.
  • Show promotions, increased status and increased responsibility.
  • Keep your resume to one page when possible, never more than two pages (unless writing a curriculum vitae).

An Example of a Chronlogical Resume

THOMAS B. JOHNSON
439 South Adams Street
W. Bridgewater, MA 02331
(508) 378-9999

OBJECTIVE: Manager of Credit Collections
EXPERIENCE: Data Corporation, Boston MA
CREDIT MANAGER 1985 TO 1995
  • Managed a credit and collection portfolio of food service, distributor, military and other government related accounts comprising a regional sales volume of $150,000,000 and over 2,000 accounts.
  • Contributed in reducing days sales outstanding by as much as eight days.
  • Coordinated, organized and implemented a new set of invoicing procedures with a major school system resulting in the reduction of total payment time by 45%.
  • Developed, designed and implemented vendor and bank credit inquiry letters.

Quinol Industries, Inc., Quincy, MA
CREDIT MANAGER 1982 TO 1985

  • Managed an accounts receivable portfolio of petroleum distributors and home delivery dealers throughout New England totaling over 500 accounts and an annual sales volume of $80, 000,000.
  • Brought previous collection turns from 75 days to present average of 38 days, turning sales increase to case in less than 40 days.
  • Planned, negotiated and secured a four way cross corporate guarantee from a well known high volume Massachusetts based petroleum dealer.

Emerson and Cummings, Norwood, MA
COLLECTIONS MANAGER 1971 TO 1982

  • Managed an accounts receivable portfolio of the company's Dielectic, Microwave and Flotation Divisions comprising an annual sales volume of $30,000,000 in the electronics industry.
  • Hired, trained and supervised a staff of six full time employees and handled 6,000 to 10,000 diversified accounts.
  • Reduced bad debts by as much as 15% through an improved monitoring system and quicker inter-department pursuit.