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Examples, tips, and templates for a combination resume

Examples, tips, and templates for a combination resume

Artwork by: Antonina Kasyanikova

  • What is a combination resume?
  • How do you build a combination resume?
  • Header
  • Headline
  • Skills
  • Special achievements
  • Work history
  • Multi-page vs one-page combination resume
  • Multi-page combination resume
  • One-page combination resume
  • Pros and cons of a combination resume
  • Key takeaways

Struggling with both the chronological resume and the functional format? A combination resume may be right for you! Here we’ll explore the combination resume and offer design tips and templates!

Are you fairly new to the industry you’re seeking work in? Is your work experience too large or too small to fit into the usual resume formats? Then you might want to design a new resume for your job applications using a combination format. A well-designed combination resume blends the best elements from both chronological and functional resumes and is an excellent template for job-seekers who don’t have much work experience in the career they’re pursuing.

If you think a combination resume would fit your needs or need tips on how to improve your resume, you can make your own using this article and the following topics it covers:

  • What makes combination resumes different

  • What sections a combination resume template contains

  • What multi-page combination resumes look like

  • What one-page combination resumes look like

What is a combination resume?

To really understand what makes a combination resume unique, it’s important you learn more about the two classic formats most combination resumes are derived from.

The first component of a “combination resume” is the chronological resume, a template with a large work history section where job seekers can describe their past and current careers in rich detail. This makes chronological resumes great fits for professionals with 10+ years of experience or a track record of achievements and promotions in an older company. 

The second component of a “combination resume” is the functional resume. Compared to chronological resumes, the work history sections in functional resumes are much smaller, while their skill lists, educational background, and professional summary sections are larger and richer in detail. This makes functional resumes a good fit for recent college graduates and individuals who just entered the workforce.

If chronological resumes are for veteran employees and functional resumes are for skilled novices, then combination resumes are for professionals who don’t quite fit these molds - a graduate with a bit of work experience, an employee who has worked the same job for many years, a professional trying to break into a new industry, etc. 

How do you build a combination resume?

Most combination resumes have the exact same sections other resumes do: what makes a combination resume distinct is how large, small, or elaborate these specific sections get.


If you want to make a combination resume from scratch, start by writing out a contact information section. In a header or a side box, list your name, your phone number, your email address, and your physical address. Besides showing contact info, you can also use this section to share hyperlinks for portfolios or LinkedIn profiles.


Next, write a headline for your resume that includes the title of your primary job or the target job you’re seeking. Below this title, write a one-paragraph summary that describes your strengths as a professional and the principles you use to excel at work.


Below your combination resume’s summary, fill out your bullet-pointed skill list with skills that will make your resume stand out. Some of the skills should be general-purpose workplace talents such as “interpersonal communication” or “data analysis.” Other, more specific skills should only be mentioned if they’re needed for the job you’re seeking.

Special achievements

Before listing all your work experiences in your resume’s work history section, you may want to add a section with a title along the lines of “Special Achievements.” Here you can list your greatest accomplishments over the course of your career - moments where your efforts increased company profits, reduced company costs, improved the efficiency of workplace procedures, etc.

Work history

Compared to other resume formats, the “work history” or “career history” section of your combination resume will probably be no longer than a page. To compensate for this, be sure to describe the careers you do mention in detail - a full paragraph that describes your day-to-day responsibilities, a bullet-point list of unique accomplishments such as promotions, and so on.

When you fill out your resume’s educational background section, focus on listing your highest and most relevant academic achievements. To put certifications on your resume, add a special subsection below the educational background section.

Multi-page vs one-page combination resume

There’s a wide range of resume document layouts online you can download and modify to your heart’s content. Career.io, for instance, offers several resume templates that are focused on specific industries and are easily customizable. 

Expert Tip

Before uploading your boilerplate combination resume, revise the document to include keywords and phrases from the description of the job you’re seeking. If a job’s description lists “required skills” that an applicant must possess, add these skills to your resume’s skill list if they’re not already there.  If you lack certain required skills, list skills you do have that are closely related.

You should also add keywords and phrases to the resume’s summary and work history sections to catch the attention of Applicant Tracking System algorithms many modern businesses use.

Multi-page combination resume

Some combination resume layouts are multi-page: the contact info, title, summary, skill list, work history, and education sections of such resumes are typically arranged in linear order from top to bottom. These resumes also tend to be minimalist in style, with few artistic flourishes beyond colored text or the occasional colored divider line. 

In general, combination resumes with 2 or 3 pages work best for job-seekers who are:

  • Professionals with 5+ years of experience in a different industry from their current one.

  • Professionals who’ve worked at technical jobs that need to be described in detail

  • Professionals with a long list of advanced degrees, certificates, or licenses

Here’s an example:


[PAGE 1]

NAME                                                                                        CONTACT INFO JOB TITLE


[3 to 5 sentence paragraph here.]


Skill #1 Skill #4 Skill #7 Skill #2 Skill #5 Skill #8 Skill #3 Skill #6 Skill #9

ACCOMPLISHMENTS Accomplishment #1 Accomplishment #2 Accomplishment #3


Job Title, Workplace, Location

[3 to 5 sentence paragraph here.]

Accomplishment #1 Accomplishment #2

Job Title, Workplace, Location

[PAGE 2]

[3 to 5 sentence paragraph here.]

Accomplishment #1 Accomplishment #2

Job Title, Workplace, Location

[3 to 5 sentence paragraph here.]

Accomplishment #1 Accomplishment #2


Degree Title Institution Name

One-page combination resume

There are also combination resume layouts designed to fit on a single page (particularly handy for professionals with 1 to 3 past careers under their belt). These types of resume templates typically list names and contact info in a header, then describe skills and educational achievements in a sidebar on the left. 

Here’s an example:


NAME                                                                                                  CONTACT INFO JOB TITLE


Skill #1 [3 to 5 sentence paragraph here.] Skill #2 Skill #3 ACCOMPLISHMENTS Skill #4 Skill #5 Accomplishment #1 Skill #6 Accomplishment #2


Degree Title Job Title, Workplace, Location Institution Name [3 to 5 sentence paragraph here.]

Accomplishment #1 Accomplishment #2 Accomplishment #3

Pros and cons of a combination resume

Combination resumes fit the needs of job seekers with lots of qualifications and a target position that’s similar to, but subtly different from their previous careers. As a consequence, combination resume documents are very good at 

  • Listing versatile skills that are transferable between different jobs

  • Describing 2 to 5 prior jobs in rich, elaborate detail

  • Listing special work accomplishments such as promotions or exceeding expectations

  • Describing how your work in an old industry qualifies you for work in a new industry

Under the wrong circumstances, however, a combination resume can inherit all the weaknesses of its “parent” resumes (i.e. the chronological and functional styles). More specifically, combination resume documents can be very bad at the following:

  • Describing more than 5 prior jobs in the career history

  • Concealing gaps in your employment or periods where you “job-hopped”

  • Retaining a hiring manager’s interest past 3 pages of content. 

Combination resumes should not be used if you’re looking for work in your old industry or want to apply to a position that requires seniority.

Key takeaways

  1. Combination resumes structurally blend chronological resumes (which focus on work history) and functional resumes (which focus on skills).

  2. Combination resumes have the same sections most other resume templates do but put more emphasis on work accomplishments and personal strengths.

  3. Multi-page combination resumes have a linear layout, while one-page combination resumes use headers and sidebars to keep their content compact.

  4. Combination resumes work best for professionals who haven’t worked at many different jobs or want to change careers.

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