If you’ve got a good few years of experience under your belt, a chronological résumé is your best bet. If you’re just starting your career, though, or you’re in a creative profession or you have a lengthy list of impressive achievements, then a functional résumé or CV is the way to go.
But if you’re going through a career change or you’ve only had a few long-term jobs, you might need a hybrid or combination résumé – something that places emphasis on the skills you’ve acquired throughout your career.
So, if you’re, indeed, looking to write a combination CV, you’ve come to the right place! Here, we’ll walk you through the steps to creating an effective and professional résumé in next to no time.
Tips to Follow
Before you begin curating all your work experience and skills onto your blank document, you should have some clear goals in mind. Follow the tips listed below to get started.
1. Identify Your Achievements First
To create the perfect CV, you’ll need to take a step back and review your work experience, achievements and prominent skills that you have gained over the years. This will help you identify how you will fit your career summary within the combination CV structure. Once you’ve created your list, choose the top skills and achievements that will best showcase your abilities and match the job that you’re applying to.
2. Use Quantifiable Examples
Quantifiable examples are more important than ever before. With limited space to include your work experience, it’s necessary to show how the skills you applied resulted in a successful outcome. To help you clearly articulate your actions, you could use the STAR method (describe the Situation, talk about the Task, show your Actions and highlight the positive Result).
3. Highlight Transferable Skills
If you’re making a career or industry change, transferable skills are all you have to prove your worth – especially when you’re competing against other candidates who do have relevant experience in your chosen field. More often than not, these soft skills will be highly valuable to employers and can be the make or break of securing an interview for your dream job. They should be accompanied by industry-specific skills, and they should be visible at the top of your hybrid CV.
Structure to Follow
Like all other CV templates, a combination résumé or CV must follow a particular structure. Here are the formatting rules that your document should stick to.
1. Personal Information
Like all other CVs, your personal information and contact details should be visible within the header of your CV. That said, you don’t have to include your full address; your location will suffice. For example, if you live in Finsbury Park (an area in North London), you could just write your location as ‘London’. Meanwhile, if you have a professional website or online portfolio, be sure to add a link to it as a URL.
2. Personal Profile / Career Summary
Your professional profile or career summary is designed to be an introduction of yourself and your previous work experience. Therefore, you should highlight your biggest career achievements in this paragraph, as well as list the most important skills that you can bring to the table. You can also use this opportunity to outline your short- and long-term goals – something which is recommended if you’re changing industries or you have recently had a career break.
3. Key Skills
Following your personal summary should be a section dedicated to your key skills; this can be a mixture of both soft and hard skills, including specific computer programs and databases you’re familiar with. You can also get inspiration for skills to include in your CV by rereading the job description. Your skills section will usually be the same length as your work experience, so use this space to persuade the hiring manager that you have the necessary skills to succeed in the position.
4. Work Experience
Your work experience section won’t be as long as a traditional chronological CV. Instead, you should only include your main achievements during your time in the roles you list. Indeed, there’s no need to list the most basic responsibilities of the job under each position. Instead, include dynamic points that show the success of your efforts. For example, if you’re a beautician, instead of writing ‘hair removal’ under your duties, you could say ‘performed 10 full-body hair removals per day’.
And if you were the fastest worker in the salon, you could write ‘commended for being the fastest and most efficient worker’. So, even though you’re targeting a new profession, this experience will show that you’re efficient and able to work under pressure.
Unless you’re a recent graduate, your education details shouldn’t be the main focus of your CV, which is why this section should be left for last. That said, if you have a degree of some kind, you should still add this information, but do leave out your high school diploma and any A-Level qualifications. These actually won’t matter to the employer – unless, of course, a GCSE in Maths or English is specified within the job description.
Regardless of whether you’re changing careers, you’re returning to the workforce after a career break or you’re a bit of a job-hopper, we’ve created a template for you to visualise what your end product should look like.
So, now you’re fully prepared to create your own combination CV, nothing is stopping you from putting your best foot forward and impressing hiring managers with your abilities and skillset! It’s time to start your job search and find the position you’ve always been looking for.
What makes you lean towards a combination CV? Let us know your thoughts by joining the conversation below.