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Helpful chronological resume writing tips

A clear, concise, and well-written resume is the first impression you make on potential employers, so it can either make or break your chance to get hired. There are different formats used for this document, and a chronological resume is one of the most common choices. Basically, it lists all working experiences in their chronological order (from the latest job to the earliest ones). Use this popular format if you have a perfect experience and working history for the chosen job and ensure that you have no major gaps in your employment. It’s all about using a straightforward and simple resume writing approach to divide important information into specific sections that all fits onto only one page.

What this resume is all about

Nowadays, many job seekers prefer a chronological format when writing their resumes because it accommodates all experience levels and industries perfectly. This style is very convenient because it lists all working experiences chronologically, so it’s perfect for job seekers who want to demonstrate their vertical career progression. It’s also easier to write this type of resume than others because you list your internship and employment experiences in the right order. However, if you have regular job changes and working history gaps, this resume format won’t work for you.

How to prepare to write your resume

First, you should decide that this format is perfect for you because there are some alternate options that you can use, such targeted and functional. Make this choice if you have:

  • Ideal working experiences for the job you want to get;
  • No major employment gaps;
  • A solid working history that keeps improving on a clear trajectory.

If you are still unusual about the right type of resume to write, ask other professionals in the same industry for their advice.

Familiarize yourself with the chosen company

You can spend either less or more time on this task and everything depends on how many job positions you’re applying to.The more time you spend on learning about potential employers, the better prepared you are to write a winning resume. Answer these basic questions to get more information:

  • What are the main priorities of potential employers?
  • What types of employees work for them?
  • What are their working and educational backgrounds?

The good news is that you can do your research online by reading reviews, looking at official sites, etc. The mission, dynamics, and organizational leadership of potential employers always affect the tone and content of your resume. For example, your resume to a local, non-profit, and small organization will be quite different from the one to a big corporate company.

Familiarize yourself with job ad details

Job ads can be quite lengthy and written in their industry-specific language, so it’s important to find out more about their content and format before writing your resume.Determine the specifics of job ads and specific requirements for your working experience, education, and skills. Your close reading will provide you with a better insight into a given position and its requirements. You’ll also get useful hints on the best information to include in your resume. Highlight all specific duties, skills, and requirements to address all-important points in a clear way.

Sometimes, job ads mention the soft skills that are tricky to highlight in your resume. Consider effective ways to display them in your career and education. Try to mention all successful projects and how you exceeded expectations. Job ads are often written in a very specific language, so they may say much more.That’s why you should read between the lines and address all minor points.

Outlining and organizing your resume data

A chronological resume should be divided into specific sections, such as:

  • Career objectives (write a few sentences to describe the position you’re seeking);
  • Employment history (list all of your positions or include the most relevant ones if you have many of them);
  • Education (list the highest degree and follow it by others without noting that you failed to graduate);
  • Professional awards and memberships (they are optional and should be included only if they’re relevant to a given job ad);
  • Special skills (include any specific skills that can set you apart from other competitors): computer software, statistics, accounting, certifications, conflict management, languages, and others in addition to your level of proficiency.

Important resume writing steps

Share your contact data as a heading and include such important details as your:

  • Full name;
  • Address;
  • Email and phone number;
  • Fax number and website.

Your email should be simple and professional and center your contact information to draw attention to your name by making it a bit bigger than the rest of your text or typing it bold. Avoid using any abbreviations and be sure to include your area code.

Remember that your contact information is the number one thing that potential employers look at, so it should set the right tone for your resume. It should be eye-catching without being hard to read or too busy. Your resume should look conservative, so you a standard font because it’s easy to read, unless you’re in the creative industry or you’re familiar with the culture of a specific company.

Formulating your objectives properly

Objectives should follow your personal data, so they should be written brief and strongly. Write a few catchy sentences to highlight the best skills and qualifications for the chosen position. Use objectives as your best sales and show how you can help potential employers achieve their goals. Specifically and clearly state a particular career direction and show that it’s synchronous with a job description or company mission. Don’t useclichés or generic objectives instead of the user-centered ones.

Listing your employment history

Chronicle your working experiences, starting with the most recent one and continuing in reverse. Include employment dates, company names, position titles, and job responsibilities for every position in your resume. Feel free to list a few extra details about job responsibilities as bullets. Each bulleted point should be started with active verbs. This section should detail your accomplishments and responsibilities, but they must resonate with a particular job ad.

Listing your education data

Chronicle your education information, starting with the latest diploma or degree and continuing in reverse. List the school names, locations, graduation dates, specific degrees, and other important data. If you have your college degree, don’t list your high school when writing a resume. Think about the pros and cons of including any education information. It’s worth mentioning that some job seekers don’t list their graduate dates, especially if they are older than 45.

Listing professional awards and memberships

Use this chance to prove that you really excelled in the chosen area of expertise. When writing your professional resume, include the following:

  • Additional certificates and licenses;
  • Professional organization memberships;
  • Academic honors and scholarships;
  • Community service positions.

Brainstorm their list and choose the best ones to include. Avoid including anything irrelevant to the job that you want to get.Think about company values and effective ways to stand out.Specify how every award or membership that you list will make you a valuable asset for potential employers.

Highlighting special skills

List any associations, working experiences, and skills that can further demonstrate how dedicated and competent you are, even if they aren’t acquired in professional settings. For example, they may include computer programs and language skills that you're proficient with. In this resume section, impress potential employers by informing them of any relevant activity in which you participate when you are off from your work.

Formatting your resume correctly

Ensure that your resume is short because it shouldn’t be longer than 1-2 pages. If you have less than 10 years of experience and not so many positions, write a 1-page resume. Consider a 2-page option if you have a long experience and many technical skills that must be listed. The main goal is to tell employers your relevant job information, not your whole life story.

Type your resume in a standard font because hiring managers usually spend only several seconds to make their decision. That’s why your font should be pleasing to look at and easy to understand. Your resume should be conservative and easy to read too. Write it in the same font, with the exception of section headings and your name.

Edit everything carefully because spelling, grammar, formatting, and other errors in your resume are like bright red flags to hiring managers and potential employers. They tell the audience that you don’t pay close attention to details even in this important document. Spell check everything twice in addition to a careful visual edit. Check for errors in resume data and ensure that your contact information is 100% accurate. Ask your friends or family members to check your resume for errors. Finally, design your resume to look appropriate for the chosen industry.

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