Ask a Recruiter: Are Chronological Resumes Still Important These Days?

Dear Recruiter,

My questions are: Is a chronological format still preferred to a functional resume? And, is it still preferred that resumes aren’t longer than one page?

Signed,
ISO the Basics

Hi ISO the Basics,

These are good questions! To answer your first one: Yes! In most cases, recruiters only have a few seconds to view your resume when reviewing a stack they’re considering for a position. Having your experience outlined in chronological order makes it easy to get a quick read on your career history. The last thing you want to do is make them try and piece it together themselves—there’s just no time for it.

Your experience and outline should be concise, so the viewer isn’t left questioning what you’re currently doing or have been exposed to. A functional resume that focuses on skills and experience without a clear chronology makes it hard to see what the applicant has actually accomplished and what they’re hoping to do.

Keep in mind: This document serves as the ultimate snapshot of your career journey. If you’re concerned about a lack of experience, you’ll want to account for this in your cover letter by highlighting your relevant skills or projects you’ve worked on. This is especially true if you’re switching industries and want to demonstrate transferable skills.