The Guide to Combination Resumes (with Examples and Templates)

how-to-write-a-combination-resume-format
Created by CakeResume

Although it isn’t as common as traditional resume format like a reverse chronological resume, a combination resume can be of great value for job applicants as it underscores the job seeker’s professional experience and skill sets.

Job seekers who are in the middle of a career change or skilled in a wide range of areas can reap the most benefits of a combination resume. In this article, we will answer the questions of what a combination resume is and how to write one, as well as share with you some combination resume examples and templates at the end.

Let's jump right in!

What Is a Combination Resume?

A combination resume, also known as a hybrid resume, mixes the formats of a reverse chronological and a functional resume. It provides you with the flexibility to tailor your resume content for a particular position. 

With this type of resume format, you can skip irrelevant work experience and gaps in your resume that would otherwise be obvious in a reverse chronological resume. You can also showcase your top skills, certifications, and qualifications in detail with this type!

When to Use a Combination Resume 

Since its format is quite special, the combination resume is not always the best format choice. But it can greatly enhance the quality of your resume if:

  • You are changing careers.
  • You have limited work experience.
  • You have gaps in your employment history.
  • You have a wide range of skills and experience.

If you find yourself in the abovementioned situation, the combination resume can help emphasize the strong suit and relevant information while avoiding showing the weakness.

When changing careers, the combination resume can help you showcase your relevant work experience and transferable skills that can benefit your new job. And if you’re a recent high school or college graduate, the combination resume is a great way to emphasize your skills rather than your limited work experience.

Pros

  • It allows you to list a wide variety of skills.
  • It allows you to leave unrelated job experience off.
  • It allows you to avoid including gaps between jobs.

Cons

  • It doesn’t showcase your career growth.
  • It can hinder your chance of getting an interview for a leadership job.
  • It can raise concerns.

Other Types of Resume Format

Of course, apart from it, there are other resume formats for you to consider, and each of them has its own pros and cons. Let’s have a look!

Functional (Skill-based) Resume Format

Similar to the combination resume, a functional resume highlights an applicant’s skills, which is why they are both most commonly used by teenagers or those with limited work experience. 

Reverse chronological resume

The reverse-chronological resume is considered a standard resume format and is the most common among job applicants. Unlike a combination resume, it details the employment history and shows the job applicant’s career development.

Pros:

  • It highlights your consistency and makes your career development easy to understand.
  • It is what the hiring manager expects to see. It meets the expectation.
  • It makes the hiring team’s job easier if the company uses ATS (Applicant Tracking System).

Cons:

  • It includes irrelevant work experience.
  • It can also show your inconsistency if you have done many jobs in varying fields.
  • The gaps between jobs are obvious in a reverse-chronological resume.

If you’re a fresh graduate, read this blog to learn how to choose an effective resume format for freshers.

How to Write a Combination Resume

When writing your resume, it's important to customize it to fit the job requirements you're applying for. A combination resume format emphasizes showcasing your skill first, followed by your work history. This is our tutorial on how to write a combination resume for each section:

Name and Contact Information

No matter what type of resume you're choosing, always start your resume with your name and contact details. Use the most up-to-date and accurate information, including your current phone number and email address. 

Depending on the industry you're in, mention your mailing address and links to your online portfolio, though this is an option. We thought it'd be good to mention.

Resume Summary

When writing a combination resume, include a short summary highlighting your relevant skills and experiences. This summary will help hiring managers quickly assess your suitability for the job. 

If you are new to the workforce and still need more work experience, consider including a resume objective that outlines your short-term and long-term career goals clearly and concisely.

Skills and Abilities

Following the summary is your Skills and Abilities section. Before writing your skills section, review the job posting and look for the keywords that may help grab the employer's attention and get your resume past the ATS resume checker

Pros:

  • It helps set you apart from other applicants if you are a recent graduate with little work experience.
  • It helps you avoid putting emphasis on gaps between jobs.
  • It helps you focus on relevant work experience when switching jobs.

Cons:

  • Since a functional resume is not as popular as a traditional one, some recruiters are not familiar with this format. 
  • A functional resume might raise concerns or suspicion on the recruiter’s end.
  • The job seeker might be deemed not trustworthy.

Professional Experience

If you use a combination resume, your professional experience should help support your skill section rather than acting as the main one. 

For example, suppose you're currently working in an entry-level position in sales. In that case, your skills section might include soft skills like "collaboration" and "communication skills," while hard skills can be "SalesForce" and "data analytics tools." Your professional experience can elaborate on how these skills were learned and used to help recruiters better understand your work habits and strengths.

Education

The significance of educational background and experience depends on your professional background. Including this section may enrich resumes with minimal work experience. For individuals who are recent college or high school graduates or have limited work experience for other reasons, it may be beneficial to add relevant coursework, high-grade point averages (usually 3.5 GPA or higher), and extracurricular activities like leadership roles, volunteering, or club participation.

Tips on How to Write a Combination Resume

Now that you know the essentials of a combination resume, you can start working on yours. Below we have gathered some tips that you can follow to take your combination resume quality to the next level.

💡 Tailor resume writing according to the job description.

First of all, make sure you read the job description carefully and learn the skills and qualifications the hiring manager is looking for. Pick out keywords from the job description and include them in your combination resume. 

💡 Highlight skills relevant to the job description.

Once you know the skills the hiring manager is seeking in a candidate, you can include them in your combination resume and make sure they are the first thing the recruiter would see when they review your resume. 

Use action verbs and adjectives to describe your skills and leave a strong impression on the recruiter.

💡 Include transferable skills. 

Transferable skills are skills that you can use in many different jobs, no matter what fields the jobs are in. As mentioned before, a combination resume is a great choice for people who are going through a career change. Transferable skills on a combination resume, thus, can help to show you are an ideal candidate.

You can list them in either the work experience section or the education sections of a resume with a combinational style.

💡 Group and put related skills together.

For example, if your skills include SEO, digital marketing, Google Analytics, content writing, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, CSS, and HTML, categorize them in a combination resume as:

  • Digital Marketing: SEO, content writing, Google Analytics 
  • Graphic Design: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator
  • Programming: CSS, HTML

💡 Use free combination resume templates.

This section can include skills recruiters list as required or design. You can mention both hard and soft skills as long as they are relevant.

Making good use of free templates available online help you navigate the complicated, if not confusing, process of resume writing and save time, especially when you decide to use a combination resume, a less common format.

With CakeResume’s free resume builder tool, resume templates, and resume examples, you could showcase your best qualifications to land your dream job. Try making a resume online (free download) now!

Combination Resume Template

Now you know the different types of resumes; if, after carefully weighing the pros and cons, you decide to use a combination resume, here’s a template for you.

FIRST AND LAST NAME

Email: [[email protected]]
Phone: [your phone number]
Address: [your address]
Linkedin: [linkedin.com/in/yourname]

2. Resume Summary

Like other resume formats, a hybrid resume should also include your top achievements, career highlights, and relevant skills in the summary section. It should be 2-3 sentences-long.

[old job title]-turned-[desired job title]. Seeking to leverage my skills in [relevant skills]. A self-motivated and detail-oriented worker aiming to help [company’s Name] with your future challenges and achieve your vision.

3. Skill Summary

Skills are the main focus of a combination resume. In this section, you should list skills that are required for the job you are applying for in bullet points. 

  • First Skill
    • Achievements related to the skill
  • Second Skill
    • Achievements related to the skill
  • Third Skill
    • Achievements related to the skill

4. Work History

The work experience section in a combination resume functions as a support to the skill section. So carefully pick relevant work experiences that demonstrate the skills you have listed.

For the achievements and responsibilities listed under each job, you should be specific and provide hard evidence, statistics and data, to demonstrate the changes you’ve made.

Most Recent Job Title | Employer Name / Location / Start Year – End Year

  • Achievements
  • Responsibilities 

Earlier Job Title | Employer Name / Location / Start Year – End Year

  • Achievements
  • Responsibilities 

5. Education

Nowadays, there are many combination resume templates provided by online resume builders, such as CakeResume, or downloadable hybrid resume templates and edit them with word processing software, like MS Word and Google Docs.

The education section can also help to highlight your skills in a combination resume. The information you need to specify in this section includes: 

Also, if a course you took can help to bring out your skills, also include it in bullet points on your combination resume.

  • The type of your degree
  • The name of the school
  • The years in which you attended the school
  • GPA (if above 3.5)

Degree Name / Major | School, Location | Start Date – End Date

Combination Resume Templates & Examples

If you are still not sure how to write a combination resume, here are some examples you can follow:

Combination Resume Template for a Stay-at-Home Mom:

RESUME HEADER

[Name]

[Job title]

[[email protected]]  | [your phone number] | [your address or location] | [linkedin.com/in/yourname]

RESUME SUMMARY

Dedicated and customer-oriented [freelance graphic designer] with [3] years of experience. Seeking to leverage [communication skills and organization skills] as [an English teacher at ABC High School].

SKILL SUMMARY

  • Communication Skill
    • Communicated with clients regarding their requests. 
    • Negotiated contract details with clients.
    • Networked with other types of designers to bring in 30+ new clients.
    • Volunteered at a local nursery school as a storyteller.
  • Organization skills
    • Managed 100+ clients’ emails every month.
    • Maintain customer relationships with 10+ clients monthly.
    • Run a Facebook stay-at-home mom group of 45 members and organized meet-ups.
    • Organized arts-teaching workshops for nursery school teachers. 
  • Graphic Design 
    • Skilled in Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.
    • Designed and created visual materials for story-telling to a group of 15 kids aged 0-4. 

WORK HISTORY

Full-time Caretaker of twin babies
2019 - Present

Graphic DesignerFreelance | 2014-2019 

  • Created advertising content, including flyers, brochures, posters, and brand logos.
  • Developed key vision for 50+ clients, improving corporate image and increased client website clickthrough rate by 27%.

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Fine Arts | 
University of ABC | 2010 – 2014

Combination Resume Template for Project Manager:

RESUME HEADER

[Name]

[Job title]

[[email protected]]  | [your phone number] | [your address or location] | [linkedin.com/in/yourname]

RESUME SUMMARY

An innovative and customer-oriented project manager with [5] years of experience. Seeking to leverage [leadership skills and problem-solving skills] as a [public relations specialist].

SKILL SUMMARY

  • Leadership skills
  • Presentation skills
    • Oral communication skills
    • Extensive knowledge of MS PowerPoint, Google Slides, and Keynote
  • Problem-solving skill
  • Organization skills
  • Research and strategy

WORK HISTORY

Project Manager

ABC Corp.|Denver, Colo | 2019 — Present

  • Lead a team of 7 people, motivating, delegating tasks, giving constructive feedback, and monitoring their overall performance.
  • Quickly built and maintained relationships with customers, possessing a thorough knowledge of customers’ requirements and objectives.
  • Presented 50+ presentations and operational overviews for customers.
  • Designed and implemented solutions for 20+ cross-team collocation projects.

Associate Project Manager

XXX Co. |Aurora, Colo|2017 — 2019

  • Created and organized project documentation for 100+ projects.
  • Facilitated efficient communications between customers and the project team.
  • Presented findings in sales numbers and marketing data to upper-level management. 
  • Assisted in recruiting 10+ individuals suitable for projects.

EDUCATION

BA in Business Administration 
University of ABC | 2012 – 2016

  • Co-ordinated graduate conference on cross-culture leadership with 150+ attendees.
  • Won the School of Business Student Research Paper Competition awards in 2015.

Combination Resume Template Example for Teenagers (High School Students):

RESUME HEADER

[Name]

[Job title]

[[email protected]]  | [your phone number] | [your address or location] | [linkedin.com/in/yourname]

RESUME SUMMARY

Empathetic and high-achieving student [(GPA 3.8/4.0)]. Seeking out to apply my [communication skills] as [an associate customer service representative] to aid [XXX Co.] in meeting its milestones.

SKILL SUMMARY

  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • Google Suite
  • Communication skills

VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE

Volunteer 

Animal House Shelter, Asheville, NC | 2019 — 2021

  • Assisted in creating documentations for animals and potential pet owners.
  • Provided potential pet owners information regarding individual animals and increased adoption rate by 3%.

EDUCATION

High School Diploma | XXX High School, Asheville, NC | Class of 2021

  • GPA 3.8
  • Relevant Coursework
    • Introduction to Business Management
    • Basic Information Management

🔑  Key Takeaways:

To sum up, a combination resume highlights both your skills and work experience. Although this combinational resume format is not as common and popular as other resume formats, the hybrid resume comes in handy when:

  • You have little work experience or gaps between jobs.
  • You are going through a career change.

When writing a combination resume:

  • Focus on the relevant information.
  • Include transferable skills that you gained from jobs in different fields or schools.
  • Use free templates of hybrid resumes online to save time and make sure you’ve included everything.

--- Originally written by Yin-Hsuan Liang ---

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