How to Write a Chronological Resume (Tips and Examples)

Updated August 31, 2023

When creating a resume to apply for a new job, you can choose from several formats, including a chronological resume format. This type of resume may be a good choice if you have a consistent work history and few gaps in your employment. Knowing some tips you can use to create an effective chronological resume can help you show employers your qualifications to succeed in a new role.

In this article, we discuss how to write a chronological resume with tips and examples you can use to quickly highlight your skills and experience to potential employers.

What is a chronological resume?

A chronological resume is a resume format that lists your professional experience in reverse-chronological order, beginning with your most recent position and continuing in descending order. This type of resume prioritizes your relevant professional experience and achievements. It's beneficial to use a chronological resume if you have a consistent work history because it shows employers you have recent experience that's relevant to the industry or a new position.

Image description

A woman stands holding a paper and looking at a simple resume in the background. The headline reads, "Chronological resume format"
From top to bottom, sections of the resume are labeled:
• Name and contact information
• Summary or objective
• Professional history
• Education history
• Skills and abilities

Chronological resume format

Chronological resumes typically follow a standard structure to help employers review your information quickly. You can include the following sections on a chronological resume:

  • Contact information: At the top of your chronological resume, you can create a header with your contact information, including your name, phone number, email address and location.

  • Professional summary: This brief statement summarizes your relevant experience, education, skills or other qualifications for the new role. It may also list one or two of your career achievements.

  • Experience: This section comprises the majority of your resume to describe your work experience in chronological order. It includes details about each job you've had and your duties or accomplishments in those roles.

  • Skills: A skills section on a chronological resume emphasizes the relevant abilities you have for a new position. It may include both hard skills, such as project management or coding, and soft skills, like communication and organization.

  • Education: Unless you're a recent graduate, you can place your education section at the bottom of a chronological resume. In this space, you can provide details about your highest level of education.

Related: How To Organize Sections of a Resume

How to write a chronological resume

  Here are the steps you can take to write a chronological resume:

1. List your contact information

Begin with your name and contact information. Provide your phone number, email address and location, including your city and state. You can also include optional links to a professional networking site or online portfolio in this section.

Read more: How To Write Contact Information That Gets Your Resume Noticed

2. Create a professional summary

Below your contact information, create a two- to three-sentence professional summary. This section provides a quick context for hiring managers as they review your application. In this statement, you can include a summary of your skills and experiences. You can also highlight a top career achievement to show employers your success in the industry. If you're a recent graduate, you may emphasize your educational accomplishments, such as academic honors.

Read more: How To Write an Effective Resume Summary (With Examples)

3. Describe your experience

Outline your relevant work experience, starting with your current or most recent job. Include all relevant experience you've gained over the last 10 to 15 years. When you're writing this section of your resume, consider what experiences are most relevant to the next step you want to take in your career. For example, if you worked at a fast-food restaurant during college, you can omit this job if you're applying for a role in the health care industry, even if you've worked in the position within the last 10 years.

For each job on your resume, provide your title, employment dates, employer's name and location. Write bullet points to describe the responsibilities you've had or the accomplishments you've achieved in each role. Make sure the bullet points relate to the position for which you're applying. It's helpful to reference the job description to see what keywords and phrases an employer uses. These terms can be a guide for what words to include when describing your own experiences.

Read more: How To Describe Your Work Experience on Your Resume (With Examples)

4. Include your skills

In your skills section, highlight your most relevant competencies for a new position. This section can include both hard skills and soft skills. When listing your skills, choose ones that are highly relevant to the new job. Carefully review the job posting again to identify which of your skills the employer is seeking in an ideal candidate and include them in your skills section.

Related: 10 Best Skills To Put on Your Resume (With Examples and FAQ)

5. Provide your education

Structure your education section using the same format as your experience section, listing your most recent degree or diploma first and continuing in reverse-chronological order. Provide the full name of your degree and the academic institution where you earned it. If you've earned an associate degree or higher or you're currently enrolled in a degree program, you can omit your high school diploma from your resume unless an employer specifically requests this education.

While education typically goes at the bottom of a chronological resume, you may consider moving your education ahead of your work experience if you've recently graduated with a degree that's relevant to the position. For example, nursing school graduates may include their education at the top of their resume to show employers they have the training to secure their first position in the field. If you've been in the workforce for several years, place your education section after your experience and skills.

Read more: How To List Education on a Resume (With Examples)

6. Proofread your resume

Before submitting your chronological resume, proofread it thoroughly for potential errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation. Check the formatting to ensure you've structured your resume correctly. Unless you have over 10 years of relevant work experience, keep your resume to one page in length to make it as brief, concise and readable as possible.

Related: Top Resume Formats: Tips and Examples of 3 Common Resumes

Chronological resume tips

A chronological resume is one of the top formats candidates can use to apply for jobs. This type of resume works well if you have:

  • Several years of consistent work experience in one career path

  • Experience working for several employers or clients in the same industry

  • Minimal or no gaps between jobs

You can also consider different resume formats, including a combination or functional resume if you have limited professional experience or gaps in your employment. Recent graduates and people changing positions or industries may also benefit from using a functional or combination resume format. In comparison with a chronological resume, functional and combination resumes place more emphasis on your transferable skills and abilities rather than your work experience.

Related: Chronological vs. Functional Resumes: What's the Difference?

Chronological resume example

Here's an example of a chronological   resume you can use for inspiration as you write your own:

Janet Chobot
Little Rock, Arkansas | 384-194-4719 |
Friendly and driven Dental Assistant with four years of experience working with patients in a dental office environment. Skilled in operating X-ray equipment with a thorough knowledge of dental tools to provide effective assistance to dentists and hygienists. Certified Dental Assistant with excellent communication and organization skills.
Associate of Science in dental assisting | Little Road Junior College
Associate of Science in dental assisting
Smith Family Dentistry, Dental Assistant
July 2020–Current
  • Prepare 10 to 15 patients for dental treatments daily, using communication to make them feel comfortable
  • Answer patient questions about dental procedures and treatments to ensure their understanding
  • Prep dental tools and equipment for hygienists and dentists, creating a process to streamline efficiencies by 10%
  • Operate X-ray equipment and capture images to assist with diagnoses and treatments
  • Clean and prepare treatment rooms to maintain a sterilized environment
E&H Dental, Dental Office Assistant
August 2019–July 2020
  • Scheduled appointments for patients over the phone and by email at a clinic with 450+ patients
  • Greeted patients upon arrival in a friendly demeanor, earning satisfaction scores of 99% on average
  • Managed patient billing and paperwork to ensure accuracy
  • Certified Dental Assistant, Dental Assisting National Board - 2023
  • X-rays
  • Dental hygiene
  • Infection control
  • Dental equipment
  • Patient records
  • Billing
  • Communication
  • Organization
  • Attention to detail

Chronological resume template

Review this template to help you understand how to structure a chronological resume:

[First name] [Last name], [Degree or certification if applicable]
[Phone number] | [Email address] | [City], [State]

Professional Summary

[Two to three sentences that highlight years of experience, relevant skills, education, certifications and achievements.]


(For the most recent role, list 5 experience items. For previous roles, list 3.)

[Job Title] | [Employment dates]
[Company Name] | [City], [State]

  • (Strong verb) + what you did (more detail) + reason, outcome or quantified results.

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

[Job Title] | [Employment dates]
[Company Name] | [City], [State]

  • (Strong verb) + what you did (more detail) + reason, outcome or quantified results.

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]


[Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill]


[Degree and major], [Name of school or university]


[Certification name], [Host organization] - [Year completed or expiration date]

Download Resume Template

To upload the template into Google Docs, go to File > Open > and select the correct downloaded file.

Related: How To Choose the Best Resume Template for the Job You Want

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