What is a combination resume?
A combination resume format or hybrid resume template is a combination between the reverse-chronological resume and the functional resume format. It is designed for highly-trained jobseekers with previous work experience because it places equal emphasis on both your skills and work experience.
This format presents your job history overview in reverse chronological order and gives detailed information about your transferable skills and qualifications.
The combination resume is not for everyone. Most hiring managers are expecting candidates to present chronological resumes.
You can use a combination resume format in specific situations.
In case you are a senior-level candidate with various skills and experiences, or you are going through a career change.
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When to use a combination resume format?
A combination resume formatting contains a detailed skill section that groups all your skills into categories to emphasize your abilities and achievements, in addition to this section, this resume formatting includes your work history experience.
People who seek a career change use the combination resume format. It is allowing them to emphasize certain skills from their past jobs to make their application more attractive to recruiters. And at the same time, they can give more detailed examples of those skills in the work experience section.
Most recruiters are looking to see a highlight of your top career achievements and relevant job experience in your resume’s work experience section. That's why hybrid resume formatting is more used than functional resumes.
It is a preferable resume format for those who have developed a strong set of skills and have experience utilizing those skills and want to show them on their resume. Most likely, these candidates are applying for seniority-level jobs and have a long work history for presenting on their resumes.
You can use the hybrid resume format to apply to all kinds of companies and jobs. However, keep in mind to adjust the design depending on your position and the type of company. You can take advantage of using the modern design when you are applying to more creative and innovative companies, and keep your resume with a clear and more traditional look when the job is for a more conservative field or company.
Tips for building the best combination resume
Now that you have an idea of the definition of what is and when to use combination resume format, here is a structure of how to write it:
A well-written and designed combination resume can be a powerful tool for promoting a professional image and getting a job interview. The design of your resume can make it easy to read and highlight the two main sections – your skills and work experience.
If you are applying for a creative position or in a company with a more innovative field, you can use a modern design - with graphics and different icons to make it more distinctive.
However, if your field is more conservative, it is advisable to use more business–traditional design. No matter which design you will choose, your resume has to have a clear separation and formatting between each section.
The most important about choosing a font is to be easy to read. You can use more traditional ones like Times New Roman and Helvetica or Arial and Calibri, which are considered to have a more modern look. On our templates, we use the Lato, which has all the best features that a font can offer and it's just as ATS-friendly as Arial.
If you are applying for a more traditional company and position, you should probably use only black and white for your resume. Meaning white is for the background, and black is for the text.
High contrast between the background and the letters makes reading easy. That’s why this is one of the preferable color combinations.
However, you can add a dash of color here and there to make a recruiter’s experience more pleasurable. Pick a well-contrasting color for fonts and subheadings to increase readability. Choose from blue, dark red, or green color palette.
Select the best layout
When you use а combination resume, it is advisable to follow a proper layout. Typically, you should include the following main sections: contact information, summary, work experience, and additional skills and education.
The header of your resume is the place to put your full name and professional title.
Include your contact information like an email and phone number and location - only the city/state recruiters are not interested in your address.
You can include a professional link like your LinkedIn profile or portfolio website. You are not obliged to provide a headshot unless requested in the job listing.
Your resume summary is the first thing the recruiter sees on your resume. That’s why it is important to put in extra effort to catch their attention. Describe with a couple of sentences your career highlights, qualifications, and relevant skills.
The following section can be your skills or work experience. It will depend on what to list first from your case. If you are writing a resume for a career change, you should first list your skillset section and then your work experience.
When writing your skills section, you should list them by the relevancy of the position you are applying for or start with the transferable skills first. Include the proudest of accomplishments related to the skill you are referring to, demonstrate your competency in this skill, using numbers if possible, and be specific as much as possible.
List your working experience by starting with your most recent job title and continue listing your position in reverse chronological order. Using bullet points, list up to 5 responsibilities and achievements in each of the roles you’ve been in, and add numbers to illustrate specific accomplishments.
When you are writing your education section you should have in mind to list a few essential pieces of information: the name of your school, location, the degree you obtained, your field of study, and graduation year. You also can list any relevant honors or academic recognition, activities, or other achievements obtained during your education. If you have any certifications and courses in addition to your main education that is relevant to your work experience or the job you are applying for, you should add them too.
Combination resumes dedicate a lot of space to your experience and skills, that’s why there is no need to add another section to your resume. You can arrange the information on your resume in one or two columns, it will depend on the length of the text.
Number of pages
If you are an entry-level candidate, your combined resume most likely will be one page long. Most recruiters prefer one page, but if you are a senior-level candidate and have a diverse range of experience and skills, your resume will be two pages.