The Structure of a Combination Resume
Include your name, email address, phone number and location. If applicable, midcareer applicants should consider adding links to their LinkedIn profiles, professional website or online portfolio.
Your professional summary should be two to five sentences that highlight the most impressive skills and experience you have cultivated up to this point in your career.
Summary of qualifications
Your summary of qualifications should include information about your degrees, relevant training, academic achievements and a high-level overview of your professional skills.
Study the job ad to determine the most critical hard and soft skills for the role. Then, add in any other relevant skills and training that will make you stand out. Since a combination resume focuses on skills and experience, feel free to make this a comprehensive list.
List your work experience in this section in reverse-chronological order, with your most recent job at the top of the list. This section should be detailed, so be sure to include any metrics that will highlight your professional successes.
List your advanced degrees in reverse-chronological order. If you don’t have a college degree, list your high school diploma or GED in this section. Otherwise, leave it off.
Who should use a Combination Resume Format?
If you fall into one of the following categories, using a combination format might do the best job of showcasing your skills and experience:
Executive-level job seekers.
If you’ve been in your industry for years and have a solid career trajectory and an admirable skill set, the combination resume can help you flaunt all of your assets in a single document.
Job seekers who have risen through the ranks at a single company.
If you’ve been in the workforce for years but have remained with the same employer through several promotions, consider using a combination resume. This format works well to highlight career progress, especially for those who have held various roles at the same company.
People re-entering the workforce.
The combination format is an excellent choice for those looking to return to work after a break. Its focus on relevant skills and professional experience will show off your credentials, even if you have been out of the workforce for years.
Applicants who are making a career change.
If you have a solid work history but are looking to make a professional change, this format will help you show off both your solid employment record and your transferable skills and training.
Early to mid-career job seekers.
If you’re a couple of years into your career but don’t have a long list of past roles to detail, the combination resume format is a great choice. With a past job or two, and a relevant internship or apprenticeship to boot, the combination resume format will allow you to showcase both your skills and your professional experience.
When to Consider a Different Format
You have gaps in your employment history.
If you have numerous gaps in employment, these will be evident in a combination format. To emphasize skills over employment history, consider a functional resume format.
You have little or no experience.
For those new to the workforce, a functional resume may be best for highlighting transferable skills while placing less emphasis on work history.
Resume success stories
Combination Resume Format FAQ
How should you order information on a combination resume?
Every resume should contain the same primary five sections. Still, with skills-based resumes like the combination and functional formats, you can modify and expand the sections; even add extra skills or accomplishments to better showcase your unique work experience. For more information about how to layout a combination resume, see the diagram on our resume formats page.
When should a combination resume be used?
A combination resume format is typically recommended for mid-career professionals, applicants who have several years of relevant work experience, and a robust set of transferable skills. There are other scenarios in which this format is helpful, including for professionals who’s career consists of rising through the ranks at a single company or who are making a career change. Check our outline of all the scenarios for using this resume format above.
What is the advantage of a combination resume?
The combination resume format offers you the best elements of the chronological resume format and the functional resume format. It allows you to provide detailed information about your work experience and specific skill set, making it an excellent option for many different job seekers.