In the latest podcast Joel says he likes historical order (rather than the typical most recent-first) CVs because good programmers had early exposure to computers.

How exactly do people intend to show that on their CV?

I don't have any real work experience until I was 30 (grad school and academic jobs).
Do I really want to put a section about how I programmed at school at 11 (Remember the RML380z) or the fractal terrain generator I wrote in Basic on my Commodore64? To any recruiter that isn't another sad geek, or Joel Spolsky, thats is just going to look like I'm insane!

Should we put one of those silly little book jacket pocket-bio's?
"MGB began programming at the age of 10 and has never managed to get a real job, he likes ..."

ps. this site is still broken on Opera, if you let the autofill select a tag it disables the 'post question'

3 Answers 3


Joel may like it, but it's non-standardness will more than likely just confuse hiring managers.

In fact, I just deleted a bunch of old stuff off of my CV. Since tech evolves so fast, most people don't care what I was working on 20 or 30 yrs ago, and it adds unnecessary length to my CV.

Bottom line is that reading a resume from back-to-front isn't difficult for those who really prefer it that way -- although my view is that this is better as an interview question than something you want to try to glean from (or represent in) a CV.

  • That's my view and of course older jobs get progressively less space in the CV. I still want to know how you tell recruiters, like Joel, that you started playing with a Vic20 in junior school - without sounding unprofessional (or autistic!) Commented Dec 9, 2009 at 16:46
  • My approach is to list how many years of experience I have. If the interviewer wants to know more, that gives them an entry to ask. FWIW, in the many interviews I've had, it's a subject that I don't think has ever come up.
    – RickNZ
    Commented Dec 10, 2009 at 2:08

The order only matters on paper CVs. Using an online CV, the order isn't that important. The recruiter can hit End if he wants to read it the other way round.

Best would be, if Careers could sort the resume by date in each order. Then every reader can choose whatever he prefers.


this site is still broken on Opera, if you let the autofill select a tag it disables the 'post question'

I heard that masking Opera as Firefox "fixes" that. Give it a shot and let us know.

  • Used to do that for SO but it appears to work now - can't find exactly what sequence of tags fill-in breaks it. Commented Dec 8, 2009 at 20:31

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