A combination resume features elements from the functional resume and the chronological resume. It tends to center on skills, listing a significant number of them while still providing a wealth of information on work history, which the functional resume format tends to shy away from.
You can think of a combination resume as a functional resume that provides more work experience information, or as a chronological resume that tries to showcase key skills more prominently. Either way, you’ve understood the basic idea of the resume — it tries to avoid the disadvantages of other styles by taking key elements from each one.
A combination resume works best if you have employment gaps or lack extensive experience in the specific field you’re going into. Career changers and recent college graduates often don’t have much in the way of work history. By highlighting skills you have that fit the job description as well as giving examples of how you’ve used these skills in previous work, you can create a professional resume that focuses on your strengths.
Before you write your resume, it’s a good idea to have a combination resume example or two on hand so you can see what other people in your field are submitting right now. ResumeHelp offers combination resume examples across a wide variety of jobs. No matter what position you’re going for, you can find a resume that suits your needs. From there, you can use a combination resume template to start writing your resume. We can also help you create a combination resume from scratch, using our step-by-step resume builder.
There’s no such thing as a single best resume. When choosing a format, your best choice will always depend on the job you’re applying for and how well your skills and experiences match up. However, a combination resume might be a great option if any of these things are true:
If any of these apply to you, you should consider using a combination resume.
There are some situations where a chronological or functional resume might work better. You should rethink your decision to use the combination resume if any of these things are true:
First off, only reference your high school graduation if you have no other education. Even then, it might be worth it to leave it off. People don’t really care about your high school graduation or your high school GPA; they just care that you graduated or got your GED. If you don’t have a college degree, don’t worry about filling out the education section.
One type of education you can definitely reference is certifications in areas that are important to what your current work is all about. If you have a number of certifications, you may want to create a new category under skills (titled “Certifications”) where you can showcase all of those credentials. The recruiter who reads your resume will be grateful to see you have documentation that backs up your skills.
You don’t need to explain any employment gaps in your resume, but you may want to add a bit of explanation in your cover letter if you feel it helps your job candidacy. For example, someone applying as a health caretaker might want to mention a gap in employment where they had to take care of a sick relative. These explanations benefit your case.
In general, you don’t have to preemptively explain employment gaps. The intention behind a combination resume is to ensure that it doesn’t really matter. Your qualifications and work highlights should be enough to help a recruiter understand why you’re applying for the job. However, it’s usually a good idea to have an explanation in case the recruiter wants to ask you about it during your interview.
Sometimes a specific resume format just doesn’t work. Even if you feel like the combination resume is great for you, you might find that you’re not getting any bites as you submit your resume over and over again. If this is the case, consider switching to a functional or combination resume.
There’s nothing wrong with trying out different types of resumes. That’s why we have so many different resume samples at ResumeHelp. A combination resume template isn’t always going to be the right answer, so try writing your resume with our step-by-step resume builder using a different format. It might surprise you how effective another type of resume can be.