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Resume styles
How to use the combination style resume

When considering resume styles, the combination resume is one of three commonly used resume layouts or styles you should investigate.

Of all the resume layouts, it is this style that best illustrates the point.....there is no single best or correct way to write a resume.

The combination style resume enables you to adapt parts of the other two resume formats, the chronological and functional resume styles, to better suit how you profile yourself, and promote your capabilities.

Resume styles
When to use the combination style resume

Consider using a combination resume when:

  • You have a well established career, and therefore potentially have a lot of material from which to choose for inclusion in your resume - in particular, significant contributions or achievements over the course of your career
  • You want to include some career achievements which are outside the dates you are showing in your employment history - i.e. you've done some really good stuff earlier in your career that you want the reader to know about
  • Where you don't want to attribute your achievements to any particular job that you have held. For example, you may have held a position where you don't have much to write about in terms of contributions - a way around this is to list all your achievements under an Achievements Summary
  • You are changing careers and want to profile your achievements under functional headings on the front page of your resume.
  • When either of the other two resume styles don't exactly fit your purpose

Resume Writing Tips

People in established careers will sometimes have held a position where, for a variety of possible reasons, they didn't achieve much.

For example in a business development role your sales performance might have been affected by economic conditions, or as a result of changes within your employing organisation, or that of your key clients.

If however you've done some really great things in other positions - the position where you didn't do much will tend to stick out like a sore thumb! Ideally you don't want to draw attention to this.

A way to "hide" this inconvenient hole in your otherwise successful career is to summarise some of your career achievements under the one heading, and not by individual position.

Resume styles - how to write a combination resume

There are some essential ingredients to writing a good resume.

Like the other resume layouts, a combination resume should have a career profile or professional profile statement, and possibly an accompanying skills summary.

You can also include a resume objectives under the heading "Career Objective" if it suits your purpose.

The combination style of resume differs from the other resume layouts as follows:

  • A combined resume will always have a Career Achievements Summary on the front page of the resume
  • You can have a profile statement without an accompanying key strengths summary. Instead, you profile your individual strengths by having them as sub headings under the Career Achievements Summary heading - with your achievements for each skill set appropriately described
  • If you have had, and are continuing along a predictable career path, you can modify the way you document your career history. Instead of using the reverse chronological format for this, use the functional resume style, but list your achievements on the front page
  • If you are changing your job or career direction and are using the functional format, you will describe your achievements under functional skills headings in your Career Achievements Summary

Apart from these differences, all the other suggested headings to use when creating a resume, and the information you will provide under each heading, will be the same as for the other two resume formats.

Resume Writing Tips

This is one of those resume layouts that really focuses attention on your achievements or contributions.

There is considerable flexibility in how you can do this:

  • Describing achievements related to your strengths
  • Describing your achievements that are related to your functional or transferable skill
  • Describing your career achievements as a whole rather than linking them to your skills
  • Describing your achievements strictly according to the selection criteria in the job advertisement

Resume styles - the combination resume - summary

The combination resume layout is one that allows you to use considerable creativity, both in how you present your information, and the information you actually provide.

This is what effective resume writing is really all about - adapting the format or layout to suit your purpose.

This combination style is being increasingly used, particularly by people in established careers, where neither the reverse chronological resume, nor the functional resume provides a best fit with their purpose and career history.

Resume helper

Resume writing is one of those really personal things that we do. There isn't necessarily one single correct way of putting a resume together.

So, if you have a question, need re-assurance that you are on the right track, or you have a success tip to share please use theResume helper. It is absolutely free!

Other how to write a resume topics you might find helpful include:

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