Reverse chronological CV format: Our most recommended CV format
Our favourite format! A reverse chronological CV is one of the most common CV formats worldwide, because it’s easy for recruiters to quickly scan and absorb information.
Even if you’ve never written a CV before, you’re likely to know a reverse chronological CV format or have seen some of our CV examples. In the UK, recruiters accept this format as standard, and it’s easy to create, but that’s not to say you shouldn’t consider others — as they could be more suitable for your situation and experience level.
Key features of a reverse chronological CV
A reverse chronological CV lists your work experience in order of date, with the most recent position at the top, on your front page. Typically your CV layout also includes a personal statement or a profile summary before your list of work experiences.
Following your work experience are education, training, skills, and hobbies.
Benefits of a reverse chronological CV
The reverse chronological CV layout is well known and almost expected by employers and recruiters, because of this, it’s well understood and easily read. Recruiters will not have trouble scanning this type of CV, as sections will vary minimally from CV to CV.
Another benefit is showing off an impressive career trajectory. If you’ve excelled and risen through the ranks, this type of CV layout highlights your progression. Additionally, as the most recent experience is presented at the top, employers get a sense of who you are today, not who you were 15 years ago. It’s a current snapshot of you as a working professional.
Is a reverse chronological CV right for you?
Best for: Everyone! We would recommend that you consider a reverse chronological CV format as your first choice, as it suits the majority of candidates.
Tips for specific situations
- Entry level candidates: this format can work for you, as long as you make the most of any volunteer positions or internships you’ve had. We recommend beefing up your skills section, and also adding a little more length to your personal statement to give the hiring manager a better insight into who you are.
- Career-changers: focus on tailoring the content of your CV so what you showcase is relevant to your new career path. Remove roles that don’t include transferable skills or experience. Use keywords from your new career field to help you new skills stand out, and explain why you’re the right person for the job in your personal statement and cover letter.