Combination Resume Example & Writing Guide

A combination resume can help you equally show off your work experience and your professional skill set. Learn how to write one with our guide!
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Combination

Have you ever spent hours perfecting your reverse-chronological resume only to realize that it doesn’t do justice for your professional skills? 

Naturally, you might’ve considered writing a functional resume instead, but that’s yet another extreme: it completely ignores your work experience.

Well, we’re here to tell you that there is a happy medium between these two resume formats—a combination (hybrid) resume

In this article, we’ll help you figure out whether the combination resume format is right for you and cover everything you need to write an impressive hybrid resume.

Key Takeaways 

  • A combination resume is a resume format that focuses on your professional skills as much as on your work experience.

  • You should use a combination resume if you want to make a career change, apply for a senior-level job, or mask gaps in your employment history.

  • To write a job-winning combination resume, provide your contact information, use an eye-catching resume statement, and list your professional experience.

  • A solid combination resume also shows your education history and emphasizes your soft and hard skills.

What is a Combination (Hybrid) Resume?

combination (hybrid) resume example

A combination resume, also known as a hybrid resume, is a resume format that equally highlights your work experience and your professional skills.

As its name suggests, the combination resume format combines the features of the other two most common resume formats, which are reverse-chronological and functional. 

This is precisely what makes it so unique: a hybrid resume has a skills summary similar to that of a functional resume, but it doesn’t disregard your work experience. Instead, it includes a brief overview of your work experience, which is listed in—you guessed it!—reverse-chronological order.

The main advantage of making a combination resume is that it enables you to show off your skills and your work experience equally

While, theoretically, this might seem like an ideal resume format since it combines the best of both worlds, it has some downsides you should consider. These include:

Combination Resume Downsides

  • Confusing structure. Since the combination resume is a mix of two resume formats, some hiring managers find them difficult to follow. For this reason, it’s crucial that you get the layout and formatting right. The easiest and fastest way to do this is to use a professional resume template.

  • Iffy ATS scannability. In short, the reverse-chronological resume format is the most ATS-friendly one, whereas the functional resume format isn’t optimized for ATS. As expected, the combination resume format falls somewhere in the middle, so it can be difficult to scan. Since most companies today use ATS and only 30% of applications pass the scan and reach the recruiter, that’s something you should keep in mind.

Who is a Combination/Hybrid Resume the Ideal Choice for?

Since the combination resume format blends two resume formats together, you may assume that it works great in any situation. In reality, however, this isn’t quite the case. This resume format is rare and used only in very specific situations, including:

When to Use a Combination Resume

  • Career change. The combination resume works great for career changers, as it can help you underline your transferable skills.

  • Senior-level positions. If you’re applying for a senior-level position, you’re likely expected to have a diversified skill set alongside years of relevant work experience. In this case, the combination resume is ideal, as it can help you emphasize both.

  • Employment gaps. Similarly to a functional resume, a combination resume can help you downplay employment gaps if your work experience isn’t linear.

That said, unless one or more of the above-mentioned situations apply to you, you generally shouldn’t use a combination resume, especially if you have little to no work experience. In this case, your best bet is to make a functional or reverse-chronological resume.

You could, for example, use a combination resume to apply for technical or creative positions that require you to have a highly developed skill set alongside relevant work experience (e.g., graphic design). However, given the above-mentioned drawbacks of this resume format, you might want to consider making a reverse-chronological resume instead.

Speaking of the reverse-chronological resume format, this type of resume is considered the safest and best option for most candidates. It’s not only the most popular resume format but it’s also well-optimized for ATS and easy to follow. Not to mention, it’s a favorite among recruiters! 

How to Write a Job-Winning Combination Resume in 6 Steps

Decided on a hybrid resume? Here’s an easy-to-follow guide that’ll help you write an impressive combination resume:

#1. Start with Your Contact Information 

Before you dive into describing your skills and work experience, you need to list your contact information so that the hiring manager can get in touch with you.

Here are all the details you should mention in your combination resume:

Mandatory Contact Infomation

  • Your full name

  • Your phone number

  • Your email address

  • Your location (city and state/country)

  • Your professional title (optional)

  • Your LinkedIn URL (optional)

  • Your social media handles, portfolio, website, etc. (optional—only include if relevant to the job)

Resume Tip

Use a professional email address that includes your name and surname (e.g., jackbriggs@gmail.com). The hiring manager won’t take you seriously if your email is wackyjackie777@hotmail.com.

Here’s an example of a brief and simple contact information section:

Contact Information Section Example

Patricia Miller Data Entry Specialist 012-345-6789 patriciamiller@gmail.com Dover, Delaware linkedin.com/in/patriciamiller11

#2. Use an Eye-Catching Resume Statement 

Next, you’ll want to write a resume statement to grab—and secure—the recruiter’s attention.  

Resume Summary

Resume statements are typically no longer than 3 sentences and come in two types:

2 Types of Resume Statement

  • Resume summary. A resume summary highlights your work experience, skills, and top achievements. For this reason, it’s an ideal choice for any candidate with relevant work experience, including those who are switching to a related field.

  • Resume objective. In a combination resume, you only want to use a resume objective if you’re making a career change and switching to a completely different field. It can help you explain how your current skills are applicable to the job you’re applying for—even if you don’t have any relevant work experience.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, here are all the elements you need to write an attention-grabbing resume summary:

Resume Summary Elements

  • Your professional title and years of experience

  • Relevant professional skills

  • One or two top achievements

And here’s an example:

Resume Summary Example

Strategic Marketing Manager with 8+ years of experience and an MA in Marketing and Advertising. Managed several marketing teams of up to 10 people. Skilled in budget management, brand management, and problem-solving. Increased the company’s ROI by 20% by developing a rebranding strategy that attracted a new target audience.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking to switch to a field that isn’t related to your previous work experience, here’s how to write a compelling resume objective:

How to Write a Resume Objective

  • Introduce yourself professionally

  • Focus on your transferable skills and any experience that could help you in the job you’re applying for

  • Explain your motivation to work for this specific company

In a combination resume, your resume objective should look something like this:

Resume objectiveExample

Detail-oriented and hardworking employee seeking to join Company X as a Virtual Assistant. Proficient in MS Office and Slack. Looking to leverage my strong organizational and communication skills to help with administrative tasks and create a productive work environment.

#3. Emphasize Your Soft & Hard Skills

Now, let’s focus on one of the two most important parts of the combination resume—your professional skills. 

Here’s the deal: if you simply list your skills, you’ll end up with a reverse-chronological resume. For this reason, you need to add a skills summary section—similar to that found in functional resumes—before you describe your work experience. 

So, here’s how to write an impressive skills summary for a combination resume:

Skills Summary Tips

  • Pick relevant skills. Compare your professional skills to those mentioned in the job listing and select the 2-3 most important skills you possess. You can group some related skills together (e.g., SEO and copywriting).

  • List both soft and hard skills. Like all resumes, a good combination resume should include soft skills alongside your hard skills

  • Explain how you’ve used and/or gained the skill. To do so, use 2-4 bullet points. Don’t go overboard with them—the main “selling point” of a combination resume is that it places equal emphasis on your skills and your work experience. 

  • Use numbers to give more context. If possible, make your skills quantifiable to illustrate the extent to which you’ve used the skill (e.g., “Wrote 40+ articles for a news website.”)

And here’s an example of a well-written skills summary:

Skills Summary Example

Content Creation

  • Created a viral Instagram reel that attracted nearly 50K visitors to the hotel’s website and increased the sales of additional services by 120%

  • Wrote and scheduled 2 social media posts and one email newsletter per week to promote the hotel and its services

Written and Verbal Communication

  • Answered 50+ incoming phone calls every day and maintained a 94% customer satisfaction rate

  • Replied to client questions and complaints via email, Instagram, and Facebook

#4. List Your Professional Experience

Once you’ve perfected your skills summary, it’s time to write a work experience section—another highly important part of your combination resume.

Here’s what you should keep in mind:

Professional Experience Section Tips

  • Tailor your work experience section. If you’re writing a combination resume, chances are you have years of work experience under your belt. Still, it doesn’t mean you need to list everything you’ve ever done. When choosing which jobs to mention, weed out the ones that have nothing to do with the position you’re aiming to land. 

  • Limit the number of your work experience entries. To keep your combination resume well-balanced, you want your skills summary and work experience sections to take up equally as much space. Ideally, you want to list only 2 previous positions that are most relevant to the job you’re applying for.

  • Use reverse-chronological order. To make your resume well-organized, list both positions in reverse-chronological order, i.e., starting with the most recent one.

  • Don’t go into too much detail. Instead of writing 5-6 bullet points for each entry, use 2-4 bullet points to list your main responsibilities and most relevant achievements. 

  • Make your achievements quantifiable. Like in the skills summary, use numbers whenever possible to drive the point home.

In a combination resume, your work experience section should look similar to this:

Correct Example

Software Engineer Company X Billings, Montana 04/2018 - 09/2022

  • Implemented workflow automation tools that helped increase employee efficiency by 35% on average.

  • Developed the company’s mobile applications for Android and iOS using Java and Swift.

  • Managed and mentored a team of 7 developers.

#5. Write Your Education History 

After you’re done writing a skills summary and a work experience section, the hardest part is over! What’s left is to include your education details.

Essentially, you want to keep your education section brief. After all, if you’re writing a combination resume, you likely have more impressive things to show off than your college degree. And, let’s be fair—a 3.8 GPA won’t impress the hiring manager as much as the fact that you reduced employee turnover by 23%. But, if you have enough space, you can mention it.

Resume Tip

If you have a college education, save space on your resume by skipping your high school diploma!

So, simply start with your latest degree and list the basic education details, including:

Mandatory Education Information

  • Degree

  • Institution (university, college, etc.) name

  • Attendance years

Here’s an example:

Education Section Example

BA in Psychology University of Idaho 08/2015 - 06/2019

#6. Use Additional Sections to Your Advantage 

Additional sections on a resume

By now, you should be done with the main parts of your combination resume and, most probably, the entire resume. This resume format packs a lot of information, so it’s unlikely you’ll have lots of white space left after filling in all the sections.

Nonetheless, if you have some extra space on your resume, consider enhancing your resume with one or more of the following additional sections:

Optional Resume Sections

  • Languages, alongside your proficiency level

  • Publications, whether in academic journals or online

  • Conferences, especially if they’re relevant to the position

  • Professional affiliations to show your dedication to the field

  • Licenses and certifications, including their expiry dates (if applicable)

Also, if you couldn’t list all the relevant skills in your skills summary, you can use the extra space to include additional soft skills and hard skills sections. They can look similar to the ones in reverse-chronological resumes.

Here’s an example:

Hard Skills and Soft Skills Section Example

Soft Skills Time management Prioritization Delegation Hard Skills Quickbooks—Expert MS Office—Expert Account Reconciliation—Advanced

Free Combination Resume Template

Name and Surname

Phone number: 000-000-0000 | Email: namesurname@gmail.com | Location: City, State

[Adjective] [your job title] with [years of experience, if applicable] in [your area of expertise, if applicable] looking for a [position] job at [company name]. Eager to apply [relevant skills] gained through [work/volunteer/other experience] to help [company name] [mention what you can do for the company].

Skills Summary

Skill #1

  • Mention any achievements relevant to this skill

  • Explain how you used this skill 

  • Explain how you used this skill 

Skill #2

  • Mention any achievements relevant to this skill

  • Explain how you used this skill 

  • Explain how you used this skill 

Skill #3

  • Mention any achievements relevant to this skill

  • Explain how you used this skill 

  • Explain how you used this skill 

Work Experience

Most Recent Relevant Job Title Company City, State [Start date] — [End date]

  • For recent jobs, use 5-6 bullet points to list your top achievements and responsibilities

  • Use action verbs to make your responsibilities and achievements stand out

  • Add numbers to quantify your achievements

Less Recent Relevant Job Title Company City, State [Start date] — [End date]

  • For recent jobs, use 5-6 bullet points to list your top achievements and responsibilities

  • Use action verbs to make your responsibilities and achievements stand out

  • Add numbers to quantify your achievements

Education

[Degree] in [Major] [University/college name] [Start date] - [Graduation date]

Additional Sections

  • Add any relevant additional sections if you have space (soft and hard skills, languages, licenses, publications, etc.)

Combination Resume Example

Combination Resume Example

Closing Thoughts 

Congratulations—now you know everything about writing a job-landing combination resume!

In essence, this resume format is most suitable for experienced candidates and those making a career change. Most importantly, if you choose to write a combination resume, make sure to put equal emphasis on your skills summary and work experience sections.

Sheila Kravitz
Content Writer & Head Editor
By day, Sheila Kravitz writes stellar content and works as a head editor. At night, she spends her time winning at trivia nights or playing Dungeons & Dragons with her friends. Whether she’s writing or editing, she gives her maximum effort and ensures no error gets past her watchful eyes. When she’s doing none of the above, Sheila likes to spend time with her cats and her partner, endlessly watching crime documentaries on Netflix.

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