Lori Freitas Houghton

Lori Freitas Houghton

Experienced Recruiter & HR Partner

Leslie Bates Sparnicht

Leslie Bates Sparnicht

Career Consultant / HR Leader

Updated : 09/07/2021

Combination resume samples keep your resume format focused and effective. Use industry-specific combination resume samples for a better resume. It’s also called the hybrid resume.

Table Of Contents

1. Quick Takes on the Combination Resume

It’s also called the hybrid resume. The combination resume format has features of both a chronological and a functional resume. It combines the chronological flow that most hiring managers prefer with an opportunity to focus more heavily on your skills and career highlights. There are many varieties of combination resumes; some are more effective than others and may depend on your industry or your situation.

2. Advantages of a Combination Resume

A combination resume brings together the work experience of a chronological resume and the skills emphasis of a functional resume. How does that combination help you get a job? It “allows your future employer to see the highlights of your experience right upfront and to get an understanding of your skills, knowledge, and abilities in a clean, easily accessible format,” says Leslie B. Sparnicht, a certified career consultant. Combination resumes also provide that chronological framework which applicant tracking systems use to parse data, an important advantage that functional resume formats don’t have.

3. When to Use a Combination Resume

Though most employers are looking for a chronological format, combination resume format fits well for certain circumstances. “You may want to consider using this format in situations when you are changing careers and want to show that your experience and skills are transferable to a role you haven’t done in the past,” Sparnicht suggests. “This type of resume is also excellent for people early in their career or for someone coming back into the workforce after time away.” It could also be a great option to showcase relevant experience for someone returning to a career after time away from it.

4. How to Write and Format a Combination Resume

The sequence of sections may vary with a combination, or hybrid, resume. Some will place a professional summary at the top, followed by an in-depth skills or project section, followed by a work history in reverse chronology, and then education. Others feature the chronology first and follow that with an in-depth look at achievements, projects, and/or skills. Depending on your industry, one approach may be more advantageous than another. You should consider different resume samples and learn about your industry to find the right approach. Remember these keys for an effective combination resume:
✓ Combination Resume Format Key Points
You have limited space. Feature the information that will be most compelling and relevant to your employer. It’s easy to get stuck summarizing everything. A comprehensive summary is not the goal. The goal is to persuade, showing enough evidence that the hiring manager will want to interview you. Resumes exist to help decision-makers decide who they will interview. Include evidence. To get that interview, include evidence of your achievements frequently throughout your resume and quantify those achievements wherever possible. Don’t be so detailed. If you put a lot of details into an opening section focused on skills (or research or projects or achievements–depending on what makes sense for your field), you can give less detail in your work history. Use keywords to describe previous roles. Customize your keywords and details for a specific company or role for maximum effectiveness. Don’t get creative. Though a combination resume is slightly more complex than a chronological style, keep it simple as much as possible. Attractive text boxes or inserts probably can’t make it past the automated ATS. Double check your writing. Proofread your resume to keep it free from errors. Make it appealing and readable. Remember, your resume is one of many so you want it to be as simple to digest (by machine and human) as possible.

5. Combination Resumes Per Industry

Education Combination Resumes

It’s fairly common in the education field to find job seekers who have worked in a combination of industries. Sometimes out of necessity, a teacher or professor needs to work in arenas like retail, hospitality, or office jobs to pay the bills, while waiting for a great full-time teaching job to become available. Sometimes this pattern is intermittent, with employment in and out of the education field. Getting experience if you’re just starting out A combination resume allows you to highlight and emphasize your education-focused experience first, while still including the complete chronological flow which employers like to see. View an example of Education Combination Resumes.

Administrative Combination Resumes

Administrative jobs place a heavy premium on skills – typing speed, familiarity with different technology applications and platforms, data processing, and softer skills such as people skills and phone manner. Combination resumes allow you to identify your skills, while still accounting for your work history in a chronological, orderly way. An initial resume for early career administrative professionals might include a mixture of entry-level jobs (waiting tables, grocery store bagger, etc.). A combination resume can effectively make the case that despite a lack of administrative experience, you still have the skills to do the job. View an example of Administrative Combination Resumes.

Business Combination Resumes

The field of business usually has fairly generic expectations for resumes. A combination business resume should begin with a summary or highlights section, place the chronological section second, and then follow with the skills section to comply with the typical resume “rules.” Your resume should be concise, leave white space, and quantify achievements as much as possible. View an example of Business Combination Resumes.

Computers and Technology Combination Resumes

Skills are king in the tech industry and there is often a forgiving attitude towards gaps in a work history because of the project/gig nature of the field. This may be the field where a combination resume can be leveraged most effectively. Your skills section should (ideally) be impressive and dense, packed with all the technologies with which you have some familiarity (software applications, operating systems, platforms, devices, programming languages, etc.). Feature cutting edge, highly-valued technologies first. Highlight any innovations or patents you’ve developed, if you’ve got them. A solid chronological work history will still be highly valued, so include this section, probably leading with your skills and then following with your work chronology. View an example of Computers and Technology Combination Resumes.

Law Combination Resumes

Whether you decide to use a skills or highlights section in your law combination resume, the combination format can showcase your projects, publications, research, and pro bono work. You might also include technical skills and language skills, if applicable. Getting experience if you’re just starting out Your chronological work history could include only your law-related positions or include broader experience, but keep non-law experience brief and minimized. View an example of Law Combination Resumes.

Management Combination Resumes

A management resume, like a business resume, tends to be highly traditional. Open with a summary section, follow with the chronological section second, and then include the skills and education sections last. Your work history is the best place to give details on the size of the teams you’ve managed. Be specific about where you’ve hired, onboarded, coached, developed, and trained individuals. Articulate the outcomes of managing performance, perhaps mentioning if you’ve needed to fire employees. View an example of Management Combination Resumes.

Marketing Combination Resumes

Marketers tell stories, so your opening section should be a professional summary that’s a concise, appealing story of your career. If you’re in the digital marketing or social marketing fields especially, your tech skills are highly valued and should be showcased. But it’s preferable to follow the more traditional rules and have that skills section follow your chronological history. View an example of Marketing Combination Resumes.

Restaurant and Food Service Combination Resumes

When you’re putting together a resume for the restaurant and food service industry, remember that the question you’re trying to answer is: Can you handle a similar type of restaurant environment? If they’re a high-volume establishment, show you can handle the stress and speed of a high-volume environment. Or if they have upscale patrons needing VIP customer service, articulate that you’ve mastered that. Resumes for this industry are largely straightforward and simple. Lead with your chronological history and then include skills and certifications/education. Share honors you’ve received for customer service or sales volume. View an example of Restaurant and Food Service Combination Resumes.

Healthcare and Medical Combination Resumes

A healthcare or medical combination resume could lead with a summary of your relevant certifications, licenses, and/or education. Then you could follow with a chronological work history section which gives details on the range and depth of your responsibilities and specializations. Getting experience if you’re just starting out If you work in the operations or administrative side of this field, then you might approach this resume more like a business format. Lead with a professional summary, follow with a chronological work history, then describe your relevant tech skills. View an example of Healthcare and Medical Combination Resumes.

Engineering Combination Resumes

Engineering resumes, like most resumes in the tech field, should give strong technical details and can be dense and specific. Using a combination resume to give plenty of emphasis to your skills could be an effective strategy. Getting experience if you’re just starting out Your skills section should be highly technical. Softer skills like project management or leadership skills are still important, but should be summarized with your chronological work experience. View an example of Engineering Combination Resumes.

Sales Combination Resumes

Effective sales resumes show clear, quantifiable evidence of achievement. A sales resume without numbers and awards is simply not competitive against other candidates’ resumes that can provide that evidence. For example, a sales combination resume might lead with a listing of achievements (e.g. President’s Club awards, revenue/sales growth, territory expansion, the size of your biggest deals, etc.). Describe your book of business and list all the positives of your track record. Then follow with your chronological work history. View an example of Sales Combination Resumes.

Hotel and Hospitality Combination Resumes

Your hotel and hospitality resumes can be simple and should usually follow the traditional method of leading with your chronological work history. Employ some of the strengths of the functional format by highlighting relevant skills and projects. Getting experience if you’re just starting out Potential employers want to understand the scope and depth of what you’ve done, if you’ve moved up in increasing responsibilities, and the environments in which you’ve worked. Highlight your achievements and show evidence of your customer-orientation. View an example of Hotel and Hospitality Combination Resumes.

Science Combination Resumes

Science combination resumes can effectively showcase the exciting research work in which you’ve been involved and the important skills you bring in technology, laboratory procedures, coding, etc. Because science resumes can represent the convergence of different industries (academics, technology, commerce, and different fields within the sciences), a combination format can be useful. If applicable, you might devote a section to your research, including the names of the scientists under whom you’ve worked. And a skills section is essential. If, for example, you’re in biotech, devote a good portion of your skills section to outlining those bio tech skills (e.g. RT-PCR/qPCR, DNA/RNA isolation, immunoassays, gel electrophoresis, confocal microscopy, cell-based assays, etc.). Just list these skills in a stream: it doesn’t require fancy formatting or explanation. Potential employers will appreciate seeing specific skills in addition to your chronological work history. View an example of Science Combination Resumes.

About the Author

Lori Freitas Houghton

Lori Freitas Houghton

Experienced Recruiter & HR Partner

In her 15+ years in human resources, Lori Freitas Houghton has worked on both sides of the hiring equation. She’s experienced as a recruiter and partner with hiring managers. She is also a proven career coach with a high success rate at helping job candidates create breakthrough resumes that gain them interviews. With a BA in English and a Master of Organizational Behavior (MBA) degree, Lori also has considerable experience writing and editing HR content.

Leslie Bates Sparnicht

Leslie Bates Sparnicht

Career Consultant / HR Leader

Leslie Bates Sparnicht is Career Development Consultant and Gallup Certified Strengths Coach with 20 years of human resources, organizational development, and program management experience. She believes in finding, developing, and retaining the best people to support business goals. Sparnicht is committed to creating long-term, meaningful partnerships and has an enthusiasm for seeing people succeed in their work.

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