What to Include in a Combination Resume With Examples

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What's a combination resume, and when should you use one? A combination resume is ideal for people who want to emphasize their skills over their work history.

Perhaps you’ve recently changed occupations, and much of your job history no longer reflects your career direction. A combination resume enables you to emphasize the skills you’ve acquired without calling attention to your pivot.

You might also find yourself looking for a job while unemployed, or with a long gap in employment on your resume. In this case, a combination resume will enable you to highlight what you can do, not what you’ve done in the past. This can help you overcome bias against hiring workers with employment gaps. 

Combination resumes can be used to show the employer your most relevant skills, qualifications, and experience, while still documenting your work history. This resume format is also a good way of answering the reader’s questions about career changes, employment gaps, and other potential red flags.

What a Combination Resume Is

A combination resume lists your skills and qualifications first. Your employment history is listed next, in reverse chronological order (beginning with your current or most recent job and then working back through earlier positions). When you use a combination resume, you can thus showcase the skills you have that are relevant to the job for which you’re while also providing the work history that employers have requested.

This format is often the best of both worlds for job seekers who might prefer to present their resume in a functional format, emphasizing their skills and qualifications, but who have been instructed by the employer to include a work history. For those who wish to avoid a traditional chronological resume – either because of unrelated jobs or employment gaps – this format is a good compromise.

What to Include in a Combination Resume

The combination resume is typically sectioned into two parts. The first part is similar to a functional resume in that it highlights skills, achievements, and qualifications. The second part depicts the timeline of work experience.

The layout first captures the attention of the employer or recruiter by highlighting key skills and capabilities of the applicant in a “qualifications summary,” and then supports this introductory section with an account of prior work experience. The qualifications summary is also a good place to include resume keywords that will help you get past the applicant tracking system and in front of a person.

It can be especially effective, in this format, to divide the descriptions of your work experience into “Related Work Experience” and “Additional Professional Experience” sections. This allows you to focus your reader’s attention on your most relevant experience while at the same time providing a complete work history. 

Review an Example and Download a Template

Review an example of a combination resume, and download a template you can use to create your own resume.

Screenshot of a combination resume example
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Combination Resume Example (Text Version)

Joe Applicant
123 Main Street • Oakland, CA 12345 • (123) 456-7890 • joe.applicant@email.com

EDUCATION COORDINATOR/SUPERVISOR

Effectively managing staffs in both the blood bank and business arenas

Results-oriented, high-energy, hands-on professional with 10+ years’ experience and a successful record of accomplishments in the blood banking, training, and communication transmission industries.

Key skills include:

  • Experience in Quality Assurance and Customer Service in Two Industries.
  • Excellent Communication Skills
  • Team Building & Leadership
  • Internal & External Communications
  • Experience in Training and Payroll

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

AMERICAN RED CROSS, Oakland, Calif.

EDUCATION MANAGER / EDUCATION COORDINATOR (February 2013 – Present)
Facilitated successful educational project over the past five years for Northern California blood centers, with FDA regulated manufacturing equipment, as pertaining to CGMP, CFRs, Calif. State and American Association of Blood Bank (AABB) regulations.

Notable accomplishments:

  • Provide daily operational review/quality control of educational accountability to meet regulations.
  • Responsible for assuring uncompromised compliance with 23 organizational quality systems.

CORE COMMUNICATION INC., Sunnyvale, Calif.

CABLE TELEVISION SUPERVISOR (May 2008 – February 2013)
Supervised contract support for six AT&T Broadband systems located in the Bay Area.

Notable Accomplishments:

  • Provided customer support/resolution, training in telephony and customer care.
  • Handled quality control, payroll, special projects/plant extensions, and staff evaluations.

EDUCATION & CREDENTIALS

SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY, San Jose, Calif.
Bachelor of Science (GPA; 3.8; Major: Administration of Justice; Graduated Cum Laude), May 2008

Certifications

NCCT Phlebotomy Technician Certification • NCCT Certified • CATV System Technician

Information Technology Skills

Microsoft Office Suite • ADP / Workforce Now • Proficient in Various Payroll Software Systems

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