Most resume formats fall into one of two categories. There are functional resumes that emphasize your skills. These are ideal for inexperienced applicants who have developed skills through their education, but have less on the job experience. There are also chronological resumes – the standard choice for experienced candidates who prefer to emphasize the work they have done, and the positions they have held.
Sometimes forgotten, is the third resume type – the combination resume. This format emphasizes skills, experience, and accomplishments without following the timeline of a chronological resume.
There are many people who can benefit from using a combination resume. However, it is especially useful for people who are seeking a career change, or who have recently graduated from college or university. This is because these folks tend to have:
- At least some work experience
- Hard and soft skills
- Relevant education
At the same time, because they are entering fields that are new to them, they need to find a way to balance the best elements of functional and chronological resumes. Thus, the combination resume is perfect for them.
If the combination resume seems like a good fit for you, keep reading. Here are some tips for writing one, plus a combination resume example.
Create a Skills Section, Then Integrate Those Skills Into Your Work Experience
Start with a resume outline and make a list of relevant skills that you already have. Next, you’ll want to back up these by your work experience. For example, you may list graphic design as one of your core skills. Later in your resume, you can show that you have used that skill in the real world designing logos for small business owners.
Focus on Transferable Skills
Whether you are a new graduate or seeking a career change, you have probably developed some skills that can help make you more productive in your new job. Most soft skills fall into this category. However, depending on the job you are pursuing, you may have hard skills that are transferable as well. For example, there are several careers where having advanced MS Excel skills is considered to be a real selling point.
Use The Job Listing as a Guide
Your resume should emphasize the skills and experience that best matches the needs of the company. That’s why you should use the job listing itself to help you determine which skills and experience should receive the most attention.
Don’t Forget The Extras
A combination resume format allows you to include relevant awards, volunteer work, research, and other experience that you may not normally fit in a more standard one-page resume. Don’t hesitate to add this information if it makes you appear to be a more well-rounded candidate.
That said, your resume shouldn’t look “crowded” as this affects readability. To compactly fit extra details, grab a free Google docs resume with a two-column design. You can then use the sidebar area to fit in those extra details!
Check Out a Sample Combination Resume
This resume format is not as familiar as others. You may not have much experience with it. That’s why it’s important to check out examples to see what a combination resume format should look like. Here is one example for you to study.
Combination Resume Sample (Word version)
Combination Resume Example (Text version)
3174 Chardonnay Drive
Centralia, WA 98531
Creative, self-starting design professional with 4 years experience in website and UX design seeking to enter the field of digital marketing.
Marketing Skills: UX copywriting, social media marketing, content marketing, infographic design.
Marketing Tools: Google Analytics, Buffer, HootSuite, Clout, Curata, BuzzSumo, Ahrefs.
Other Relevant Skills: Skype, MS Office, Google Docs, Customer Service, Verbal And Written Communication Skills, Leadership, and Negotiation.
Smith And Smith Digital Marketing
July 2019 – Present
Duties: Completed an internship under the VP of the social media marketing team. Created visual content for Instagram, Tumblr, and Facebook. Worked with professional bloggers and content creators to add visual elements to content. Used analytics tools to measure customer engagement. Communicated digital marketing concepts to customers.
Crystal Design Group
UX Designer/Web Developer
May 2015 – June 2019
Duties: Developed and tested apps, websites, and landing pages for small and medium-sized businesses. Worked directly with clients to gather requirements, modified web products as customer needs changed. Specialized in developing sites for ecommerce stores using Shopify and other platforms.
University of North Texas
July 2012 – May 2016
BA Graphic Communications And Digital Media
Minor: Business Management
Accomplishments and Awards: Dean’s List, Student Council Representative, Member of Creative Students Association, Recipient of The Graphic Communications Society Gold Standard Plaque, Graphic Design Society of North America scholarship Recipient.
Additional Awards And Experience
ASPCA Volunteer Leader 2016
Boys LaCrosse Coach U1 – U8
Volunteer Regional Director, Art Across America Initiative for Disadvantaged Youth
By combining your work experience, relevant skills, and education, you can create a resume that will allow hiring managers to picture you as a perfect fit for the position, even though you do not have the optimal work experience.
You can further impress the decision-makers by carefully curating your duties and additional education/certifications to prove that you are an enthusiastic, well-rounded professional who’s eager to take on a new career challenge.