Your resume is the key to getting a manager to call you in for an interview. If it doesn’t highlight the qualifications they’re looking for, you probably won’t get the call. While the traditional resume may detail your past work experience, it may not be apparent how those experiences translate into being a good fit for the job you want. This is one time to consider using a combination resume format.
What’s Wrong with Traditional Resumes?
The traditional resume lists your previous work history in reverse chronological order. In an ideal situation, a recruiter would look at the resume and see that the candidate has developed skills and responsibilities over the years. The downside to this type of resume is that your flaws could become glaringly obvious. It might show gaps in your employment history, multiple career changes or a relatively stagnant work life.
One alternative is the “functional resume,” which organizes the resume to focus on the skills that you’ve gained through your real-world experiences. These skills may come from your former jobs, and they can also come from your education history or your volunteer experiences. However, the functional resume can leave out the details of your past employment, which can make a potential employer wary.
A combination resume format has you include a chronological section of your work history along with your relevant skills and experiences. Focus your resume around your unique talents, attributes and abilities, and include some basic information about your employment history and qualifications as well.
Who Should Use the Combination Resume Format?
A combination resume format works well for those who are trying to change careers. For example, if you’ve consistently worked in restaurant management but you want to transition to the corporate world, your traditional resume might seem a bit lopsided. The combination resume format would allow you to highlight the management skills you’ve gained over the years without dwelling on the fact that you’ve been working in restaurants.
The combination resume format is also a good choice for those who would have traditional resumes that look a bit bland, including new graduates without a lot of work experience and people who have held the same job over the years.
Formatting a Combination Resume
After you’ve written your contact information and a summary statement at the top of the resume, it’s time to list your skills. Group them into a few categories of interest. For example, you might list customer service skills, computer or software skills, management skills or design skills.
After listing your skills, dedicate a section to your work experience. This section should be brief. In fact, you only need to list the companies you worked for and your employment dates. You do not need to include a job title or the responsibilities you had; you can highlight your on-the-job achievements and skills elsewhere.
Tips for Creating the Best Resume Format
Since the main goal of using this type of format is to highlight your skill set, take the time to ensure that you’re including the skills that the company wants. Comb through the job description, and make a note of the listed qualifications. Use the exact verbiage when you list your skills, and take the time to modify your resume every time you apply for a new position. When the hiring manager is reviewing resumes, this can make yours stand out among the crowd.
Looking at the samples on LiveCareer can help you get a better idea on how to put together an ideal combination resume format.