Combination Resume Writing Guide

Create a resume using the best of both worlds: skills and experience

Resume Templates

If you find that the chronological resume format is not working for you, it could be for any number of reasons and you may be better suited to a combination resume layout to present your profile to potential employers.

What is the combination resume, you ask? Sometimes referred to as the hybrid resume or targeted resume, the combination resume employs information from all areas of a candidate’s personal and professional profile to create a well-rounded, inclusive and original resume.

A more in-depth combination resume definition follows to help you understand how to make a resume using this format, how to structure a resume and tailor it to suit your needs and especially to fit the position that you’re applying to.

For more information on what to include in a combination resume try using resume samples or a resume builder to help you create a resume that will stand out in the job application process to help you earn the interview you’ve been waiting for.


What is a Combination Resume?

The Combination Resume is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin! A resume combined of the two standard resume formats: Chronological and Functional. The best of both worlds.

But what does that really mean? For example what does a Combination Resume look like?

The emphasis of a combination resume is divided between the skills and abilities of the candidate and the work experience they can bring to the role.

This means that the combination resume format includes a first half dedicated to the skills and qualifications of the candidate and a second half with a recent work history section detailing the responsibilities and achievements from those roles.

The combination resume is an excellent choice for professional jobseekers who are looking to change careers, industries or positions or for candidates who have a specific, well-developed skill set that they wish to present along with their career trajectory.

Similar to the professional resume style, this can be beneficial for executives or applicants who are experts in their fields.

Also if the position offered requires a lot of technical skills, a combination resume format is ideal to underline the abilities of the candidate and give evidence as to how the applicant has obtained the skills in question, applied them and the results achieved through their personal implementation.

As the basis for the combination resume lies in a balance of information, it does not especially highlight the work experience or education of the individual, it is therefore not widely recommended for students or entry-level applicants who might be more interested in the traditional student resume style or entry-level resume format.

The Combination Resume Layout

Find out how to create a combination resume using a resume template or from scratch or with a resume maker with the following information about the combination resume layout.

As the combination resume employs a mix of the two more classic styles of resumes, it’s very important that you carefully consider the combination resume format which generally begins with a summary of the qualifications, includes an education and skills section and also a work history list, only citing the most relevant positions but also detailing achievements and responsibilities from those roles.

The main parts of a Combination Resume include the following in this order:

  • Contact details
  • Qualifications summary with descriptions
  • General skills section
  • Work experience with descriptions
  • Education

Each of these areas is considered vital to a combination resume format. Learning how to write a qualifications summary for a combination resume is not easy but with the tips below, your resume should come together nicely to represent your professional profile as a whole incorporating as many suitable aspects as possible.

  • The combination resume structure includes an introduction to the resume, also known as the ‘Qualifications Summary’ or sometimes ‘Professional Profile’, similar to the functional resume format, which describes 4-5 bullet-pointed abilities or achievements that are key to the role or character of the candidate. These details should have quantifiable results where possible.
  • It’s also important to add examples of how you specifically have used your skills to improve or increase productivity or another aspect of the company and ensure that this information is relevant to the position and unique to your abilities.
  • The next element to include in your combination resume layout is the more general list of skills which apply both to you and to the vacancy. Followed by the longer and more in-depth work experience section which should consist of 2-3 previous positions held in a sector, role or industry similar to if not the same as the current vacancy.
  • Similar to the chronological resume layout, the combination resume structure includes a paragraph or bullet points under each job title to explain the responsibilities and objectives accomplished in each.
  • Finally the combination resume format includes the education section at the end with a brief list of courses, diplomas and degrees awarded to the candidate.

To simplify the need to learn how to make a resume with a combination layout without resume help, you could also try out an online resume builder or download a resume example.

Tips for Writing your Combination Resume

  • To understand how to write a combination resume you will need to begin by taking a step back and looking at your professional trajectory, achievements, skills and even your personal hobbies. This way you will gain an idea of how to fit your profile within the combination resume structure.
  • After your review you’ll need to cut out all the irrelevant information and make a list of what achievements, skills, job placements and other information to include in the combination resume that will stand out to a potential employer for the specific vacancy that interests you.
  • With these details you can begin to fill out your combination resume template or complete your own using the general resume format described above or use this information to make your resume with an online resume builder.
  • Both the combination resume qualifications summary and the work experience sections should include a short explanation of quantifiable examples of how you as an individual have implemented your abilities or proven to be an asset in a previous role.
  • You can mention awards, scholarships, internships, publications, projects, courses, conferences etc. in your qualifications summary as long as it is apt for the position and demonstrates your strengths. Make sure to present any additional information in a convincing manner by using action words and keywords taken from the job description.

TOP TIP: Remember to keep it relevant, providing examples of when you’ve applied a certain unique skill to improve procedures or to increase revenue etc.

The combination resume layout is ideal for candidates looking to make a change in their career, who already have work experience but wish to make use of their current knowledge and skills in a new role, industry or sector.

The idea of the combination resume for career changers is that they’re able to identify their transferable skills and organize them in a suitable manner to provide the potential employer with a guide to the type of worker they are so they can assess how they will perform in the new role.

However the combination resume format relies heavily on being able to provide a brief work history, skills and different examples of hands-on experience therefore it is not the preferred resume for students or entry-level candidates as they require a heavier focus on education, awards and often more social skills than technical abilities.

Combination Resume Templates

Resume templates with a combination resume format are a practical tool for jobseekers who wish to create a combination resume but do not know where to start.

Using a combination resume example allows suitable candidates to create a winning resume from the template which emphasizes both the skills and work experience. Saving both time and effort, jobseekers can complete the resume template with their personalized information to build a combination resume which will earn them their next interview.

A combination resume sample gives examples of what to put in each section which the candidate can use as a guide to ensure they make the most of the practical combination resume format.

Even if you choose to use a combination resume template, it does not mean that you must stick to a rigid structure.

Candidates are encouraged to customize their resume by removing and adding resume sections which are more relevant to their professional profile or the vacancy on offer.

ResumeCoach also advises using an online resume maker for extra help building your ideal resume. An online resume creator offers a step-by-step guide to making a resume which gives tips and examples to follow to ensure your resume is optimized regarding formatting and information.

Last modified on July 6th, 2020

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