When it comes to creating a resume, choosing the right format can be tricky. You must highlight your skills, experience, education, and more within (preferably) one piece of paper. So, how do you decide?

First, you need to think about where you are in your career. Are you a seasoned professional or a recent graduate? Do you have a gap of time somewhere in your career, or have you spent years climbing the ladder without any breaks?

Everyone’s career journey looks different, and there is no “right” or “wrong” way to go about it. However, there are specific resume formats that can help you best relay your journey to potential employers:

  • Chronological resume
  • Functional resume
  • Hybrid resume

We’ll dive in deeper with information on each of these formats throughout the article. However, the focus of this post is why the hybrid resume format is simply the best.

Let’s get started.

What is hybrid resume?

The hybrid resume, also called a combination resume, combines the chronological resume format and the functional resume format. 

It highlights the job seeker’s skills and achievements section first (like a functional resume) followed by work experience (the focus of a chronological resume format). While the chronological resume format seems a bit too traditional to some modern job seekers, the functional resume format is typically not preferred by hiring managers.

Think of it like Goldilocks and the Three Bears—the hybrid resume is the resume format that’s “just right.”

The benefits of a hybrid resume format

  • Highlights skills and accomplishments
  • Takes the pressure off of work history/gaps (but doesn’t hide it)
  • Top-loaded style shows hiring managers the most valuable information first
  • The neutral format appeals to both traditional and non-traditional hiring managers
hybrid resume example

The functional resume template focuses on skills as well but it is not preferred by hiring managers because it tends to leave out employment history and gaps in employment, which makes the applicant seem unforthcoming. Employment gaps happen, and most hiring managers will understand. The hybrid format helps diminish those gaps without totally hiding them. 

It also helps hiring managers see your best selling points (your skills) first. As Jessica H. Hernandez, Executive Resume Writer explains, “Hiring managers are not reading the entire resume on the first pass. They’re going to scan over it for position titles, employment dates, keywords, and metrics that stand out before deciding to read it thoroughly. The resume format you choose should make those areas of information simple to locate and read.

Who should use a hybrid resume format?

The hybrid resume is, most often, the best option for a job seeker, but it is particularly useful to those starting out in the workforce for the first time, changing careers, or re-entering the workforce.

This format shifts the focus away from work experience and turns the attention toward transferrable skills (skills that you may not have picked up by working in a particular industry but still apply to the job for which you’re applying), which is why it’s great for people who don’t necessarily want to showcase their work history.

If you’re applying for a job in the same industry that you’ve worked in for many years, you can also consider the chronological resume format.

Hybrid resume examples and templates

Get additional templates here.

Skills sections are an important part of any hybrid resume. Including skills also helps your resume make it past applicant tracking systems. Jobscan compares the job description to your resume and lets you know exactly which skills you’re missing.

How do you write a hybrid resume?

To write one that will get you hired, this is what you need to know: