Why You Should Have a Chronological CV and How to Write It

Choosing the correct format is one of the most important aspects of writing a CV. The format of the CV alone can sometimes determine whether your CV is good enough to get you an interview or will it make you end up in the rejected pile. However, it can be a little difficult sometimes to decide which format you should go for, especially if your work history is not linear. It is best to learn all about each format so that you always choose the right one. So, if you are wondering whether you should go with a chronological CV or a functional one, then this article will help you come to a decision.

We will cover everything you need to know about a chronological CV before you get on with writing it, including what it is, why you need it, and how to write it.

What is a Chronological CV?

A chronological CV. Also known as traditional format, is a format that lists your work experience in reverse chronology. In this CV all your work experience, education, and achievements will be listed from the most current ones first and then backward from it. According to professional CV writing services in Pakistan, this is the most widely used format. It is used by almost everyone however, you should only use it if you have the relevant experience and skills for the job you are applying to. If you have any career gaps it is best to not use a chronological format as it will not be able to downplay the gaps. The main purpose of a chronological format is to help emphasize your career growth, accomplishments, and professional experience as well as highlight your progression throughout your career.

Why You Should Have a Chronological CV?

A chronological CV has been around for a long time now and that is why recruiters are used to it. So, the first reason why your CV should have a chronological format is that this is what recruiters are used to seeing and it is easier for them to understand. A chronological format is easier to comprehend and it allows the recruiter to gather the required information about you.

When the recruiters are reading your chronological CV, they quickly get a sense of your background. Whereas a functional CV can deprive them of comprehending important information and context. It is not easy to understand your career story or how you used your certain skills or how long you have worked somewhere in a functional CV. The last thing you want to do is confuse the recruiter as they will simply not read your CV if it is confusing. Recruiters have hundreds of applications to review for one job position so why would they waste their time understanding a CV? They simply move on to the next one if your CV is difficult.

Another reason that you should have a chronological CV is that it is easier for ATS software to comprehend. A lot of companies now use ATS software to scan and rank employees based on how much their application falls in line with the job description. A function format CV does not have the same order of section headings as the chronological one which makes it difficult for ATS software to read. According to professional CV writers in Pakistan, a lot of the time an ATS software can reject your CV if it does not understand it. So, if you are applying to a big company or a multinational one, it is best to go with the chronological format.

How to Write a Chronological CV?

Writing a chronological CV is pretty easy and here is how you can write one yourself:

  • Start with writing down your Professional Experience section after you have covered the profile summary one.
  • In the Professional Experience section, write down your most recent job first, along with all the details regarding it. Highlight your achievements as well as list down some of your daily responsibilities.
  • After this, write down your last recent job along with all its details. Keep following this reverse chronological order to list down all your jobs.
  • Write down the Education section, in the same way, starting from your most recent qualification and then working backward from there.
  • Make sure you include correct starting and ending dates for all the job positions.
  • If you had multiple jobs or ranks in the same company, list each of them separately according to their order. This will show your progress and impress the recruiter instantly.
  • Keep the information precise and short but use quantifiable data for all the skills that you have listed on your CV.

When NOT to Write a Chronological CV?

It is advised that you do not write a chronological CV if you have career gaps as it can highlight them. A Functional CV is much more preferred if you have had career gaps since it does not focus on your work experience but on your skills and qualifications. It is also best to use a Functional CV if you do not have any work experience, if you are a fresh graduate or if you are going for a career change.

However, it is not a rule that you use a Functional CV in these scenarios and you can still impress the recruiter with a well-written chronological CV even if you have career gaps. Just do not try to hide these career gaps by not mentioning dates for each position as that can confuse and frustrate the recruiter. Instead, focus on your most recent and relevant job positions and write them down in detail, discussing all your accomplishments and the progress you made in each of them.  

To conclude, this is all the information that you need to know about a Chronological CV before you start writing one. Chronological CVs have a higher chance of impressing the recruiter and this is why you must have one. It is also the most preferred and commonly used format so you do not have to worry about using it even if you are applying for a job in another state or country.