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For people with some job experience under their belt, a resume done in chronological order is the best way to go. A chronological resume is by far the most common style of resume used. We’ll explain what this format is and how to use it most effectively.
A chronological resume is a format that lists all of your work experiences, education, training, and anything else you include sorted by dates. You’ll also hear it called a reverse-chronological resume because the best practice is to start with your most recent experience first and work backward.
Listing your work experience by date just makes sense. That’s why the chronological format is the most popular way to create a resume. Someone can easily and quickly look at your resume to see how long you’ve worked at each job and instantly get a sense of how long you’ve been developing your career.
Similarly, listing your job in reverse chronological order is also logical. Your most recent activities are first. Hiring managers are primarily concerned about what you’ve done in the last five to ten years. Most of them won’t pay much attention to anything beyond that. As the saying goes, “What have you done for me lately?”
The chronological resume works best for people who have had some work experience, including multiple jobs. If you have a very lengthy career, then you should focus on the roles you’ve held within the last ten years. As we mentioned, recruiters and HR people don’t give much weight to anything on your resume that’s over ten years old. Exceptions are major degrees, certifications, and licenses. For older jobs, you can summarize those on one line per job with just a title, company, name, location, and dates. It’s also okay to only list jobs that are relevant to the position or role that you’re applying for. Just make sure you don’t have big gaps between jobs.
Stick to a consistent date format throughout your resume. If you’re going to list a month and year for your job experiences, use that same format on all your work experience and any other sections that include dates. If you worked for several years at most of your jobs, then you can just list out the years you worked at each place. When you have a work history with shorter-term jobs, then include the month and year. It’s not necessary to put an exact date that includes the day.
Dates to the right. It’s a good idea to put the dates on your professional experience out to the right side on the first line for each job. Notice in the example that they start each experience with a title, company name, location, and finally a right-justified date (starting year to ending year). This makes your work timeline stand out.
Putting dates on your other sections is optional (like education, credentials, training, and affiliations). This is especially true for anything that is over ten years old. However, if you have certifications or licenses that expire, then you should include expiration dates on those.
Be concise. As with writing any type of resume, one of the most important things to do is be concise and succinct. You don’t need to use a lot of extra words or detailed explanations. Save that for your interview. You need to put a lot of information onto a single page or two, so make every word count.
Trusted, engaged professional with more than 15 years’ experience in human resources across diverse enterprises and industries. Readily devise strategies to drive success of programs for talent management, people operations, culture development, and risk management. Excel in collaborating with senior leadership to steer decision processes and promote continuous improvement stance. Champion of initiatives offering potential for improved employee engagement and experience. Well-credentialed with MBA; pursuing PHR designation.
Employment history example
Human Resources Business Partner at ABC Corporation, Los Angeles, CA 2019 - Present
Oversaw business-critical human resources programs, partnering with senior leaders to define objectives and align strategies with dynamic corporate needs. Steered decisions for recruitment and hiring, training and development, resource allocation, and performance management. Ensured compliance with corporate policies as well as external regulations. Supported employee relations, complaint investigations, and documentation requirements. Administered HRIS and ensured protection of employee information.
Conducted over 70 interviews while supporting key business lines, effectively shaping structure and success of company.
Designed and integrated new talent review process for up-and-coming managers, improving processes for rating and placement into leadership development programs.
Partnered with tech team to develop HR help page, enhancing ability of partners to quickly access information and guidance.
Human Resources Generalist at White Knight, Inc., Montebello, CA 2015 - 2019
Delivered focused support to human resources operations, leading day-to-day processes and special initiatives to meet business objectives. Communicated human resources policies to employees across sites and levels. Administered benefits and produced compensation analysis. Processed bi-weekly payroll for two companies, meeting requirements for multiple states. Implemented human resources data audits as required. Prepared offer and separation letters.
Headed project to modernize hiring process, making better use of digital channels to attract top candidates.
Promoted improvements in risk management through close attention to requirements for regulatory compliance.
Championed opportunities to enhance workplace culture through improved management communication and employee engagement.
Supported seamless organizational redesign to include augmenting teams and optimizing leadership hierarchies.
Human Resources Manager at Modular Office Spaces, Malibu, CA 2010 - 2015
Managed all aspects of human resources, leading full employee lifecycle management, maintaining personnel records and systems, and administering payroll and benefits. Set human resources policies and procedures to meet business requirements. Supported managers and employees on human resources matters and promoted regulatory compliance.
Innovated revamped recruitment strategy to better source and secure top-tier talent to meet business needs.
Prioritized team safety training measured to establish safety-first culture and reduce number of workers’ compensation claims.
Introduced revised company policies and generated buy-in among senior leaders and cross-functional teams to ensure compliance.
Master of Business Administration (MBA) at California State University, Los Angeles, CA
Bachelor of Arts (BA), Human Resources at California State University Polytechnic, Pomona, CA
Human Resources Leadership
Recruitment, Hiring, & Onboarding
Training, Coaching, & Engagement
Audits | Safety Programs
Process & Procedure Development
Payroll & Benefits Management
Employee Relations & Investigations
Documentation & Reporting
Garland is a writer and technology consultant that lives in far west Texas, USA. He is semi-retired from a successful 25-year career in the Information Technology industry, and now spends his time writing for various websites (mostly career development related). Garland holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance, and a master’s degree in Economics and Computer Information Systems.