This guide will help you write a professional chronological CV. Download our template and get started today.
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A CV is a document that provides potential employers with all the information they need to know about you and your professional experience. There are different ways of formatting a CV, but it should always include details about your education, where you’ve worked, and the skills you have.
It’s essential to have a strong CV so that hiring managers can get a good picture of you and your strengths to help you get hired for that dream job. Most job vacancies require you to submit a CV, even if there’s a separate application form.
Here at CVHelp, we want to help you showcase your exceptional unique skills and experience with a killer CV, and get you where you want to be in your career. As part of that, we provide guidance on how to structure and write a CV that’ll get you noticed by recruiters. In this guide, we look at the chronological CV—what it is, when to use it and how to write it. You’ll also be able to see and use a chronological CV example with our downloadable chronological CV template.
A chronological CV focuses on your work experience and education in reverse-chronological order, starting with your most recent employment or qualification. It is still organised in sections of work and education, but it starts with whichever was most recent and is organised chronologically within those sections.
A chronological CV works best if you have lots of relevant work experience you want to display. The bulk of the CV is comprised of what you’ve done in your career to date. The chronological CV works particularly well if you have lots of experience in a particular industry and are applying for a job in the same industry.
A chronological CV is the most widely-used type of CV, and may well be what employers are expecting. It’s a professional and comprehensive way to list all your skills, qualifications, and experience in one place.
If you’re a recent graduate, don’t have strong work experience, have gaps in your CV, or are making a career change, you might want to use a skills-based or combination CV instead. This will allow you to supplement what you lack in work experience with practical skills and attributes you’ve gained from all areas of life.
Using a chronological format, organise your information in clearly-defined sections. Here’s what to include:
Include your personal details with your address, phone number, email, and LinkedIn profile so potential employers can contact you to ask further questions or invite you to an interview. Ensure the details are clear, accurate, and in a readable font.
At the top of your chronological CV, write a short profile of around 50-150 words summarising your professional background and career history, including key achievements. You should briefly talk about your best attributes, such as being organised, enthusiastic, or personable, and you could mention your professional goals.
Under the heading Work experience or Professional experience, list all of the jobs you’ve had, in reverse-chronological order, with the most recent position first, including if you’ve had multiple jobs at the same company. Write your job title, the company name, and the dates you held that role. Then include a brief description of the duties you carried out, in bullet form.
You should also include a skills section on your chronological CV, to highlight your key strengths and abilities. While it needn’t be as extensive as the skills section on a functional or combination CV, it’s still a good idea to include at least a small skills section on any CV. It should consist of a few bullet points outlining your top skills that are most relevant to the specific job you’re applying to. They should be a mix of hard skills and soft skills.
As with work experience, list the education you’ve received, starting with the most recent first. Write the academic qualifications you received, such as GCSEs, A levels, or a bachelor’s degree, the institution’s name (usually a school, college, or university), and the years you attended. You can also include your grades, but that is optional.
If you have other qualifications that could be relevant when you’re applying for a job, then include them under an “Other qualifications” section. These might be professional courses or certifications you’ve taken or extracurriculars like music exams.
Let potential employers know more about you as a person by telling them about your relevant hobbies and interests outside of work. This section gives them an idea of what makes you tick and lets your personality shine through.
If you need help with your chronological CV, download our chronological CV template. It’s a ready-made CV template that uses a chronological CV format to show you exactly what you need to include and where. It’s a great example that makes creating a chronological CV quick and easy for you and helps make sure you impress hiring managers with a professional layout and design.
We’ve got many other resources to help you land your next role. From blog posts with tips and advice to different CV templates and our professional CV builder, CVHelp is here to guide you through the job searching process and get you that dream job.
There are three common types of CV formats: the chronological CV, the functional CV, and the combination CV. The chronological format emphasizes employment history, the functional CV emphasizes your skill set, and the combination format presents them in tandem. The format you choose will depend on what you think your strengths are.
You should always write a cover letter as part of any job application. It helps you reference the job description, explain your career progression, and establish why you’re perfect for the role while sharing more details about your background and personality.
Using a CV template is good since you can use tried and tested professional templates that present your information clearly and concisely for recruiters. They offer you a framework in which you just have to input your career details.
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