The Combination Resume: Examples and Writing Tips [Downloadable Template Included]
March 7, 2023
15 minutes to read
An underrated catch-all in the career world is the combination resume. It’s the best of both worlds; a sophisticated synergy between the chronological and functional resume. This hybrid format can display your work history, accomplishments, and entire skill set. When written right, the flexible format can attract hiring managers
It’s the most suitable for applicants who want to upgrade their CVs and propel their careers. If this is you, read on to get all the insight you need on building the best, eye-catching resume!
1. What is a Combination Resume?
The two most popular resume formats are chronological and functional resumes. The former features a chronological list of your work experience and achievements, starting from the current and ending at the oldest. Whereas the latter solely showcases your accomplishments and skill set, putting your work history at the back end. However, the combination resume is an elegant mix of both - it highlights all aspects simultaneously.
Not everyone has to follow the dominant resume patterns. To ensure being noticed by hiring managers, it is wise to use the resume format that most suits your experience and career ambitions.
2. What is the Combination Resume structure?
Here is what your ideal combination resume should look like:
We’ve covered the basics of a combination resume. Now, let’s get into making one. To begin, find a solid template for yourself, laying the foundations of an impressive resume.
2.1 Mention Your Contact Information:
No one wants to go through the meticulous and intricate process of perfecting your resume and submitting it, only to realize you left no avenue to be contacted. To avoid that devastating outcome, write your full name, professional email address, phone number, or a relevant social media handle.
Additionally, including your LinkedIn profile will give the employer more platforms to easily reach out to you. This slots into the header, which includes your full name in a larger font to indicate to whom the resume belongs to
2.2 Resume Objective First:
The specialty of a combination resume is that it allows you to summarise and strategically display a mix of your skills and experiences. This is why it needs to start with a resume objective that markets your accomplishments. This informs the candidate screener that you are a capable candidate.
It must be a brief hook that summarises your experience, skills, and how you’re different from other candidates. It must be professional and formally written, with relevance to the job position. This portion will also alert the hiring manager of your goals for the job and career path.
2.3 Categorize your Skills:
Use the combination resume to your advantage to carefully sell your skill set as valuable and diverse. This includes soft skills, hard skills, and technical skills, which are especially important in this digital age. For example, problem-solving, time management, crisis management, teamwork, proficiency in SQL, SEO, etc.
List your skills before your work history in a bullet point format. Limit it to two or three broad yet primary skills which are necessary and suitable for the job. Underneath each, list two to three-pointers that validate your claims and prove your capabilities. Remember to balance out each skill by assigning equal space for them.
2.4 Employment Profile:
It is recommended that you list two to three recent and relevant work experiences in reverse-chronological order, using bullet points. Then, list two to four responsibilities or accomplishments held during the job. Add some statistics or data to back up your tasks. It should display your impact and innovations to impress your potential boss.
Unlike a chronological resume, this format is more precise to guide the employer directly toward your qualifications and previous occupations. It encourages you to specify the jobs most attractive to your employer in terms of the position applied for.
Additionally, you can include volunteer or social work, internships, or extracurricular work done. It is the perfect area to highlight the skills learned apart from professional history, which are beneficial for the role you want.
After gaining mid-level experience, your educational background doesn’t remain as important. Still, state your college name, degree obtained, and graduation year. Keep it brief and the smallest part of your resume.
Many employers do not require GPA unless you apply for an academic position (like a master’s program, consultancy, investment banking, and more). However, if you have a strong GPA or received any honorary certificates, feel free to display them.
3. When to use a Combination Resume?
If you have a diverse work background, this format prevents it from looking chaotic or disconnected. In addition to the attractive organization, it offers you, the resume is great to highlight prior yet appropriate volunteer or intern work. Admirably, it’s a fantastic option for those who want to climb the corporate ladder to a higher position.
Overall, it allows hiring managers to quickly recognize your capabilities and validate them using your employment experience. If you’re looking to create an outstanding resume, Qureos can help you with that!
However, there are some points at which you should avoid using this format. For example, if you lack any work experience and are applying for your first job. Secondly, if you have applied for a position that requires years of experience and expertise.
4. Who should use a Combination Resume?
A combination resume is highly effective for all kinds of professionals. There isn’t a limit to who can use one, but it is primarily recommended for a certain group of job seekers.
Firstly, the format is best for mid-level experienced professionals with three to eight years of work. Particularly if you’re looking to increase your knowledge and refine your abilities. So, if you feel like you’re neither an entry-level applicant nor a seasoned expert, but simply someone who wants to progress, this resume may be for you.
Secondly, the resume is ideal for those who are trying to shift careers. Such a change is daunting and requires smart personal branding to adapt to a novel field. Therefore building a stellar portfolio or resume that highlights transferrable skills alongside work history is crucial.
Thirdly, if you’re a student or a fresh graduate, you can use this format to balance out your work history with skills. If your employment hasn’t been extensive, use volunteer, social, or intern experience and emphasize the skills you hold.
Lastly, if at some point you issued a gap year, a combination resume is a productive tool to display it professionally. Upon re-entering the job pool, this format can advertise your pre-existing skills and experience without any confusion.
5. Combination Resume Vs Chronological Resume?
The combination resume is useful in linking various skills and work history to stand out as a valuable and authentic candidate. Whereas the chronological resume is focused on illustrating specialized skills obtained solely from your niche career path.
Moreover, the former provides the space to tactically display skills specific to your role to advocate for your suitability. On the other hand, the latter requires skills to be mentioned within the job description.
6. Combination Resume Vs Functional Resume?
Combination resumes include a focused resume objective while simultaneously displaying a summary written directed at your position. While functional resumes can utilize your skills to fill in the spaces left by a lack of work experience.
Secondly, combination resumes produce an elegant mix of skills and employment and slot it into chronological order, organizing it effectively. However, functional resumes discard the chronological format for simply marketing your skills.
In this article, we’ve covered the what’s, when’s, who’s, and hows of a combination resume. Once you finish curating one, Qureos can help you check your resume score, to further solidify it. When you’re done, we can go on to tackling other aspects such as drafting a cover letter.