An Overview of the Combination Resume Format

The combination resume format is basically a combination of the functional and chronological formats. The combination resume emphasizes an individual’s key skills and accomplishments along with past places of employment and education. Individuals

Looking back at my past two articles, each demonstrated a breakdown of the chronological resume format and the functional resume format, and the major functions of both.  Briefly reiterate, the chronological resume mainly highlights prior work experiences and education in reverse order and the functional resume focuses primarily on key skills and accomplishments and minimizes work history.  Well, the combination resume format is basically a combination of both formats. The combination resume emphasizes an individual’s key skills and accomplishments along with past places of employment.  Individuals who want to showcase their core competencies and career achievements, along with a solid, impressive work history----should use the combination resume format.

When using the combination format, you would begin listing pertinent job skills and career accomplishments first in your resume, followed by your most current and past employment in reverse chronological order. Job seekers should strategically design the combination resume to quickly grasp the attention of recruiters and hiring managers by starting with an attractive career summary. This will, no doubt, persuade the reader to examine the resume further.

Depending upon the quantity of information, the combination resume is sometimes a two pager because you’re blending detailed work history and extensive career data. In essence, the combination format is comprised of the functional format and the chronological format in one resume. Therefore, when you design your resume, you should display your information in a concise and well-organized manner so that it’s reader friendly, yet interesting as well.

Job seekers who might use the combination format are seasoned professionals, college graduates, those in career transition, mature or older workers, former stay-at-home moms and dads, and those reentering the job market.  However, job seekers, such as college graduates, who have little job history, should use the functional resume format.

A major advantage of the combination format is that job seekers can strongly promote his/her accomplishments, key skills, relevant training, and impressive work history as the major focus.  That is, these individuals can exhibit the best of both features (functional and chronological) in their resume.  Another advantage is, you can conceal certain elements of your work history that you don’t want to bring attention to.

A major draw back of the combination format is that sometimes it can easily be a two pager, and some employers prefer reading one-page chronological resumes. This is because they are most reader-friendly and takes less time to sort out the information.  That’s why it’s important to make a good first impression, start with a persuasive or attention-grabbing career summary when using the combination format.  Otherwise, your resume could end up in the rejection pile.  Another disadvantage is that, listing extensive work history and graduation year(s) can easily reveal your age to prospective employers.  Unfortunately, some employers are reluctant to hire older workers.

Listed below is the basic format and general information that you should include in a combination resume.  Also, I have included a sample copy of a combination resume, courtesy of susanireland.com, at the end of this article.

THE COMBINATION RESUME SHOULD CONTAIN:

  • Heading- name, address, phone number, and e-mail address
  • Objective- brief statement that aligns your qualifications with the job you are targeting
  • Career summary- compose a dynamic career summary that emphasizes your key skills and professional accomplishments
  • Professional accomplishments- list your work history in reverse chronological order, starting with most current job, working backwards, list other past places of employment
  • Education- list schools in reverse chronological order, location, and degrees along with areas of concentration
  • Licenses and certifications (if applicable)
  • Professional affiliations

Sample resume:

Image credit: Susanireland.com

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