What is Combination Resume/Hybrid Resume & how it Works

A resume is only part of your job search tool. It is important, as it is your first contact with your desired prospective workplace. It summarizes your professional history and should provide a compelling case for why the employer should hire you. So, knowing how to prepare a hybrid resume is your selling point to your prospective employers.

However, preparing a hybrid resume is not always easy. What parts should you highlight on a resume? And are there parts of your story that you would prefer not to draw attention to? Your resume should tell a great story about your professional life. But what’s the best resume to do that?

You probably know a chronological resume and have probably heard of a functional resume, even if you’ve never used one. But you may never have heard of a hybrid resume.

More importantly, you may not realize that a hybrid resume can help you tell the best professional story you can.

How to choose a resume

When it comes to creating a resume, choosing the right format can be tricky. You need to highlight your skills, experience, education, and more in (preferably) one piece of paper. So how do you decide?

First, you need to think about where you are at in your career. Are you a seasoned professional or a fresh graduate? Is there a gap in your career or have you climbed the ladder without a break for years?

Every career path is different, and there is no “right” or “wrong” path. However, there are certain resume formats that can help you best convey your journey to potential employers:

  • Chronological curriculum vitae
  • Functional resume
  • Hybrid resume

In this article, we will narrow our focus to why the hybrid resume format is simply the best.

What is a Hybrid Resume?

A hybrid resume, sometimes called a composite resume, combines the best parts of a chronological resume and a functional resume.

This allows you to draw attention to the things a recruiter is supposed to notice and helps you divert attention from the things you don’t want to emphasize without trying to hide them.

It highlights the job seeker’s skills and achievements first (like a functional resume), followed by work experience (the focus of a chronological resume format).

While the chronological resume format may seem a bit too traditional to some modern job seekers, the functional resume format is generally not preferred by hiring managers.

This type of resume highlights skills and accomplishments first, and then work experience in chronological order.

Just like with a functional resume, highlight your notable and important skills at the top of a hybrid resume. And just like a chronological resume, you list your work history in date order and include some key responsibilities and accomplishments from each job.

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Why use a hybrid resume

Although the combined resume is not as common as a chronological resume, it is gaining popularity. Hybrid resumes have become the standard resume in many ways. They combine the best elements of chronological and functional resumes.

  • Emphasizes skills and achievements
  • Relieves the work history / gaps (but does not hide them)
  • Top-loaded style shows hiring managers the most valuable information first
  • The neutral format appeals to both traditional and non-traditional hiring managers

The functional resume template also focuses on skills but is not preferred by hiring managers as it tends to skip career history and employment gaps, making the applicant unobtrusive.

Employment gaps are emerging and most recruiters will understand that. The hybrid format helps reduce these gaps without completely hiding them.

It also helps hiring managers to spot your best selling points (skills) first.

They’ll search it for position titles, employment data, keywords, and metrics that stand out before deciding to read it carefully. The resume format you choose should make these areas of information easier to find and read.

Who should use a hybrid resume format?

The hybrid resume is the best option for a job seeker in most cases, but it is especially useful for those entering the world of work, changing careers, or returning to work.

The following people could benefit from using a hybrid resume format:

  • Career changer: A hybrid resume shifts the focus away from pure work experience and gives you space to explain the most important professional skills in order to write a resume for a career change.
  • Experienced professionals: some professions are more skill-oriented than others. If so, hybrid resumes can masterfully showcase both your skills and experience.
  • Job seekers with job gaps but also relevant experience: Make these gaps on the resume less important by highlighting your skills first.

This format shifts the focus away from work experience and draws attention to transferable skills (skills you may not have acquired by working in a particular industry but which still apply to the position you are applying for) why it’s great for people who don’t necessarily want to showcase their work history.

If you are applying for a position in the same industry that you have worked in for many years, you can also consider the chronological format of the resume.

How do you write a hybrid resume?

In order to write one who will hire you, you need to know the following:

  • Which fonts get the most out of your resume?
  • The difference between work duties and performance skills
  • How do I write down your achievements (fill in the blank?)
  • How to upload your resume from above
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Hybrid Resume examples and templates

Areas of competency are an important part of any hybrid resume. The inclusion of skills also helps your resume get past applicant tracking systems. Here are some samples of Hybrid resumes.

What should be in a Combined Resume and in what order?

The prospect of creating a new resume can be intimidating, and a whole new format can feel too much. But remember that most of the substance is the same. Essentially, you’re just taking a lot of the same material and presenting it in a new way.

A combined resume contains the following components (many of which should look familiar, even if you’ve only used one chronological resume so far):

  • Name and Contact Information: Your CV header should be clearly visible at the top of the page so that anyone who reads can easily remember who you are, how you connect with you, and how you navigate your portfolio, social Media profiles and / or other important links.
  • Professional headline: Some people add a professional headline. This is not the same as a target (which is really no longer used).

    A professional headline explains a little about you and the type of job you are looking for. It’s similar to a LinkedIn headline.
    So feel free to take inspiration from your LinkedIn headline, but don’t copy it.
  • Summary (optional): The resume summary – a short statement that sums up who you are (professionally) and what you have to offer – is not a must.

    However, it can be especially effective for career changers or professionals with years of experience who want to tell readers a succinct story about what they bring with them for that particular role.
  • Relevant/Key Skills: The first half of the main show in a combined resume. Here you list your key competencies that are relevant to the position you are applying for.
  • Professional History: The second act on a combined resume is a list of your previous roles, with responsibilities and accomplishments listed below that.

    If you have a lot of experience, you should reduce this list to the most relevant entries and label them as “Relevant work experience” or “[occupation / role type] experience”.
  • Work History: Next up is your work history. You list it out like you would on a chronological resume. Start with your current or last job and work your way back around 10 to 15 years (or at the very beginning, depending on your professional history).

    And just like a chronological resume, you list relevant tasks and achievements under each job title. However, on a hybrid resume, you don’t list all of the skills or responsibilities. Hopefully you covered most of these in the Skills section.

    For this section, select a few relevant roles and skills that you would like to highlight related to this job. Then explain what you did and how it benefited the employer.

    For example, instead of saying, “Addressed customer complaints,” say, “Proactively addressed customer concerns, resulting in a 92% retention rate.”

    Don’t stop writing after explaining the tasks you are performing. Keep writing to absorb the results of your work. Why was it important to take on this task? What was the result?
    What happened or didn’t happen because of it? Was it saving money or time? What was different and better as a result?
  • Education: In your education section, you would list all the degrees you have in reverse chronological order (similar to a typical chronological resume).

    Mention the name of the school, the dates you attended and the degree you earned. If you have specific training this is where you should mention it.
  • Additional Skills, Volunteer Experience, Awards, Interests, or Other Sections as Needed: You can create one or more additional sections that are relevant to you and the position you are applying for.

    For example, you might want to list additional skills that didn’t make it into the section above, or volunteering experience, awards, interests or hobbies, etc.
  • Keywords: One of the best job search strategies you can use is to tailor your resume for each job. This doesn’t mean that you have to rewrite your resume every time you apply for a new job.

    However, it does mean reading through the job description to make sure you are using the correct keywords on your resume.

    For example, if a job posting is looking for someone with “client service” skills, make sure they aren’t saying you have excellent “customer service” skills. While these may be the same for you, they may not be the same for the employer.
     
    And if the ATS is programmed to look for “Client Service”, “Customer Service” will not appear and your resume may be ranked lower.
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Conclusion

A hybrid resume is a great option for many strategic job seekers who are unsuccessful with their traditional resumes. Hybrid resumes (or composite resumes) focus on your qualifications and are worthwhile providing the information that hiring managers want to see.

If you’re writing a resume for a new career path, first job, or as an expert, the hybrid resume is a great option for you.

References

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