You have painstakingly collected all the information you need and matched all your details with the sections they should be placed in.
All you need now is to decide on the right format.
But which resume format will lead you to your dream job?
Job seekers from across all industries may choose from three resume formats.
- The Reverse Chronological Resume Format (also referred to as the Chronological Resume Format)
- The Functional Resume Format
- The Hybrid Resume Format (also known as The Combination Resume Format)
If you are surprised to even hear that there are different kinds of resumes, do read on about what each type of resume highlights.
In this explainer, we are going to detail what a hybrid resume format is, when it works for you, and when it does not.
This also doubles as a step-by-step guide on how to write a hybrid resume should you decide that it’s the format that will do your profile the most justice.
Here are some examples of excellent hybrid resumes to get you started.
What is a Hybrid Resume?
A hybrid resume format, also referred to as the combination format, is a mash-up of the best features of the chronological and functional resumes.
Hybrid resumes draw attention to your achievements and skills and backs them up with your work history presented in reverse chronological order.
The Other Resume Formats Up Close
Here is the lowdown on the two other resume formats in case you need to double-check exactly what the parameters are before you make your decision.
The Reverse Chronological Resume Format
The reverse chronological resume format, sometimes known only as the chronological resume format, is the most traditional resume format.
It places your chronological work history immediately after your resume header and your professional summary or objective.
Your key skills take the backseat as your work history gets the spotlight.
The general rule is to lay out your work experience in reverse chronological order starting with your most recent job.
Include your official start and end dates, then below, a list of your job duties and achievements in bullet points.
Apply these instructions to the job position that came before it, then so on, until it leads to your earliest job.
Using the reverse chronological resume has several advantages.
Your hiring managers are immediately shown what fresh professional experience you have, and on top of that, they get to see how much your career has progressed.
It should be quicker for them to make a hiring decision based on whether your relevant work experience is recent enough that they can get you onboard quickly or not.
If your tools are rusty, your potential employer might decide you need an in-depth skills refresher.
This is a good format for job seekers with a lot of relevant job history.
This is especially great for an experienced candidate looking to secure a higher position in the same field.
However, if you are changing careers and have close to zero relevant professional experience, you might want to steer away from the chronological resume format and choose a resume template that will highlight relevant skills.
Click here for some excellent examples of the reverse chronological resume.
The Functional Resume Format
While the chronological resume format highlights work history, the more unconventional functional resume format accentuates the skills section.
A skills-based resume is the best resume format for job seekers who might have somewhat relevant skills but lack the ideal employment history that hiring managers are hoping for. Career changers can benefit from this format.
This resume format is not the best choice for those who have close to zero skills. If you have no skills to highlight at all, best choose a different resume format.
See samples of a functional resume format in our resume templates section.
When to Use a Hybrid Resume
Hybrid resumes are considered ideal by some career experts because of the fusion of traditional and modern formats.
But its charm won’t work in all situations.
So what conditions call for a hybrid resume?
You are a workforce newbie
You are applying for a job for the first time.
But you have no internship or volunteer experience relevant to your target job.
No significant skills to prove your mettle either.
You’ve got employment gaps to mask
Employment gaps, no matter what the reasons for them are, can make a recruiter harbor second thoughts about your competence.
You wouldn’t want to bring the recruiter’s attention to that, would you?
You are a seasoned professional
You have a long list of jobs to your name.
You’ve taken on various roles in different industries, and you run the risk of overwhelming hiring managers with your diverse work history.
Or, perhaps your recent work experience will conceal a previous job that is most relevant to the new job you are eyeing.
You want to try your hand in a different field
If you are a career changer, you would prefer to highlight your transferable skills while impressing hiring managers with the soft skills you have developed along with your career growth.
The hybrid resume is great for these situations because this format shifts the recruiter’s focus to transferable skills and what you excel at instead of the lack of or too much irrelevant work experience.
When Not to Use a Hybrid Resume
While the hybrid resume seems to be efficient at putting a patch on what hiring managers would perceive as flaws, it is not for everyone.
Avoid the hybrid resume when:
You are armed with relevant experience or skills or both
Your internship or volunteer experience or both match the job description of the position you have set your eyes on. You would do better with a reverse chronologically formatted resume.
If you have the skills essential to your target job, a functional resume is for you.
Your work experience is transferable
If you are shifting from another industry and your work experience will be useful to the new industry you are aiming for, a reverse chronological formatted resume would be preferred over a hybrid resume.
Your work experience is a picture of career growth
You are a career changer with no transferable work experience and an employment gap of at least 18 months.
But your work profile shows a steady climb in your career.
Use a chronological format.
No career growth to show off
You are shifting to a new industry with no transferable skills to bring with you. You stopped working for at least a year and a half. Your career seems to have reached a plateau.
If you have skills relevant to your target job, use the functional format; otherwise, stick to the chronological format.
Crafting an Awesome Hybrid Resume
You’ve been introduced to the hybrid resume. So how do you get started?
You can either use a template or create your own resume using the hybrid format.
The Layout of the Hybrid
There isn’t much difference between the layout of the hybrid resume and that of the reverse chron and functional format.
Your credentials must be contained in one page, or two pages at most if you have acquired a wealth of experience.
It must have an uncluttered look, with all the sections clearly identified.
Mind the white space on your resume. Keep a one-inch margin on all sides or, if you need extra space you can reduce it to half an inch. But never less than that.
Use single or 1.15 line spacing and double space to separate sections and subheadings.
Choose standard resume fonts that applicant tracking systems recognize. Your options for sans serif fonts are Arial, Calibri, Helvetica, or Verdana. For serif fonts, you may choose from Cambria, Garamond, Georgia, and Times New Roman.
The body of your resume should be between 10 to 12 points, while your section headings should be 14 to 16 points.
Set keywords such as skills and position titles in bold.
What is in a hybrid resume?
Hybrid resume templates have the usual components found in a traditional resume, but the sections are presented in a different sequence.
- Resume header with your contact information
- Professional summary (optional)
- Key Skills
- Additional Skills, e.g., certifications
- Work experience or volunteer experience
Why don’t we work through each section?
Resume Header for a Hybrid
The resume header covers basic information about you – your name, brand, and contact information. What good is a well-described set of skills and work experience if hiring managers do not know how to reach you?
Your resume header consists of the following:
Your Full Name
Your name should be the most prominent information on your resume. Use a font size from 18 to 22 points, set in bold and done in all caps.
Use your legal name, that is, your full first name and your last name. Be sure you spell it exactly as it is spelled on your IDs.
No nicknames, please. If you want to be addressed by your nickname, you may just say so during the interview. But for now, focus on how to get that interview.
If you have any professional acronym or abbreviation that points to your education, certification, or membership to a professional organization, flaunt it!
Place them after your name and separated by a comma, like this:
The use of job titles in a resume can be tricky.
A job title may be limited to what you do, e.g., human resources, or you may combine it with a keyword that indicates your level of experience in that field, e.g., human resources specialist.
Let’s start with the title in your header.
Should you use your current or desired title?
It is more prudent to use your current title.
Besides, your desired title is already indicated in your cover letter so there’s no need to put it in your resume.
Perhaps a better question would be, “Should I include my job title at all?”
You may do away with it because your current or most recent job will show what your official title is.
Your potential employer would be more interested in what you can do for them.
While optional, it would serve you well to include a catchphrase that serves as your professional brand.
You may place this at the top of your resume
You need to indicate your home address if the job advert indicates a preference for residents within your area; otherwise, it is not necessary.
However, if you need to relocate, it is wiser to omit this information. Opt for opening a post office box and indicate this as your mailing address.
If your mailing address is different from your home address, include your mailing address in the header.
Your mobile number is preferred over your landline.
Why? Because an employer has a better chance of reaching you through your mobile.
When applying for overseas work, be sure to include the country code.
Your potential employer’s call might go to voicemail, so refrain from using cutesy instruction for the caller to leave a message.
Record a professional-sounding message and make sure there is no distracting noise when you record it.
If your email address is something like firstname.lastname@example.org, you’d better change it fast.
Use a professional email address – one that has your first and last name. For example:
It’s okay to include your LinkedIn URL, but be selective in including your other social media handles. Choose only what is relevant.
If you must indicate your social media handles, check your online presence and delete all your controversial posts, if any.
Unless you are applying as a model, fitness instructor, or actor, refrain from using a profile pic that displays your curves or your abs.
Stick to something professional.
Blogs and Websites
Show them off only when they matter to the job you are aiming for.
Professional Summary for a Hybrid
This section is another optional feature of a hybrid resume.
If you are an experienced candidate, the professional summary is a compact picture of how you have grown in your career.
If you are among the freshers or career changers, this section sketches your qualifications, enticing the recruiter to read through your resume.
Make an inventory of all the skills you have and match them against those that are relevant to the role you are vying for.
Select the top skills that your potential employer is most likely to look for in a candidate. Place them in your hybrid resume’s skills section.
Under each skill, use two to three bullet points to describe your impressive achievements and professional experience proving your skill.
Take a look at these examples of a sales consultant skill.Which resume do you think the employer will pay more attention to?
Obviously, it’s the first. Apart from it mentioning how the related skills were used, it also mentioned the results, strongly proving that the applicant has demonstrated consultative selling as a skill.
In contrast, the second example simply listed more skills but are not indicative of the applicant’s skill level.
Additional Skills in a Hybrid
Other than the top skills you identified in the previous section, you might have other skills to boost your chances of earning your desired job.
Select a maximum of five skills that show you are an excellent choice for the job. These skills should include non-technical skills, such as teamwork.
Indicate your proficiency level for each additional skill, so that the employer would have an idea of what you excel at and where you need further honing.
If applicable, add a subsection on relevant certifications received to further strengthen your chances of being hired.
Work Experience in the Hybrid
Present your work history in reverse chronological format. For each job, indicate your official title, your employer’s name and when you were employed by them.
The job titles that you use in describing your work experience are based on the official titles that your previous employers are using. So that should be easy.
But what if your employer uses fancy job titles? For example, one company used the title “Kaizen Supervisor” for a position that dealt with continuous improvement.
Should you use it in your resume? Yes, but don’t keep the recruiter guessing.
Next to it, enclose in parentheses what the position really is.
Just like this
Include two to three bullet points specifying your significant job duties and top achievements.
Do away with lame words and use powerful action words to describe your duties and achievements.
Below are snippets of the work experience section of a marketing assistant. Let’s check them outReading the example above, you would get a feel for the marketing assistant’s significance and contribution to the company.
What about this one?Compare the words used: managed vs. monitored, catalogued vs. responsible for documenting, recommended vs. tasked to research.
Don’t you think the use of words in the second example minimized the marketing assistant’s role and contribution?
Education on the Hybrid
The education section is located at the bottom part of your hybrid resume, and must contain the following information:
- Your degree and field of study
- Name of your school
- Your school’s location
- Year of graduation
- Awards received in school and when received
- Extra-curricular activities, your role in each activity, and the duration of your participation
If you’re still in school, replace the year of graduation with the expected year of graduation.
No need to mention your high school education, unless you never had any form of college education.
Hybrid Resume Example
Below is a hybrid resume example for a software developer.
Key Points for Creating a Hybrid Resume
Writing a hybrid resume is similar to writing a chronological order resume and a functional resume.
The only difference lies in how you sequence the sections in your resume.
Let’s do a recap of how you can impress with a combination resume.
- Use the hybrid resume only when you are unskilled and a first-time job applicant, a career changer, a returnee to the workforce, or well-practiced in your field.
- Be mindful of how you layout your resume. It should be sleek and professional.
- Keep your resume legible if you don’t want the recruiter to throw it in the wastebasket.
- Update your contact information.
- Use keywords found in the job advert to highlight your skills, experience, and achievements. They will help you get past applicant tracking systems.
- Use numbers and critical incidents to flaunt your achievements and prove your skills
Get more ideas from hybrid resume examples.
Add Oomph with a Cover Letter
Your resume is a narrative of your career and credentials.
But a cover letter is the blurb that makes the recruiter want to read more about you.
So, while you take pains trying to perfect your hybrid resume, remember that you need to put in as much time and attention in writing your cover letter.
Like a typical business correspondence, your cover letter should have a heading, that is, your name and contact info, followed by the hiring manager’s name and contact info, with the date the letter was written on the last line.
This is followed by a greeting, which can be as simple as “Dear Mr. or Ms. Name of the Hiring Manager,”.
Now, here comes the exciting part.
The Opening Paragraph
How do you start your opening paragraph?
Avoid trite phrases like, “I would like to express my interest…” or an even more hackneyed one, such as, “I am Allen Parker, a software developer. I would like to apply…”
Employers give a premium to applicants who sincerely express their desire to join their company and clinch the job that is on offer.
If you are truly enthusiastic about their brand, say it briefly and offer a brief explanation of your fascination with it. That would make a good opening.
Or, if you were referred to them by a mutual connection, be open about it.
Make a smooth transition to focus on your years of experience, how you found out about the job, and why you want the job.
Warning: Be sure you are using the same job title indicated in the job advert. You don’t want the employer to think you are sending a generic cover letter.
Do you have any special qualities that make you the best choice for this job?
But isn’t that information found on the resume?
But how you put it in the cover letter is more personal and gives the employer a better sense of your personality.
It is a preview of what you have to offer the company. If they like the preview, they will read the entire narrative in your resume.
Highlight your impressive achievements and skills. Remember to use the keywords in the job post.
Idea: Presenting your achievements in numbered statements emphasizes their significance to the job.
This portion tells the employer that you are not leaving your fate to the gods.
Aside from subtly asserting that you are the best match for the job, you tell your employer how you prefer to be notified and when.
End your cover letter with an appropriate sign-off.
Now that you have your resume and your cover letter, you’re ready to go through the hiring process.
Frequently Asked Questions for Hybrid
What are the 4 types of resumes?
Almost every article on resume-writing mentions only three types of resumes, namely the chronological order, functional, and combination resumes.
But a fourth type has emerged – the targeted resume.
A targeted resume is any one of the three resume formats that have been tailored to highlight specific job duties and skills that match the job description of the position you are applying for.
It uses keywords that appear in the job post to ensure it passes the applicant tracking systems.
Writing a targeted resume means doing research on each company you apply to and scouring the job description of the position you aspire to.
It also means editing your resume each time you apply for a new job to make your qualifications relevant.
What two types of resumes are combined when we create a hybrid resume?
A hybrid resume blends the best of the chronological order and functional resumes.
Also known as the combination resume, a hybrid resume features your essential skills at the top of your resume, followed by your work experience presented in the reverse chronological format.
A hybrid resume is the best resume format for first-time applicants, seasoned professionals, those with significant employment gaps, and those changing careers.
What is the combination resume format?
A combination resume format is a fusion of two resume formats – reverse chronological and functional resume formats, giving equal importance to your skills and job history.
This format displays your top skills prominently.
At the same time, it offers your potential employer a glimpse of your employment history, transferable experience, and work achievements.
However, a combination resume may consume more than the ideal one to two page-length, depending on your employment history.
It is not enough to simply enumerate the skill you have – you’ve got to prove it.
Validating the skills you listed leads to overlaps and redundancies.
Some of the descriptions you use to prove that you have the essential skills are the same as what you would put in your work experience.
You have to weigh carefully what goes where and how you would write similar content without being redundant.