Combinations when made thoughtfully, go a long way, as is demonstrated by combination resumes. A resume has always been an indispensable part of job hunting. Acing a resume, hence, is absolutely crucial when aiming to secure a position at your dream workplace.
Choosing from a variety of resume formats and types can be confusing and settling for the wrong one may take you further away from your career goals and aspirations.
What is a Combination Resume?
A combination resume is one where your skills and qualifications are highlighted and listed before your work experience.
Nowadays, professionals are changing fields at an alarming rate, to match their ambition of certain work culture, paygrade, and perks. This dynamism in the industry can be displayed deftly using a combination resume.
This kind of resume can be used to present your most relevant skills, qualifications and experience to a prospective employer in a positive light, while still accounting for your work experience.
When to use a Combination Resume?
Combination resumes are perfect for candidates looking to, essentially, present their resume in a functional format while also mentioning paid work experience.
If you're a new addition to the workforce with 1-3 years of job experience, a combination resume is a good choice as it allows you to be open about your skills, making a pitch the hiring manager cannot refuse.
Young graduates boast of internships and volunteering opportunities but possess little paid work experience.
A combination resume, with the added benefit of functional format, allows them to bring to light all-new skills they have acquired as interns.
New age professionals, equipped with a plethora of skills and armed with ambition are seeking to change industries now more than ever. But starting in a new industry may have its own hiccups.
A combination resume will help put your relevant skills in focus.
How to write a Combination Resume
To reiterate, a combination resume prioritises an individual’s skill set before their work experience. While nothing beats a tailor-made resume, generally combination resumes have the following sections:
Regardless of the format, you're going for, it's wise to mention your contact information at the very top so the recruiters know whom to get in contact with.
Ensure all contact details are up to date to avoid any misunderstandings. Carefully read if any additional links, to relevant projects, are to be provided.
The summary is the opening of any resume and aims to quickly relay your most relevant skills and experiences.
It should be kept short and must feature active language to leave a mark. As a young recruit or fresh graduate with little experience, let the summary talk about your skills and career goals.
After the summary, introduce your skills section.
Prior to penning down this section, be sure to identify a few keywords in the given job description to better understand the skills recruiters are looking for. This will help to mould your resume in a way that it can get past the tracking software and into the hands of the hiring manager.
List both technical and interpersonal skills you possess, in this section.
In a combination resume, your work experience acts as a support to the skills you may have mentioned in the above section.
If applying for a software engineer’s post, you could add “adaptive” and “collaborative” as your soft skills and your knowledge of coding languages as technical skills, while your work experience should convey how you were able to use the same to propel the organisation forward.
The importance of educational history varies based on the job description and your professional experience, which is reflected in this section.
As a young graduate, it is wise to mention any relevant coursework or projects, grade point averages, and extracurricular activities especially those where you may have held a position of authority.
Writing Tips to Build a Good Combination Resume
Prioritise your skills according to the job description provided. This will allow you to gauge what skills the employer deems most important in a prospective employee.
Transferable skills are especially useful when changing industries. These are skills which candidates across fields and industries are expected to possess such as adaptability, teamwork, strong communication skills etc.
These are usually soft skills valuable to employers across industries.
To make the maximum impact, weave the skills you've acquired in your past workplaces into your professional history.
This helps the recruiter to relate your qualities directly to a work setting. It also helps them gauge the impact your skills have had in delivering consistent results
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