What is a combination resume?

Before we dive into that, we have to understand what is a resume format.

The resume format is the backbone of the resume, around which you outline your sections.

Before writing your resume, ensure that you choose the resume template according to your target profile & industry requisite. There is a different template for modern and basic resume writing.

There are 3 standard ways of writing a resume. The following shall give you an effective idea of what these formats are and how and why to choose the combination resume. By the end of the article, you will know how to write a professional combination resume for your work profile.

Here's what you will learn from this blog:

Also, check out Hiration's online resume builder to make your resume in under 5 minutes. You'll find pre-filled templates and infinite designs on our resume builder - making a resume has never been this easy!

Types of Resume Format

There are three different types of resumes that are accepted within the industry. These resume formats are:

Reverse Chronological Resume Format

In the Reverse Chronological Resume Layout, you begin with information from the most recent work or education profile and trace back to the beginning of your education. You must enlist your major achievements and responsibilities along with the timeline.

The resume template follows the following order:

  1. Contact information
  2. Resume summary or resume objective
  3. Work experience
  4. Education
  5. Skills
  6. Additional Sections

Also Read: How to compose a professional resume objective?

Functional Resume Format

In the Functional Resume Layout, a separate section is created in which all significant points are grouped under relevant skills. The professional experiences are listed without many details of the responsibilities or achievements. This format is recommended for people with gaps in their employment history or for ones who have often changed their jobs or industries.

The resume template follows the following order:

  1. Contact information
  2. Resume objective
  3. Skills Summary
  4. Additional Skills
  5. Work Experience
  6. Education

You may find examples of functional resume templates for a better understanding of how you can proceed with writing your resume.

Combination Resume Format

The Combination Resume Layout is a combination of the reverse chronological resume format and the functional resume format. It showcases the skills and achievements of any candidate with detailed evidence from their professional experience. Alongside it highlights their work profile from the most recent to the initial stages in the industry. The points on this format of the resume are grouped based on the skills highlighted.

The resume template follows the following order:

  1. Contact information
  2. Skills Summary
  3. Additional Skills
  4. Work Experience
  5. Education

There are two ways of making a combination resume:

Grouping Inside Professional Experience

This format is similar to the reverse chronological resume format. The point of difference is in the professional experience section, where the points are grouped by the skills that they represent.

Here is an example of this type of combination resume format:


By Grouping in the Summary of Skills Section

This format lists all your achievements and significant career highlights to create a separate section of the "Summary of Skills". These points are grouped under several key skills, like in a functional resume format. This type of combination resume format replaces the summary to create a powerful snapshot of your career which is highly targeted for the job you are going to apply for.

Here are some combination resume examples:


Also Read: The best resume format in 2022

The following table will discuss the differences between the three templates


Reverse Chronological resume

Functional resume

Combination resume

Principle focus

Chronologically Detailed Work history / Education


Skillset / Work experience

Work experience section

At the top

At the bottom

In the middle

Time on each position

PresentNot presentPresent

Skills section

In the middle

At the top

At the top




Non-conventional, confusing

Professional and creative

Applicant Tracking Software scanability




Main advantage

Universally used

Easy to read

Shows information recruiters want to know about job positions and activities

Conceals flaws in work history

Displays key skills needed for the new position

Emphasizes and validates skills

Includes the best features of both formats: work history, skills, and achievements

Main weakness

Very common, might require tweaking

The lack of experience is more obvious than in other formats

Suggests you’re hiding something

Recruiters may not favor it, as it isn’t straightforward about previous jobs

Suitable for few candidates

Good for

Virtually all candidates

Creative jobs, Job transitioners, Candidates who are either overqualified or underqualified

Career changers, experienced professionals

Not ideal for

Career changers

Students, experienced professionals, career changers, entry-level candidates

Entry-level candidates, students


Combination Resume: What is it?

The combination resume is one of the three types of resume formats commonly used.

A combination resume is usually organized into two parts or pages.

The first part of the combination resume is in the functional format, which highlights skills and accomplishments.

The second part of the combination resume is in reverse chronological order that highlights work history.

Both the parts of the resume can be used interchangeably depending on the type of combination resume you are making. This format uses the best aspects of both the chronological resume and functional resume. While the chronological part focuses on the candidate's work experience, the functional part focuses on the skills. A combination resume, therefore, focuses on both the work history and skills to capture the recruiter’s attention.


  • Combination resume formats appeal to recruiters for senior executive positions that require highly-specialized skills. These skills can be easily identified. This format also confirms that the candidate has the required work experience.
  • Combination resumes are useful for job seekers with a significant amount of work experience and commendable skills and accomplishments.
  • Combination resumes are suitable for job seekers who want to change careers. Since they highlight both your skills and any reputed companies you may have worked with, they can showcase transferable skills and emphasize outstanding employment history.
  • In case a candidate has worked for the same company or has held the same position for a long time too, a combination resume is useful in highlighting the candidate’s skills and achievements for other job posts.


  • Combination resumes can be longer than other resume formats and can exceed the ideal length of 1 or 2 pages depending on your experience.
  • Repetition of values may be predominant in the combination resume template.
  • Career changes or employment gaps are visible in a combination resume template under the work history section.

Combination resumes: Who Should Use It?

As the combination resume templates highlights skills over experiences, it is particularly useful for people who are attempting to enter a new industry. It is also preferable when changing careers since many skills can be transferred between industries. Therefore, highlighting these skills is important for people looking to switch fields or industries.

The combination format is the best option for candidates with many experiences. The hybrid resume template represents your skills instantly. Therefore, in case you are applying for a job that requires technical skills or relevant certifications, a combination resume is your best option.

Since the style of a combination resume focuses on both the skills and the abilities of the applicant, it is best for those applying for positions that require a good possession of technical skills and expertise. Using a combination format is the best way to showcase all your abilities to the recruiter without giving the impression of hiding any information.

Combination resumes are ideal for applicants who already have a lot of experience in the same field or even in different fields.

Since a combination resume template can prioritize relevant skills over prior work experience, depending on the type of combination you choose, they are also suitable for candidates who are looking to try an industry to which they had previously not catered. Your transferable skills play a major role in your career change.

Some important transferable skills include:

  • Team Work
  • Leadership
  • Personal Motivation
  • Organizational and Time Management
  • Adaptability
  • Multitasking
  • Decision-making
  • Time management
  • Prioritizing
  • Problem Solving
  • Delegation
  • Listening
  • Written and Verbal Communication
  • Analytics
  • Research

Many candidates benefit from using a combination resume due to the career summary. This section pinpoints the candidate's top credentials so employers can seek their best abilities.

Despite the combination resume samples focusing more on skills, it leaves space to provide details of your work experience. Add impressive sets of accomplishments and job duties to make the combination resume your perfect choice.

To categorize the people for whom the combination resumes best benefits, read the list below:

  • Students, new graduates, and entry-level candidates to emphasize their skills rather than their short employment history.
  • Candidates with a steady, consistent employment history to add a qualifications summary that pinpoints the top credentials for the job.
  • Candidates shifting careers to showcase required transferable skill sets. However, in case you are making a radical career change, use a functional resume template.
  • Candidates reentering the industry after a significant gap in employment history. Here, the combination resume format takes the emphasis off the fact that you have not worked for a while.
  • Older workers with extensive employment history need who need to showcase their strongest credentials. The summary section best highlights this.

Also Read: What skills to put on a resume?

Combination Resume: When to Use it?

The Combination resume format prioritizes skills over work experience. Therefore, this resume is useful for candidates who are trying to change industry or careers because many skills can be transferred between industries. The combination resume template highlights these skill sets to benefit the candidates.

Despite the combination template highlighting relevant skills, it allows the incorporation of strong features from your specific work history. So, if your past job history is impressive and you are looking to change your career, the combo resume format is just what you need.

So is a combination resume good?

The combination resume format is considered an ideal marketing layout because it first highlights skills and accomplishments, then gives the hiring company, or recruiter, a sense of security by providing an account of work history.

Combination resumes highlight recent job experiences which might be relevant to the position being pursued. They also allow easy perusal through the applicant's career progression.

Another aspect of the combination resume format is its flexibility. Since you have different options to create it, feel free to move the elements around. But try to make sure the recruiter can focus on the most relevant information.

For example, in case you have relevant experiences in a field even though it is old, you can include it in the skills section at the beginning of the resume. This can even describe your experiences and the corresponding responsibilities you have performed. You can include your dates of employment later in the resume, with a chronological list of positions held.

However, if the writer has a gap in their career history or an impeding career progression, then it is highlighted in the combination resumes.

When Should You Avoid Using a Combinational Resume?

Unless you are looking for a change in career or industry, avoid using the combination format resume.

Professionals at the senior level should also refrain from using the hybrid resume format.

Hiration pro tip:
If you are opting for a career change, focus on highlighting the skills that your potential employer is looking for in your combination resume. Do not highlight your unrelated achievements, despite being proud of them.

Combination Resume: How to Write it

Although the combination resume templates highlight skills, it features heavy specifics of your work history. If your past responsibilities are impressive and you are only looking for a change in the industry, the combination resume style might serve you best.

While a chronological resume format emphasizes the work experience and duties of each position, the combination resume format underlines your skills while doing the same. However, to avoid unnecessary repetition, do not list your skills separately and then list them again in the employment history section.

In the combination resume, the flexibility of the structure of the document works to the advantage of the applicant. You should ideally lead with a career summary or a qualifications summary or a skills summary. This section emphasizes your strongest credentials. Your key qualifications at the beginning of your resume appeal to the recruiters to read the rest of your resume.

Incorporate your job objective, key skills, areas of expertise, accomplishment highlights, and related training into the summary section. Quantify your statements with relevant examples, if possible.

They follow with a reverse chronological employment history. Keeping your resume in the chronological format appeals to most recruiters, as it is the standard mode of presentation.

However, by including a career summary, you will essentially have lesser room for your work history. Therefore, you must be concise and straight with your experience section.

Maintain the focus on the accomplishments more than on the responsibilities. Avoid adding unnecessary information which is unrelated to your career goal.

Additional sections on your combination resume can include an education section, training and certification section, references, languages, and additional information.

Also Read: How to write a resume that can help you land a job?

Tips for Writing a Combination Resume

  • First, look at your professional achievements and skills, and hobbies to get an idea of how it fits your profile within the combination resume structure.
  • Reduce all the irrelevant information and make a list of your achievements, skills, job profiles, and other performance data to include in the combination resume. They should stand out to a recruiter for the specific vacancy that interests you.
  • Fill out your combination resume template with these details. You can also use the online resume builder for professional resume-building experience.
  • Both the summary and the work experience sections in your combination resume should include short quantifiable examples of how you have implemented your skills to prove yourself as an asset to your previous organization.
  • Mention relevant awards and scholarships, internships, projects, courses, etc. in your qualifications summary to demonstrate your strengths. Use action words and keywords from the job description to present additional information.

Consider reviewing the following questions to help write a combination resume:

  1. Have you written a combination resume before?
  2. Have you ever come across challenges when writing a hybrid resume?
  3. When do you think a combination resume can be more effective than a reverse chronological resume?

Combination Resume: The Structure

Use the flexibility of the combination resume to your advantage. You can try moving sections around to see what best appeals to the recruiter. You can integrate your experiences into the chronological list of past employment. This makes your resume more traditional, while the emphasis provided in the skills section keeps the focus on function. The combination resume template works best in tweaking results.

The combination resume employs a mix of the two styles of resumes. Therefore, it is very important to consider the combination resume format.

It begins with a summary of the qualifications, includes education and skills section, and also a work history list. Not only does the work history focus on citing the most relevant positions, but also on detailing achievements and responsibilities from those roles.

You may try experimenting with the different layouts that can emphasize your strongest qualities on Hiration's online resume builder.

Combination Resume Key Sections

Personal Information

Any application needs your basic information. Include your name and contact information - available phone number and professional email address, followed by your home address (city and state).

You may even include your LinkedIn URL, but do not redirect the recruiter to an empty profile.

Your name should ideally be the largest text on the page between 20-24 pt font size. The rest of your font may correspond to the font style and size of the rest of the page.

Professional Profile or Qualifications Summary

Begin with a professional profile or qualifications summary to emphasize your skills. Both introductions introduce your necessary skill set. However, they do it in slightly different ways.

Your qualifications summary displays your achievements that correspond to your skills. Therefore, they testify and validate your skills as opposed to the professional profile where you address the skills you gained in your previous work.

A combination resume should begin by emphasizing the transferable skills of an applicant. The best way to do this is to start with a professional profile or qualifications summary.

A professional profile showcases your skills in your previous positions or projects. A qualifications summary emphasizes your achievements corresponding to those skills.

While both introductions have the same mission, the qualifications summary might be more effective in highlighting both skills and accomplishments in a combination resume.

Additional Skills

In a combination resume template format, your skills section is placed above your professional experience. Since a combination resume is usually used by applicants in mid/senior-level job profiles, your skills section holds equivalent weight to your work history section.

Group similar skills together for clarity and try to quantify them (e.g., Heightened sales by 10% in two months by using enhanced communication skills).

Although the skills section part of your combination resume is the trickiest, it is also very important. If you have a master list of skills but do not know how to list the relevant ones, reach out to us or read our article on the resume skills section in a 2022 resume template.

In a combination format, the skills section may come before the professional experience section. Keep this section organized by grouping similar skills together. Also, quantify your skills where relevant.

Work History and Experience

Your professional experience section looks the same in every format. Many combination resumes contain the error of listing the most basic responsibilities of a job under each position. Your points should be accomplishment oriented and communicate your responsibilities.

For example, if you were a computer programmer, avoid writing "used to program computer software". Instead, discuss the software you designed and to what degree of quality. If you have been acknowledged for your work, mention that too.

The main objective of the work experience section in your combination resumes, or in any resume, is to provide detailed and relevant points to describe your professional experience.

Avoid unconnected job duties and focus on accomplishments. Again, quantify your case and prove your qualification to the recruiter. If you are looking to maximize your professional experience, you may use our online resume builder.


The combination resume format does not especially highlight the education section. While education achievements are necessary for freshers, the combination resume is most effective for senior candidates with a long work history.

However, it is still necessary that you mention your degree or educational certificate. If you have achieved any prominent academic success, include that too.

In a combination resume, the education section can be quite brief. Since the combination resume template is mostly used by senior professionals, it is considered that you are already well into your career and that your resume should focus on your work experience.

Also Read: What details to add to your resume sections?

Key Takeaways

  • A combination resume is a great way for an experienced professional to make sure the recruiters pay attention to your relevant skills.

  • Quantify your skills and link them to relevant examples of professional achievements, awards, or certifications.

  • Try to tailor your summary and your skills according to the job description. However, do not show off your skillset. Your resume should not only show off your career achievements but also meet your job requisites.

  • While you are listing your work experience, briefly explain your responsibilities and highlight your achievements. You may repeat some of the information from the skills summary to make your resume consistent and convincing.

  • The Combination Resume layout is ideal for candidates who have work experience yet wish to make use of their current knowledge and skills in a new role, industry, or sector.

  • In a combination resume for career changers, they can identify their transferable skills and suitably organize them to provide the potential employer with a guide to the type of worker they are so they can assess how they will perform in the new role.

  • The combination resume format essentially employs the following pattern:

    1. Personal Information
    2. Professional Profile or Qualifications Summary
    3. Additional Skills
    4. Work History and Experience
    5. Education
  • The combination resume format provides a brief work history, skills, and examples of relevant experiences. Since students or freshers in the industry require a heavier focus on education, awards, and often soft skills than technical abilities, it is not the most preferred resume format for them.

  • The combination resume structure includes a Qualifications Summary which is similar to the functional resume format. It describes your abilities or achievements in under 5 points in a key skill category. Quantify your examples wherever possible.

  • Exemplify and quantify specific use of your skills to improve the credibility and relevance of your key abilities.

  • The combination resume structure employs bullet points under each job title similar to the reverse chronological resume layout. These points depict the responsibilities and objectives accomplished in each profile.

Visit Hiration's career platform, which has 24/7 chat support to get professional assistance with all your job & career-related queries.

You can also write to us at support@hiration.com for any queries.

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