A Hybrid Resume Format
A resume format that combines elements of a chronological resume and a functional resume is a strategy you might be tempted to consider. But, is this a document that will work for you?
When you're writing a resume, you have two primary format choices to consider.
The chronological resume, which is preferred by hiring managers and recruiters, outlines your experience in reverse chronological order. This means you start with your most recent position, and work back to your early career.
The functional resume, which is designed to either camouflage how "seasoned" you are, or to conceal other problems in your background (e.g. job hopping), is a distant second choice, in terms of hiring professionals' preferences. In the functional resume, you're going to highlight skills and accomplishments, rather than the companies you worked for and the positions you held.
In recent years, a new resume format - the hybrid - has come into vogue. Although it is still not a top choice of hiring managers, it takes on characteristics of both formats, yielding a more robust section on general skills and accomplishments, and decreased emphasis on chronology.
Let's take a closer look.
After the opening sections - Contact Information and Summary Statement - the hybrid format is generally going to launch into Selected Accomplishments, without any ties to specific positions. These accomplishments are going to reinforce the skills highlighted in the Summary Statement.
We should point out that the Summary Statement with this hybrid resume format should be somewhat expanded from the typical 3-5 sentence opening we recommend. You might include that narrative, and then provide a bullet point list of your specific skills. For example:
C-level sales professional with expertise in new business development and relationship management. Proven ability to sell products and services as well as build, develop and focus customer driven sales teams. Leadership responsibility for a division of 50, including total accountability for P & L. Demonstrated track record of developing and executing sales plans that consistently exceed quota. Specific skills include:
The Summary Section, along with the Accomplishments section, should take up most, if not all of Page 1.
Presenting Your Experience
Next, you'll present a shortened reverse chronology of the places you've worked and positions you've held. See our Job Resume section for an overview of this section. In the hybrid format, you'll be eliminating most of your accomplishments from the chronology, since they've already been incorporated. If you have room, you might include some additional accomplishments for your most recent positions.
This hybrid resume format closes with your academic credentials, and your professional honors and affiliations, just like you'll find in a chronological resume format.
The idea here is that your skills and accomplishments that are highlighted early on will get the reader hooked before noticing any flaws in your background.
While this format can work, don't be fooled into thinking it's the best of both worlds. Recruiters and hiring managers are looking for specific information when they review a stack of resumes. The chronological resume is the best format to give them what they want!
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