Career Tools

The chronological CV

Category: CV Advice

The chronological CV is the most popular CV format, which details employment history and education background in reverse chronological order, with the most recent detailed first.  This is the most effective style if you are staying within the same industry sector, as it highlights career progression, experience or ambition.

Employment History
Job titles and company names are normally sub titles. If you’ve worked for a company, which is not widely known, it’s useful to provide a brief overview of the company, this helps place your role in context.  Key objectives, responsibilities, duties and key achievements form the subject body, which should reflect skills and ability.

Most employers prefer the chronological CV format, as it is easy to see who you have worked for and what you did in each particular job. If you do not have many achievements, you can take the emphasis off this fact when using a chronological CV and focus on other aspects such as job role objectives and parallel skills.

Education Background
The education section obviously summarises your educational background.  However, there is also an opportunity to highlight any additional achievements, such as an example of leadership, team work through sport or simply proactive activities whilst studying.

Reasons why a chronological CV may not be the best format include:

  • If you are changing direction and the most recent employer is not relevant to your new chosen career.
  • If your career history shows gaps in your employment due to poor health, unemployment, having children, etc. or that you have changed jobs frequently.