Writing a Combination Resume

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What is a combination resume?

A combination resume is a hybrid that combines some elements from both the functional resume and the chronological resume. When you use this particular type of resume, you often need to make a two-page resume, but consider the amount of information you need to include before deciding between a one- and two-page resume.

The first portion of a combination resume shows your skills and achievements, and this information mirrors what is normally presented in the functional resume. The second part of the combination resume mirrors the setup of a chronological resume by listing your work experience in reverse chronological order.

Ideally, this resume type lets prospective employers first review your skills and qualifications as they relate to the position for which you are applying. Then, by viewing your work history, prospective employers can identify where and when your skills and accomplishments were acquired or took place, which provides a sense of security. As with any resume type, there are benefits and drawbacks of using a combination resume.

The sections of a combination resume typically include the following:

  • Personal information section
  • Objective (optional)
  • Career Summary or Summary of Qualifications
  • Work or Professional Experience
  • Education and Training
  • Other optional sections

Benefits of a combination resume

The benefits of a combination resume largely revolve around your situation at the time you are creating a resume. This type of resume is a strong way to present yourself to prospective employers by keeping the focus on your skills and accomplishments while still providing a timeline of your work history. Consider this resume type if any of the following situations apply to you:

  1. Making a radical career change
  2. Working for the same company for a long period of time
  3. Graduating with little to no work history

Drawbacks of a combination resume

There are drawbacks to using a combination resume as well. The drawbacks include what information this type of resume conveys. It might prove more to your advantage to use another resume type that does not highlight time periods in chronological order that might create a weakness if any of the following situations apply to you:

  1. You have frequently changed jobs.
  2. You have a large amount of unrelated work experience, or your work history shows a career path that is illogical.
  3. You are trying to conceal your age if you are significantly older or younger than the average applicant for a position.

Layout and what to include on a combination resume

The Personal Information section in a chronological resume is the same basic format as that you would use for any resume type, so make sure to follow the general formatting guidelines when creating this section.

The Objective section on a chronological resume is optional, and this section is best incorporated when you write a strong objective that is relevant to the position for which you are applying. Avoid writing one general objective statement to use for every position for which you wish to apply.

The Career Summary section is one of the two highlighted sections on a chronological resume, and it should showcase your strongest skill sets and your best professional achievements. Both show prospective employers the value you bring to a company. This section is a combination of your skills and career achievements, so make sure to quantify your achievements and stay precise to stand out from other applicants.

The Work Experience section is the second highlighted section and includes a reverse chronological list of your current and previous positions. Each entry in this section should include the years during which you were employed by each company, your title and the name and location of the company. In addition, also list accomplishments specific to each particular job instead of a simple list of your job responsibilities, and avoid including information that does not relate to career goals or to the job for which you are applying.

The Education and Training section should include the names of any degrees you possess by listing the date you obtained the degree, the school from which you obtained it and the date you received the degree. Professional certifications, licenses and education or professional honors are also included here or in their own section immediately following and education section.

Other optional resume sections should follow the education and training section. Other sections you can include if they highlight something that directly transfers into a benefit of hiring you as an employee include focused training, professional affiliations, languages you speak, community involvement and additional or miscellaneous sections.

Before deciding to use a combination resume, make sure the benefits of using one are to your advantage. If using this type of resume highlights a weakness, consider another resume type that puts more emphasis on your strengths. In addition, always make sure you avoid common resume mistakes, and inject a little of who you are into your resume to give prospective employers an idea of who you are both personally and professionally.