Do You Need a Combination-Style Resume?

Wondering what type of resume to create? For example, do you need a functional or chronological resume or something that takes account of both styles? The focus of a functional-style resume is on the candidate’s primary skills with less emphasis on their work experience. This format is great for those who have made or want to make a radical change in career direction, for those job hunters whose career history is patchy or has unexplained gaps, and for applicants who have done a lot of job changing.

By contrast, the chronological-style resume mostly focuses on career history and provides a chronological record (in reverse order) of a candidate’s work experience with sufficient information about duties, responsibilities and achievements for each position. This style of resume is quite effective for anyone progressing steadily along a particular career path since the primary emphasis is on job-related experience.   

There is, however, a further option. This is the combination-style resume, which is a type of hybrid that incorporates the best of the functional and chronological styles. It usually begins by describing the candidate’s functional skills as well as any relevant qualifications. This is followed by a chronology of jobs held, set out in reverse order.

A great aspect of this particular format is that it allows the applicant to set out any appropriate qualifications early on while still showing the employer their career history in timeline-format. The main drawback is that it still requires details of one’s career history, so any irrelevant experience or excessive job changing is shown more clearly than in the functional-style resume.

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Who Is a Combination-Style Resume Suitable For?

Most job hunters should find a combination-style resume beneficial. Since it summarizes the applicant’s main credentials means, an employer can easily see if they are suitable. 

You may find a combination-style resume use if you are:

  • A student, newly graduated, or looking for your first job. This is because this format emphasizes key skills over short-term jobs.
  • An applicant with a consistent and steady career history. The qualifications summarization section shows if you match an employer’s objectives and requirements.
  • Someone returning to work after an absence. Here again, gaps in career history are not the main focus.
  • An older candidate. Job seekers with long and extensive career histories need to highlight their best credentials by writing, for instance, a highly focused summarization section.
  • Seeking a non-radical change in career. Otherwise, a functional-style resume may be more suitable.

Top Tips for Creating a Combination-Style Resume

Freedom to design and structure your resume in a way that works to your advantage is one of the great benefits of the combination-style resume. You should begin by summarizing your career (also known as a skills or qualifications summary) in a way that highlights your strongest points. Setting out one’s main qualifications at the start tends to make potential employers or recruitment managers want to read the full document. Make optimum use of this section to highlight your primary skills, expertise, accomplishments, objectives and any relevant or special training. Then present your work experience in reverse chronological order, which is a format that employers tend to favor. 

Do not forget that there will be less space for your career history when you include a career or qualifications summary. Therefore, your employment history section needs to be very clear, focused, and concise. Concentrate on what you accomplished rather than duties and do not add any irrelevant information. The remaining sections of a combination-style resume usually depend on particular skills and/or experience, but usually cover education, affiliations, special training, language skills, and other related information.