Combination Resume: Examples And Tips

By Caitlin Mazur
Oct. 2, 2022

When applying for a job, ensuring your resume is correct is one of the most important things you can do.

However, not all resumes are created equal. You can replicate specific formats, such as chronological, functional, or a combination resume.

The combination resume focuses on the applicant’s work history and skills to capture the employer’s attention and can be quite useful for the right scenario.

Key Takeaways:

  • The combination resume is a combination of the chronological and functional resume formats.

  • The combination resume lists relevant skills and transferable abilities before providing information on your work history.

  • The combination resume is ideal for applicants worried about answering questions about career changes or gaps in employment.

  • Combination resumes can be particularly helpful for veterans wishing to show how their military skills are transferable.

Combination Resume: Examples And Tips

What is a Combination Resume?

The combination resume combines the best parts of two common resume formats:

  • Chronological. The chronological resume is the typical type of resume you’ll come across, providing recent work history in reverse-chronological order. Its primary focus is on qualifying achievements from work experience.

  • Functional. The functional resume focuses on lists, relevant skills, and any transferable abilities that can set you apart from other candidates. Work experience is secondary on a functional resume.

The combination resume gives you the best of both worlds, it:

  • Lists your skills and qualifications first. This is similar to a functional resume.

  • Next, your employment history is listed in reverse chronological order. You begin with your current or most recent job, and works backward. This is most similar to the chronological resume.

This effective resume combination layout will highlight the key skills and capabilities of the applicant in the first part of the resume — the qualifications (skills and experience) summary.

The qualifications summary is an ideal place to use resume keywords that can help your professional resume catch the attention of your hiring manager.

When to Use a Combination Resume

Combination resumes work well for applicants who have a variety of work history and strong skills and accomplishments to highlight, but it can also work for those with minimal experience to highlight. Below are some suggestions for when to use a combination resume most effectively.

  1. If you have a gap in employment on your resume. If you have been out of the workforce for any given reason, a combination resume is an ideal format to go with. It will highlight your skills and accomplishments instead of focusing on the gap in your employment history, which will only be evident in the second section of your resume.

  2. If you are looking to change careers. Changing your career path is a leap many are hesitant to take, especially if they have significant experience in a specific field. A recruiter or hiring manager may have trouble with a typical resume format to understand why you might be a good fit for a career shift.

    With the combination resume, you can highlight your transferable skills and how it can aid the business. Hiring managers and recruiters can get a better sense of what you did and where and how it all adds up to make you the ideal candidate for the job opportunity.

  3. If you are a veteran. Service members have gained incredible experience and skills that are often transferable to job opportunities. However, civilian jobs won’t always match the job you may have had in the military.

    A combination resume is a perfect way to show the hiring manager or recruiter how your previous experience actually translates to the job you’re applying for.

  4. If you are a recent graduate or have minimal work experience. If you’re fresh out of school without an abundance of work experience, a combination resume can help. This format will help you emphasize your abilities that you’ve honed through school, extracurricular activities, leadership roles, internships, and more.

  5. If you have a wide variety of experience across industries. It could be the case for many applicants that they have the opposite problem. If you’ve taken a variety of jobs in different industries, you may have a ton of experience with different responsibilities you’ve taken off, but no good way to highlight them in a cohesive way. The combination resume will help you guide the reader to what is truly relevant to the job.

What to Include in a Combination Resume

A combination resume will include all of the typical things you’d seen in a chronological or functional resume, just in a varied order. The format below describes the order and what to include in each section to impress the job recruiter or hiring manager you are submitting to.

  1. Contact information. Theheaderof your resume should stand out from the rest of your resume. This is important so that the recruiter or hiring manager remembers who you are and can easily contact you. Include your name, email address, mailing address, telephone number, social links, links to your portfolio, and any other important links.

  2. Summary. The resume summary is a brief statement that concisely communicates your most relevant skills and abilities. Keep this summary under two lines and describe who you are professionally and what you have to offer. If you are new to the workforce with not much experience to promote, use a resume objective here.

  3. Relevant and key skills. This is the first half of your combination resume and where you list any and all key skills relevant to the job you’re applying for. This is the optimal place to use relevant keywords you can pull from the actual job application for which you are applying. List both technical and interpersonal skills here. This will show your potential employer that you have a good balance of both.

  4. Professional experience. This second section is a list of your past roles and responsibilities, skills acquired, and accomplishments listed below each one. Use this section to support the skills section before it.

  5. Education. Depending on the job you’re applying for, educational history has a different weight on the value it adds. However, for candidates with minimal work experience, adding this section may help supplement your resume. List degrees, relevant coursework, and any academic achievements you may have received.

  6. Additional information. You can add a final section to this resume that lists any additional skills not already covered, volunteer experience, awards, relevant interests, or any other section you feel could allow the hiring manager insight into what you’ll bring to the team.

Combination Resume Tips

With all that has already been said, here are some additional tips to consider as you write a combination resume:

  • Focus on required skills. Since a combination resume puts emphasis on your skills, make sure the skills you include are required or desired by the employer in the job description. The required skills should stand out right away on your resume.

  • Use work experience to prove skills. Your work experience should come with quantifiable achievements that show how you used your skills to successfully enact your responsibilities. This provides credibility to your skills.

  • Make yourself relevant and indispensable. Tailor your resume to the job description. Every piece of information should show how you are qualified and what you can offer the employer. Do not distract or detract from the reader’s attention. They are busy people and will not spend a long time reading your resume, so make yours count!

  • Keep it clean and logical. Make sure your resume is not cluttered or confusing in its presentation. The hiring manager or recruiter who reads your resume wants to quickly understand whether or not you are qualified and deserve more attention.

Combination Resume Examples

Below, find some examples of resume format for how to create the best resume possible.

Jean Rizzo

(888) 324-2351 | jrizzo@gmail.com | 234 High Street, Chicago, IL 60007

Experienced front-end developer with 8 years of experience building websites for a variety of industries. Designed innovative, cost-efficient, and intuitive products for high-traffic web pages. Enthusiastic about writing code that is well-structured and providing clients with high-functioning websites they dream of.

Tech Stack

JavaScript | CSS3 | HTML5 | Jira

Practices

Leadership | Test Driven Development | Continuous Delivery

Relevant Experience

Apple, Inc. — Senior Software Engineer
January 2017 – Present

  • Increased viewability from 23% to 70% by re-engineering ad implementation

  • Launched dashboards to transform visibility into data for overall ad impression and viewable impressions allowing the team to improve response time

  • Increased unit and integration testing from 5% to 90% in a six-month time frame.

National Geographic — Front-End Developer
September 2014 – January 2017

  • Part of the team who developed responsive interactive web applications for high-traffic sites

  • Developed multi-site ad loading and management library to help increase ad impressions

  • Developed SOPs, style guides, and coding standards across the organization.

Education

The University of Chicago
Bachelor of Science
Degree in computer science
Minor in marketing
Graduated with a 3.9

Volunteering and Extracurriculars

  • Coding Club of Chicago, Club Secretary (2017-Present)

  • Women for Coding Social Club, Co-Founder

Fred Applebaum

fredapple@gmail.com | 425-234-1223 | 13 Lakefront Street, Winter Haven, Florida, 33880

Education Supervisor

Results-oriented, attentive, hands-on educational professional with over 12 years of experience in education training, with a number of accomplishments across customer service and automotives.

Key Skills

  • Quality assurance and customer service experience in two distinct industries.

  • Exceptional communication skills both internally and externally

  • 3 years of experience in team-building and leadership

  • Experience in training and payroll

  • Extensive experience with Microsoft Office, including MS-Word, Excel, and Powerpoint

Professional Experience

Avis – Education Manager
February 2012 – Present

  • Managed a successful educational project over the past four years for new employees, ensuring proper protocols are in place and abided by.

  • Provided education training for over 1,000 employees both in-person and virtually.

  • Established a certification program for training employees

Trader Joes – Manager
August 2008 – December 2011

  • Supervised a full stock team in the morning hours, while maintaining customer service on the front end and training for new employees.

  • Developed SOPs for training new employees which were shared across all regional stores

  • Handled quality control for all store items

Education

St. Joseph’s University
Bachelor of Science
Graduated with a 3.8 GPA

Combination Resume FAQ

  1. What does a combination resume focus on?

    A combination resume focuses on combining the functional resume with a chronological resume, giving you a vehicle for sharing both your skills and abilities and your work history.

    Typically, the first part of a combination resume shines the spotlight on your abilities and the tasks you have performed throughout your professional career. It draws attention to this portion of your work history.

    The second portion of a combination resume will list your employment history in reverse chronological order. This will give employers a sense of your employment but will take the focus off of any gaps in your employment history and changes in your career.

  2. What is the advantage of a combination resume?

    The advantages of a combination resume are that it can hide any gaps in employment history, any changes in your professional field, and it is full of keywords.

    In the modern world of artificial intelligence resume scanning, keywords mean more than ever before it ever hits a hiring manager or recruiter. By putting your skills at the top of your resume, you stand a better chance of getting noticed for those keywords. That can lead you to a job that is looking for some of the skills that you possess.

    A combination resume is also a big benefit for someone who has had a gap in employment, many different jobs or works as a freelancer, and people who have shifted their career focus. It’s also a good approach for someone who is a recent graduate or who doesn’t have much work experience.

    The reason the combination resume works so well is that it lets people know what you can do right away. It grabs their interest and puts you out there as a skilled candidate. Of lesser importance is the companies you worked for and when you worked there.

  3. What is the downside of a combination resume?

    A downside to the combination resume is that it can be quite lengthy. Listing two different areas, or basically adopting parts of two resume types, can get long, and resumes are meant to be short.

    Another downside of a combination resume over a functional resume is that it does list your employment history. This is good for some, but other people might be better off completely skipping the employment history part of any resume and focusing on a functional resume that simply lists their skills.

  4. Do employers like combination resumes?

    Yes, employers like combination resume if they’re searching for candidates with particular skills. When having a skill that’s difficult to find is important to the open position, employers definitely like having a combination resume to pull out that skill and then view what company the individual worked for.

    Employers don’t like combination resumes if they’re looking for a general job that doesn’t require specific skills. In this situation, they just want to know that you have a good work history and are reliable. Your skills are not as important to them because anyone can be trained to do the job.

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Author

Caitlin Mazur

Caitlin Mazur is a freelance writer at Zippia. Caitlin is passionate about helping Zippia’s readers land the jobs of their dreams by offering content that discusses job-seeking advice based on experience and extensive research. Caitlin holds a degree in English from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA.

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