A Guest Post by Aditya Sharma
The dictionary defines ‘reverse’ as ‘going backward’ and ‘chronological’ as ‘recording of events in the order of their occurrence’.
Now, when we talk about a reverse chronological resume, it means the resume format wherein you need to list the history of your professional, education, training, career-oriented programs, etc. in a reverse manner according to their dates.
Every profile you highlight and every detail you provide in your resume needs to be listed starting with your latest profile and dating back to your last profile/education.
In this article, we have explained the common factors of the reverse chronological resume so read on to understand the in-depth importance of this preferred resume format.
Why reverse chronological resume is the best choice
The recruiters are more interested in your most recent professional activities rather than any far back achievements that do not relate to your current job profile. Of course, they need to know what you have been doing before the latest job profile but it is secondary as compared to your latest job profile.
The reverse chronological resume format is considered best among all other resume formats because it highlights the most relevant activities that link you directly to the job profile that you are applying for.
It gives you a better chance of communicating your most suitable experience and qualifications to the recruiters as their focus stays on your professional experience and makes them recognize your potential.
The reverse chronological resume format is also universally accepted by recruiters.
Who should use the reverse chronological resume format
This format is best suitable for those applicants with extensive years of professional experience that can be documented in a resume. So, you need to have enough professional experience credits to showcase in your resume to effectively use this format.
Any applicant with a clear record of a career path with no gaps should make use of this format. It helps keep you on the radar of the recruiters looking for those applicants who have a solid record of work experience over the years.
The reverse chronological resume highlights your professional experience and all your achievements and contributions to organizations throughout your active career progress.
This resume format highlights the significant expertise you have in a specific field which you achieved by gradually climbing the ladder of professional success.
So it is best applicable for those applicants who have acquired the expertise in one’s professional profile by contributing towards the higher goals of their organization.
Who should avoid using the reverse chronological resume
Just because it is the most preferred format does not mean that it is suitable for every applicant. For those people who tend to shift from one job to the other quite often and have career gaps, this resume format is a big ‘NO’.
If you lack enough professional experience then this format should be avoided by you. If you are starting as a fresher or changing careers (or you often change your job) then this format will only highlight your career gaps and may not reflect your true potential.
The reverse chronological resume format is especially not meant for those who have huge career gaps or tend to shift careers quite often. It can only throw light on your career gaps and make the recruiters focus on that instead of your potential.
Career gaps can make the recruiters skeptical about your dedication to your job and attachment to your roles and responsibilities. So it is best to avoid this format if you have career gaps.
In simple words, any fresher writing an entry-level resume, frequent job hoppers, someone with lesser experience should avoid this format as it brings your drawbacks into the limelight.
How to make the best use of the reverse chronological resume format
If you decide that the reverse-chronological format is the best choice for you then start by listing your most recent profile first to give the recruiters an insight into your relevant experience of professional expertise.
For every profile that you mention, make sure that you specify the period of your involvement with any organization or institution. Doing so can make it easier for the recruiters to keep a track of your career timeline and give you an advantage by validating the fact that you have a strong career flow.
Once you list your latest profile you can start mentioning your previous job profile and so on. It can be followed by listing the details of any internship, certifications, education qualifications that validate you as a suitable candidate for the targeted job profile also in the reverse chronological order.
Keep in mind that by using the reverse chronological format you are taking the recruiters through your professional and educational achievements.
Therefore it will be wise for you to provide the accurate dates to validate the fact that every detail you list in your resume highlights the smooth flow of your career’s growth.
Doing so can make it easier for the recruiters to keep a track of the progress of your professional expertise achieved by you over time.
Here are some key takeaways that you need to keep in mind and follow while making use of the reverse chronological resume format:
- Use this format if you have extensive years of work experience to showcase in your resume.
- Use this resume format to highlight the growth of your professional career.
- Always provide accurate dates of every detail that you list in your resume in a reverse manner.
- Avoid using this format if you are a fresher or lack the years of experience to highlight in your resume.
- List the most recent profile first then followed by the rest of your previous jobs and achievements.