Your Winning Resume: Choosing a Hybrid Format

It’s easy to get confused about opting for the best resume format. The information about the professional achievements and steady career growth is better to present in the expanded reverse-chronological track of a chronological format, which is the best for emphasizing your consistent work experience. A functional resume shifts the employer’s focus to the technical or soft skills required for the job, omitting gaps in a candidate’s background.

If the traditional formats don’t accurately represent your matching a role, there is another ATS-friendly option, such as a combination resume format. This article reveals the best way to present your key skills, accomplishments, and background for an employer through a combination resume.

Combination Resume Essentials

According to the viewpoint of resume writing experts on, either a chronological, functional, or combination resume with a proper exposition of your qualification can boost your odds to impress a recruiter. The right choice of how to present information to employers depends on the certain background, credentials, and the job a candidate is applying for.

What Is a Combination Resume?

The main difference between the formats is that a combination resume highlights the most relevant skills and accomplishments and simultaneously sets the details of the employment timeline aside. This hybrid kind of self-presentation allows advantageous balancing your job history and functional skills.

This perfect blend of competencies and professional experience is a good fit for the vacancies that require both past performance and capability, as you can lay emphasis on crucial skills and accomplishments from recent workplaces.

Combination Resume Elements

If you look at numerous combination resume templates, you’ll see that a combination (or hybrid) resume format incorporates the top attributes and finds a middle ground of both conventional formats, including the following vital elements:

  • Candidate’s name and contact information;
  • Summary;
  • Functional skills and relevant abilities;
  • Professional experience;
  • Education;
  • Accomplishments/Awards.

In common, a combination resume leads with a qualifications summary and skillset list, followed by reverse-chronological work history.

When a Hybrid Resume Format Is Right

A tailored combination resume holds a winning message for creative job-seekers, rookies, seasoned aces, military transitioners, and candidates who don’t want to seem overqualified. The career summary section attracts special attention to the applicant’s top credentials, making the employer give a green light to the best match.

You may want to use a combination resume if you have worked with only a few employers, have no gaps in your work history, or for age hiding. Go straight this way and choose writing a hybrid resume if you fall into any of the following groups:

Grads, students, early career professionals

Your phenomenal skills and accomplishments nailed down with 1-3 years of both paid or unpaid activities allow you to climb up the ladder, asking for more. This is the right format to showcase that the important skills have been already acquired. A hybrid resume lets you take advantage of your career achievements moving you forward with your career goals.

NB: Recent college or high school graduates without any experience should prefer a functional resume format instead to highlight their skillsets.

Career shifters and mid-level job seekers

Don’t be afraid to switch over from a career field to another one where you feel like a novice instead of a pro. With the help of a combination format, you will be able to transfer your skills and experiences gained from other jobs into attainments required by your new profession.

NB: The candidates with excessive job-hopping should steer clear from a hybrid format considering a functional one instead.

Job-seekers re-entering the labor market

After the one or two employment gaps or time-off with consistent job history, choosing the strategic combination resume is a win-win. It camouflages the gap, showcases you stay current of industry trends, and demonstrates that your skills and training, as well as previous but relevant job experiences, are still actual.

NB: Large employment gaps and unrelated experiences are among the limitations of choosing a combination resume due to the necessity of detailed job tracking.

Strategical Tips for Creating Combination Format

Though the weakness of the hybrid resume format is in departing from straightforward timelines, its flexible structure does a good job for a candidate. This is how you can make its layout seem professional and simultaneously creative:

Skills Summary

Begin with a career/ qualifications/ skills summary to state your key qualifications. This is a powerful strategy to catch the attention of a hiring manager and make him read the rest of the document. Take time and effort to tailor your skills summary to the keywords mentioned in the job description.

Apart from the key skills and accomplishments, you can include here the job objective, areas of expertise, and related training. Focus on the most relevant ones with keeping in mind what the hiring manager exactly looks for.

Job History

Your employment history should be clear and concise as much space has been already taken by the skills summary section. Use a reverse-chronological format to state your relevant experience, hard-to-perform responsibilities, and top achievements.

Try not to skimp on the professional experience section especially if you can’t rely on the related accomplishments alone. Omit unnecessary information about irrelevant jobs and tasks you’ve performed.

Education, Training & Awards

These sections depend on your specific experience. Add diplomas, training, affiliations, languages, and the additional information that covers your value for a company in the best way.

In a Nutshell

The best way to check whether your choice of resume format is right will be to demonstrate your hybrid resume to employers. Multiple calls for interviews will prove that everything you do is correct. If the response rate is low, you should re-think the structure to modify it. Take some time to consider which format is right for your circumstances to turn your resume into an efficient career tool.

About the Author

Gillian Grunewald

Gillian is a talented writer with a strong research approach in the career field. Has over 12 years of experience in resume, LinkedIn profile writing and editing. Education Master of Fine Arts, Writing Eastern Washington University.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.