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  • Writer's pictureMichélle Khaja

What is a Chronological CV?

Updated: Jul 2, 2021

Let's talk about the most obvious CV format, the chronological CV. If you are sitting down and thinking about doing your CV, this is the first format to pop into your head, but is this the right CV format to follow?

Let's explore - and stick around for the CV Freebie at the end!

What is a chronological CV?

It is a CV format that focuses on your career history. The motivation behind chronologically listing your work history in order of when each position was held (with your recent job at the top) is to help employers understand the value of your work experience towards their vacancy.

Employers will immediately notice your skills when you prioritize your most recent work experiences and information. You can easily showcase your experience and skills. This will get you noticed faster and might just make you notable - resulting in an easy decision for the hiring manager to give you a call.

When should I use a chronological CV?

It is better to use a chronological CV if you have the following:

  • Years of experience in one field or industry.

  • Have worked for several employers in one field or industry.

  • Have no employment gaps.

This is because the chronological CV emphasizes work history. Thus, it is more effective for candidates with prolonged experience in their field.

What are the benefits of using a chronological CV?

While it is the most common CV format in 2021, you have the bonus of familiarity in your CV. This allows for the hiring manager to absorb your information easier as your career progression is clearly presented.

This CV format also is easy to create and write - you can quickly get your CV out there for recruiters and hiring managers!

When should I not use a chronological CV?

Yes - it is the most common CV format found, but it is not always ideal to use this format. If the following applies to you, it might be best to try either a functional CV or a hybrid CV format.

  • When you are starting your career: If you are new to the workforce, the chronological CV will not be suitable as it highlights work experience. You need to put to focus on your skills and abilities which is better suited with a functional CV.

  • History of changing careers: Do you have work experience that is directly relevant to the vacancy? If the answer is no - better to avoid the chronological CV format. You don't want the focus to be on only your work experience. A hybrid CV might work better.

  • Unemployment Gaps: Again, probably not the best idea to use a CV that immediately highlights your work history. Your CV needs to focus on your skills and abilities that will make you the best choice for the position you are applying for! You need a format that showcases what you can do.


If you are still confused about the chronological CV, we at ASAP Resources are confident in our Chronological CV format template - so much that we are happily giving it away as a Freebie to South African Job Seekers.

All you need to do is download the file and fill in your details. Quick, Easy and Simple! No hassle and no mess - just what your job search should look like!

ASAP Resources Chronological CV Template
Download • 17KB

For further information, there are multipe career blogs and sites listing more information about chronological CV's. Here are some we really liked: DayJob and for further information regarding other CV's as well, we recommend here CVs & Applications: CV & Covering Letters: How to layout a CV.

Go and prepare that AMAZING CV now!

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