If you are looking for a great way to highlight your best skills on your resume while showcasing a clear timeline of your career, you may want to learn how to write a hybrid resume.
For some job-seekers, showing that you have the right skills for the job you are applying for can be difficult. If your most recent position isn’t directly related to the job posting, it’s important to list your transferable skills, but your most relevant accomplishments might not have been in your most recent job. This requires some creativity when structuring and formatting your resume.
Fortunately, there is a great way to show your best skills while retaining a clear career history: the hybrid resume format.
The hybrid resume format opens with a robust Skills section, ensuring your transferable skills are emphasized, then follows with a reverse-chronological Work Experience section, listing your past positions in a logical order.
This article will explore:
A Hybrid resume is a resume that emphasizes skills over work experience, but retains a clear timeline of past positions.
To truly understand a Hybrid resume format, it’s important to understand the two other most common resume formats: the reverse-chronological resume format and the functional resume format.
A reverse-chronological resume, often incorrectly called a chronological resume, is a resume that focuses primarily on past jobs.
In a reverse-chronological resume, the Work Experience section is the largest and most important part of the resume, and past positions are listed in reverse-chronological order, beginning with the most recent job and working backwards. The resume may open with a Summary section or a short Skills section, but the Work Experience section will receive the most focus, particularly the most recent positions.
This is the most common resume format, and the one most job-seekers will use. It is the ideal resume format for people who have had a typical career path, where each position is a logical next step from the previous one.
A functional resume, sometimes called a skills-based resume, is a resume that highlights skills over work experience. In a functional resume, the Skills section is the largest and most important part of the resume, while the Work Experience section is shorter and less detailed. Further, in a functional resume, jobs listed in the Work Experience section are ordered by relevance rather than chronology.
In a functional resume, the Skills section will be more detailed than in a reverse-chronological resume. Instead of a simple list of relevant skills, each skill area will be its own heading, and examples of your accomplishments or abilities in that skill area will be listed below. This makes the Skills section much longer and more important.
The functional resume is sometimes used by people with less traditional career paths, who may want to focus on their abilities rather than their recent positions. However, most employers prefer to see the dates of employment for recent positions, so this format is not popular.
Instead, if you want to emphasize skills over past jobs, you may want to write a Hybrid resume.
A hybrid resume, sometimes called a combination resume, is a resume that combines the best features of the functional resume format and the reverse-chronological resume format. It begins with a long, detailed Skills section (like a functional resume), but still retains a reverse-chronological Work Experience section (like a reverse-chronological resume).
In a hybrid resume, your Skills section will be positioned above your Work Experience section. It will also be longer and more detailed. Like a functional resume, it will have detailed examples in the Skills section rather than a simple bulleted list of skills, and like a functional resume, entries in the Work Experience section will be short and less detailed. Unlike the functional resume, however, past jobs will still be listed in order.
This allows you to showcase your skills without obscuring your dates of employment and career journey.
If you want to highlight skills rather than work experience, consider writing a hybrid resume.
You should write a hybrid resume if your career path has been unconventional or unusual and you feel that your skills are more important than your career timeline.
A hybrid resume allows you to emphasize all your best and most relevant skills right at the top of your resume with lots of detail, with less of a focus on the timing of specific accomplishments. This can be helpful when your most recent position isn’t directly relevant to the job you are applying to.
If you are changing careers, for example, a hybrid resume can help you highlight your most transferable skills better than your current position. Similarly, if you are returning to work after an absence, a hybrid resume will emphasize your existing skills. If you have a history of job-hopping, have worked in many different industries, or your work history has some long gaps in it, a hybrid resume format might work for you.
Now that you know what a hybrid resume is for and when you should use one, you are ready to start writing. When it’s time to write a hybrid resume, follow these steps:
While not strictly mandatory, it is a good idea to start your resume with a Summary section whether you are using a hybrid resume format or not. This section should be short, no longer than a few sentences or bullet points, and punchy. This is where you introduce yourself to an employer, listing a few important qualities, skills, or highlights from your career. If done well, your Summary section can be what hooks an employer and convinces them to read the rest of your resume.
In a hybrid resume, your Skills section is the most important part of the resume. It should be the largest section of the resume, positioned high on the first page and written with lots of detail.
In your Skills section, identify your most relevant and most impressive skill areas. Make each skill area a heading, then list examples or explanations underneath. For example, if you are applying for a sales role, you may want to include a section such as:
Sales and Marketing
When coming up with examples of your skills, focus on your achievements in past roles. Your past accomplishments should contain examples of the skills you want to highlight for the position you are applying for.
Try to use concrete examples of your successes. This should include quantifiable details, like sales, revenue, team size, project budgets, or customer success scores. Any measurable details from past jobs will look great on a resume. They show not only that you are successful, but that you measure your success and track your performance, all attractive qualities in an employee.
Further, when describing past accomplishments, use active language as much as possible. Action words like spearheaded, overcame, conducted, and negotiated all characterize you as an independent worker who can take initiative. The way you describe your accomplishments is almost as important as the accomplishments themselves.
Throughout your Skills section, make sure to include both soft skills, the transferable skills that make you a great employee, and hard skills, the technical abilities that make you competent in your vocation. This will allow you to demonstrate that you are a well-rounded worker who would be an asset both in terms of your abilities and your personal attributes.
The Skills section is the centrepiece of a hybrid resume, so it’s important to get this section right.
In a hybrid resume, your Work Experience section is secondary to your Skills section. That doesn’t mean, however, that it isn’t important.
In your Work Experience section, list your previous positions in reverse-chronological order. For each item, include the
Because your key accomplishments are all listed in your Skills section, it isn’t necessary to add more detail to your Work Experience entries. However, if you feel some explanation is needed, you can add a bullet point or two with some details about the specific roles.
It’s important to list your education in your resume, even if it isn’t directly relevant to the job at hand. Academic credentials can still impress employers. In your Education section, list your degrees in reverse-chronological order. For each item, include the:
Dates are optional in your education section.
Jordan Armstrong is a Marketing Specialist with a strong background in marketing and management. With experience as a Marketing Manager and Assistant Manager at ACME, Jordan has demonstrated expertise in developing and implementing successful marketing strategies. They hold a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from State University. Their experience in marketing management, combined with their strong communication and problem-solving skills, make them a valuable asset to any organization.
Sales and Marketing
Marketing Manager ACME May 2019 - Oct 2021
Assistant Manager ACME Nov 2016 - Apr 2019
Customer Service Advisor PowerTrain Industries Jan 2007 - Jan 2010
Customer Service Advisor InfoCorp Jan 2004 - Dec 2006
Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration State University
If you are still looking for inspiration, here are some hybrid resume template examples to help you get started.
Community Success Manager & CV Writing Expert
Ben is a writer, customer success manager and CV writing expert with over 5 years of experience helping job-seekers create their best careers. He believes in the importance of a great resume summary and the power of coffee.
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