Choosing a resume style is as difficult or easy as choosing the most suitable dress or suit for that all-important interview. It is all too simplistic to say that a one ‘jacket fits all’ strategy will work for everyone when deciding what resume style to use – still, most job seekers take this approach and use a functional resume, even when it may not be well suited to their specific situation. One appropriate alternative to the functional resume is the combination resume. You may wonder how this type of resume will work for you. What you need to understand is the fact that each person’s situation is different, and resume readers (your potential bosses) are different people with variable moods and different points of view.

A combination resume can be an effective alternative to a functional resume in many cases. Let’s take a look at what a combination resume really is.

Combination Resumes,

As the name implies, a combination resume is one that merges the styles of both the functional and chronological resumes. The combination resume doesn’t just present the facts in reverse chronology but also highlights the functional aspects of each position that you have held, such as your unique skills, the experience gained in all previous jobs and your knowledge.

How Will A Combination Resume Work For Me?

Combination resumes suit all those who have varied (read: checkered) employment histories. This can be due to gaps in employment or having held substantially different positions. If you are changing your career, a combination resume will most likely work well for you. This is because they emphasize your skills and adaptability more, which is typical of changing careers at regular intervals. A combination resume is also perfect for students and new graduates with only part time or internship experience.

The crux of the matter is that the combination resume provides the perfect platform for highlighting and presenting your soft skills, in addition to allowing you to list your work experience in a chronological sequence. For all these reasons, a combination resume is a workable alternative to a straight chronological or functional resume.

Here is a snapshot of candidates that would benefit from using a combination resume:

1. Entry level candidates who have very short work experience to speak of but strong academic excellence and marketable skills.

2. Older employees - they can make use of the summary section to highlight their strong credentials from their long careers.

3. Frequent career changers. With the caveat that if you are radically changing your career, it is more advisable for you to use a functional resume than the combination resume.

4. Candidates who have had gaps in their employment for long periods of time and are now attempting reentry to the job market.

5. Lifers. Those job seekers who have spent a long time in a single job or similar jobs without breaks or any changes whatsoever. They could very well use the chronological style, but the combination resume will present them as more polished and adaptable (key here).

Doing Double Duty

The key to a combination resume really lies in how effectively you market your skills and abilities on paper. Use the combination resume to head off possible red flags that can torpedo your chances with a particular employer or for a particular position right from the start. Take advantage of the benefits of a combination resume by positioning your unique combination of skills and accomplishments upfront.

By using a combination resume, you give the employer what they want, (because employers either consciously or unconsciously look for a chronological-format resume) and give yourself an immediate advantage over the competition -candidates that use other resume types.

Author's Bio: 

Heather Eagar is a former professional resume writer who is now dedicated to providing job seekers with resources and products that promote job search success from beginning to end. If you need resume examples and tools, go to