Resume Tips

Combination Resume: Definition, Examples, and Writing Tips

Most resume formats fall into one of two categories. There are functional resumes that emphasize your skills. These are ideal for inexperienced applicants who have developed skills through their education but have less on-the-job experience. 

There are also chronological resumes – the standard choice for experienced candidates who prefer to highlight the work they have done, and the positions they have held. Sometimes forgotten, is the third resume type – the combination resume. 

What is a Combination Resume?

A combination resume meshes chronological and functional resume formats. It emphasizes your skills, experience, and accomplishments without following the timeline of a chronological resume. 

The standard combination resume format opens with a larger header area, featuring a skills summary or qualification section. Afterward, it lists a condensed chronological work history and educational credentials.

Who Should Use a Combination Resume Format? 

Many people can benefit from using a combination resume. Those who are seeking a career change or recent graduates are especially likely to find it useful. This is because these folks tend to have:

  • At least some work experience
  • Hard and soft skills
  • Relevant education

At the same time, because they are entering fields that are new to them, they need to find a way to balance the best elements of functional and chronological resume formats. Thus, the combination resume is a perfect option. 

That said, a combination resume can work for other professionals too. Martin Yate, an international expert in resume writing and a best-selling author, argues that candidates can get better results with a new resume layout, which includes:

  • Performance Summary subhead that explains how you’ve helped past employers achieve their goals. This is where you should use the employer’s phraseology and keywords from the job description as much as possible. 
  • Professional Skills section, offering an overview of your core competencies, ideally formatted as two or three columns. 

By adding the above information at the “front” you target the recruiter with the right message. First, you confirm that you can fulfill the job requirements. Secondly, you explain how you’ll do that through a combination of highlighted hard and soft skills. 

Sample Combination Resume (Word Version)

Let’s now move on from theory to practice and check several working combination resume examples. 

combination resume examplecombination resume example

Download resume example (.docx)

Combination Resume Example (Text version)

Creative, self-starting design professional with 4 years of experience in website and UX design seeking to enter the field of digital marketing.


  • Design Tech Stack: Adobe Studio, Sketch, Adobe Experience Design, Webflow, Shopify, WordPress, HTML5, JavaScript, and Python.
  • Marketing Skills: UX copywriting, social media marketing, content marketing, infographic design.
  • Marketing Tools: Google Analytics,  Buffer, HootSuite, Clout, Curata, BuzzSumo, Ahrefs.
  • Other Relevant Skills: Skype, MS Office, Google Docs, Customer Service, Verbal And Written Communication Skills, Leadership, and Negotiation.

Work History

Smith And Smith Digital Marketing
July 2019 – Present

Duties: Completed an internship under the VP of the social media marketing team. Created visual content for Instagram, Tumblr, and Facebook. Worked with professional bloggers and content creators to add visual elements to content. Used analytics tools to measure customer engagement. Communicated digital marketing concepts to customers.

Crystal Design Group
UX Designer/Web Developer
May 2015 – June 2019

Duties: Developed and tested apps, websites, and landing pages for small and medium-sized businesses. Worked directly with clients to gather requirements, and modified web products as customer needs changed. Specialized in developing sites for ecommerce stores using Shopify and other platforms.

Educational History

University of North Texas
July 2012 – May 2016
BA Graphic Communications And Digital Media
Minor: Business Management
GPA: 3.65

Accomplishments and Awards: Dean’s List, Student Council Representative, Member of Creative Students Association, Recipient of The Graphic Communications Society Gold Standard Plaque, Graphic Design Society of North America scholarship Recipient.

Additional Awards And Experience

ASPCA Volunteer Leader 2016
Boys LaCrosse Coach U1 – U8
Karate Instructor
Volunteer Regional Director, Art Across America Initiative for Disadvantaged Youth

Combination Resume IT Example

Chelsea Westacott
iOS mobile app developer 
Objective C & Swift

Product-minded engineer, experienced in developing, testing, and debugging native iOS applications for financial, gaming, and ecommerce companies. Familiar with MVVM & MVC architectures and optimization of iOS memory concurrency to ensure high application performance. 

Technical Skills: 

  • Swift and iOS frameworks (Core Data, Core Animation, Grand Central Dispatch) 
  • iOS Tools and packages: Xcode IDE, Fastlane, Swift Package Manager, CocoaPods
  • Mobile app testing and debugging: Appium, Kobiton
  • API programming: RESTful API integrations. 
  • Agile and RAD software development methodologies 

People Skills 

  • Proven track record of successful cross-functional collaboration 
  • Experience in mentoring junior software engineers 
  • High attention to detail in code reviews 
  • Practical experience with Scrum and feature prioritization 

Work Experience 

Senior iOS App Developer 
Santa Fe Dev Studios 
Dec 2021-present 

Collaborate with product team and customers on requirements gathering and clarification for new ecommerce applications. Develop advanced iOS mobile features to support AR shopping, in-app commerce live streams, and visual search. Defined, created, and improved a database of automated test cases, thanks to which the number of app crash incidents in production decreased by 35%. 

iOS App Developer 
Digital Bank 
April 2019-Nov 2021

Helped ship the MVP of a digital banking app and later supported a feature maturation strategy. Successfully implemented features for KYC, personal finance management, and P2P payments. Improved app load time by 25% through efficient code refactoring and optimized API management, resulting in a better UX and a 20% increase in daily user engagement. 

Educational History

The University of California 
Sep 2016 – May 2019
BS in Computer Science 
Minor: Product Management 

Professional Certifications 

  • Apple Certified iOS Developer (ACID), issued July 2019. 
  • Udacity iOS Developer Nanodegree, completed in Aug 2020 

Recommended Combination Resume Templates

For a combination resume, you need a template with ample space in the header area to fit in your summary section. Alternatively, you can opt for a two-column resume. This works better if you’d rather have a longer work experience section and a bullet-point-styled skills section in the side column.

At Freesumes, you’ll find over a hundred absolutely free and fabulous resume templates for all popular formats. Below are our top recommended combination resume templates:  

How to Make a Combination Resume Step-By-Step 

An effective combination resume accentuates your most marketable skills and competencies in the header and then further contextualizes these in the shorter work and education experience sections. 

Ideally, you should aim to allocate one-third of the page towards your resume summary and the remaining two-thirds for other resume sections

Your resume summary should be clear and concise, tailored to the job for which you are applying. Your work experience and education sections should further elaborate on how you apply the listed skills to perform your duties, drive specific work outcomes, and generate value for your employer. Lastly, emphasize any relevant certifications, training, volunteer, or extracurricular activities that make you stand out among others. 

Here are the step-by-step instructions for making a combination resume. 

Open with a Compelling Resume Summary Section 

Think of this section as a “teaser” for your resume: Advertise your most relevant competencies and some note-worthy achievements. If you’re new to the field or changing careers, you can also add a one-sentence resume objective statement to explain what type of roles you’re after, just like in the first resume sample. 

Craft a Banging Skills Section

Start with a resume outline and make a list of relevant skills that you already have. Include a good mix of role-specific competencies, technical skills, and soft skills. Don’t skim on the latter, since  97% of employers consider soft skills just as important or even more important than hard skills. 

Next, you’ll want to back up these with your work experience. For example, you may list graphic design as one of your core skills. Later in your resume, you can show that you have used that skill in the real world designing logos for small business owners.

Need some inspiration? Check our lists of recommended skills for a resume:

Focus On Transferable Skills

If you’re a recent graduate or seeking a career change, you probably have some skills that will make you more productive. These are called transferable skills

Most soft skills fall into this category. However, depending on the job you are pursuing, you may have hard skills that are transferable as well. For example, there are several careers where having advanced MS Excel skills is considered to be a real selling point. 

Pro tip: Your combination resume has to emphasize the skills and experience the company needs. That’s why you should use the job listing itself to help you determine which skills and experience should receive the most attention.

Don’t Forget The Extras

A combination resume format allows you to include relevant awards, volunteer work, research, and even hobbies and interests that you may not normally fit in a more standard one-page resume. Don’t hesitate to share some extra interesting facts about yourself if these can help better contextualize your work experience and personality.  

That said, your resume shouldn’t look “crowded” as this affects readability. To compactly fit extra details, grab a free Google Docs resume with a two-column design or one of our recommended combination resume templates! 

Final Thoughts

Despite not having the best work experience, you can create a resume that allows hiring managers to see you as an excellent fit for the position by combining your work experience, relevant skills, and education.

You can further impress the reader by carefully curating your duties and contextualizing your skills through accomplishments. Although less traditional, combination resume packs a powerful punch! 


  • Elena ProkopetsElena Prokopets

    Elena runs content operations at Freesumes since 2017. She works closely with copywriters, designers, and invited career experts to ensure that all content meets our highest editorial standards. Up to date, she wrote over 200 career-related pieces around resume writing, career advice… more

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