The Combination resume format

What does a combination resume format have in common with cake? Well, with this format, you can have that cake and eat it too, because it blends together the most effective aspects of the Reverse-Chronological and Functional formats.

As with any Resume, the mantra here is to market yourself in a clear, creative and convincing fashion. If you have an extensive career history, or are highly experienced and possess very marketable skills, then you’ll be better off choosing a resume format that flaunts these attributes and creatively pitches you to recruiters. This is where a combination resume format comes in handy.

What is a combination resume format?

Before talking about this format, it’s important to note that it might not always be the most common format among job-seekers, although it is definitely an attractive option under many circumstances. A combination resume format focuses heavily on the job-seeker’s key skills, experience, capabilities and his or her work/employment history. When looking at a hybrid resume, recruiters can quickly understand not only a job-seeker’s key skills but also where and when they gained them. These skills are developed in the employment history section.

When Should You Use This Format?

By now, you know that a combination resume format merges the best aspects of the Reverse-Chronological and Functional Resume formats. This means it suits a broader range of job-seekers and provide recruiters with a single window through which they can get a peek at skills and work/employment history. This format is highly recommended for job-seekers who:

  1. Have lengthy employment histories that showcase a steady career growth.
  2. Have a wide range of skills and experiences.
  3. Are changing careers and have stellar transferable skills.
  4. Are restarting their careers after a break.

When NOT to Use This Format?

There are few situations where the combination resume format is less advantageous, but it should be avoided if the job-seeker is:

  1. A very frequent job-hopper.
  2. Applying for a job in a traditional profession like law or finance, where recruiters prefer the Reverse-Chronological format.

What Should You Include in This Format?

You can use the following sections in this format:

  1. Name, Address and contact details
  2. Professional Summary or Brand Statement
  3. Skills and Highlights
  4. Professional Experience
  5. Education Summary
  6. Referees

The combination format applies to the Professional Experience section, where you list the newest job first and the oldest job last, along with the skills used or gained at each of these jobs. You must provide the following details for each job:

  1. Job Title
  2. Organisation Name
  3. Dates
  4. Location (if relevant)
  5. Skills, experience and capabilities used or gained

In summary, this format appeals to recruiters and also passes application tracking systems. It gives job-seekers at all levels of proficiency, experience and career stages an equal opportunity to market themselves to recruiters. Remember, the right resume format could well be the key to eventually landing that job.  

Please follow this link to view a combination resume sample. Return to the homepage for more information or click the link to learn more about how to write a resume