Reverse Chronological Format

The following are specific examples of each of the standard sections of a reverse chronological resume.

Applicant Information

Include your full name, full address(es), telephone number(s), and email address. When including your email address, consider this communication with an employer to be professional. It is advised to avoid “nick names” or “cute” automatic responses. This also goes for phone messages.

If you are between addresses or will be away for an extended period of time during your job search, consider presenting current and permanent addresses.

Professional Objective

While an objective on your resume is optional, it is one way to demonstrate focus (your focus can also be articulated on your cover letter). Be aware of being too narrow or too general. The objective may include some combination of the position of interest; industry/organization being sought; skills; and functions being sought.

Qualifications Profile

This is an optional category. It can follow or replace an objective. A well-written “Qualifications” section can draw the employer’s attention to your strengths. It should highlight your skills for the position for which you are applying.


In reverse-chronological order, list all of your degrees from college onward with the name of the institution and date they were awarded. List the date you expect to receive the degree for the program in which you are currently enrolled. You may also list, if relevant, courses, the name of your advisor, and your thesis title.

Awards and Honors

This category can be combined with the “Education” section or be given a separate section depending on how many awards you have received. If an award is not well known it should be briefly explained.

Work Experience

Employers want to see, in chronological order, accomplishments, performance potential, progressions, promotions, transferable skills, technical knowledge, and level of responsibility.

Experience can include paid and volunteer work. Include your job title, place of employment, accurate dates of employment, and a description of the duties (in order of importance to the employer) which demonstrate your major selling points. Use action verbs to describe your work.


Employers are looking for your ability to work as a team member, as well as leadership potential, initiative, and follow-through. Consider graduate school and professional activities, highlighting leadership positions. Lead with your strengths.