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What is a Combination Resume?

As its name suggests, the combination resume combines aspects of the chronological resume and the functional resume. Like the chronological format, the combination resume details your work experience, highlighting major responsibilities and achievements. Like a functional resume, it also prominently displays valuable skills.

What’s the difference between combination resumes and other resume formats?

Combination Resume

  • Features both work history and skills
  • Presents your most relevant abilities and job accomplishments
  • Focuses on career highlights rather than details of every job you’ve had

Chronological Resume

  • Features comprehensive overview of your work history
  • Emphasizes job experiences and career growth
  • Includes list of key skills
  • More chronological format tips

Functional Resume

  • Presents your top qualifications in detail
  • The emphasis is on skills, presented under important subcategories
  • Includes related training and non-professional activities
  • More functional format tips

Anatomy of a Combination Resume

Anatomy Resume Combination

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  5. 5

  1. Professional Summary
    This is your chance to sum up your most important qualifications and previous accomplishments, showing employers why you’re the best fit for the job.
  2. Summary of Qualifications
    If you can point to abilities and achievements that tie in with the job you want, use this section to give a concise rundown (usually three bullet points) of how you’ve used your top skills to achieve positive results.
  3. Skills
    List your skills under major categories that fit what the job is looking for. For example, if you’re looking at a medical assistant job, you could create a “Medical Skills” category (including skills such as first aid and CPR, as well as specialized knowledge of procedures and medical equipment), and “Soft Skills” (including intangible abilities that are key to the job, such as good communication skills and a patient-focused attitude).
  4. Work History
    List your previous jobs in reverse-chronological order (current or most recent job first), including the name of the company, the dates you’ve worked there, and titles of the jobs you’ve held. Aim for three to five bullet points for each job that showcase your most impressive achievements and responsibilities.
  5. Education
    Feature your highest academic credential (e.g., college degree or high school diploma), including the institution’s name and location. Add any related certifications or advanced training related to the job you want (e.g., CompTIA Network+ certification for a network engineer job).

When to Use a Combination Resume

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    You have some experience and are ready to move up.

    Suppose you’re a junior- to mid-level job seeker with notable skills or accomplishments. In that case, the combination format can detail how you’ve already acquired important abilities and used them effectively in your career thus far.

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    You’re switching over from a different career field.

    If you don’t have a lot of experience in your new job field, the combination format can feature transferable skills and work experiences from other jobs that show you can handle the demands of your new career.

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    You’re re-entering the job market.

    If you’re returning to employment after time off or have employment gaps in your career, a combination resume will emphasize skills and training you already have, as well as previous job experiences that match up with the new job you’re looking for.

Combination Resume Examples

Use these examples as a foundation for your resume, or visit our resume examples page for hundreds more job and industry-specific examples.

Executive Assistant

Executive Assistant Combination

Stress your organizational and administrative skills, as well as previous experiences where you’ve collaborated effectively with others. Mention crucial soft skills such as attention to detail and time management.

Nursing Aide

Nursing Aide Certified Combination

This example features key “soft” (or intangible) skills that show that the candidate understands the job’s interpersonal aspects and technical knowledge. The mention of a Certified Nursing Aide (CNA) credential in the education section also demonstrates that the applicant has gone the extra mile to train up in the field.

Personal Trainer

Personal Trainer Combination

Provide details on any work you’ve undertaken involving physical fitness, and feature any work where you’ve had a positive impact on others through mentorship and collaboration. Don’t forget to include diet and nutrition knowledge.

Phlebotomist

Phlebotomist CombinationD

Feature any work you’ve had which has involved interacting with others, using health and safety protocols, and note your familiarity with medical terminology and equipment.

Billing and Collections Team Leader

Billing Collector Team Leader Combination

In addition to highlighting important skills such as Microsoft Excel and data analysis, this example highlights responsibilities from previous roles that slot in well with a billing and collections job, including team management, heading quality assurance programs, and processing insurance payments.

Paralegal

Paralegal Combination

Show off your organization and administrative skills, and emphasize job experiences you’ve had in which you’ve handled legal documents such as briefs, wills, contracts, pleadings or appeals.

Marketing Project Manager

Marketing Project Manager Combination

Outline any successes you’ve had in positioning and developing products, and running campaigns that improve sales. Don’t forget key skills like communication ability, teamwork and copywriting skills.

Caregiver

Caregiver Combination

Provide details on work experiences you’ve had in which you’ve proven yourself to be capable of caring and attending for others, and list any specialized medical knowledge you have in your skills section.

Pharmacist

Pharmacist Combination

Highlight both your client-facing skills (such as good communication abilities and commitment to great patient service) as well as your knowledge of pharmacy processes and related software.

How to Write a Combination Resume

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    Target your summary to fit the job.

    Make sure the skills and expertise you feature in your summary fit what the job is looking for. Read through the job description, picking out keywords that spell out what the job needs, and then match those keywords with your abilities. For example, if you’re applying for a retail business analyst job that lists “managing an operating budget” as a major task, you could write: “Accomplished analyst with experience managing budget for five retail chain stores.”

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    Feature the right skills.

    The primary advantage of a combination resume is that it features skills and qualifications that are most relevant to the job you want. This means that even if you’ve worked at a job that doesn’t seem like a natural fit with the new position, you can highlight elements of the job that do. For example, if you’re applying for an office manager job but don’t have previous office experience, emphasize any related skills you’ve gained in previous jobs, such as invoicing or schedule organization. Every qualification you present should answer the most critical question: why you’re the right person for the job.

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    Show how you put your skills into practice.

    Your work history section isn’t just a place to feature accomplishments — it’s also your opportunity to show how you’ve used your best skills successfully. If you mention knowledge of SalesForce as a skill, give an example of how you’ve used SalesForce to improve a company’s bottom line. Employers don’t just want to know your abilities; they want to see proof of how you’ve put your knowledge into action.

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    Don’t skimp on credentials and training.

    Featuring additional coursework or certifications in important areas of expertise can go a long way to showing your dedication and focus on being the best in your field. For example, training as a certified supply chain professional (CSCP) will help your case in applying for a logistics job. Include these achievements in your education section, or create a separate “Training and Certifications” section under your education section.

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