The hybrid resume is one of the most popular resume structures used today, and for good reason. It demonstrates your skills, achievements and experiences in a recruiter-friendly way. Plus, it’s well-suited to resume screening software!
Our tools can help you create a hybrid resume in minutes, but if you have more questions about it, keep reading. We’ll explore exactly what a hybrid resume is, when you should use it and why, and how to build one from scratch.
As you might guess from the name, a hybrid resume combines two different resume styles: the traditional and functional ones. (For this reason, you might also hear a hybrid resume called a combination resume.)
Traditional resumes are chronological: they list your career history, from most recent to oldest. This means they highlight the different roles you’ve held and your career progression over time. They work best if you have a linear career path with easy-to-understand job titles, e.g. from Marketing Intern to Marketing Assistant, Marketing Specialist and finally Head of Marketing.
Functional resumes, meanwhile, focus on your skill and abilities. Instead of detailing your previous roles, they list different skills with examples from your career history and/or personal life. For example:
Social Media Savviness
- Improved TikTok reach by 150%
- Designed templates for Instagram images that halved the time taken to create new posts
Functional resumes emphasize what you can bring to the role, but they can leave recruiters with questions about your career history. That’s where hybrid resumes come in.
A hybrid resume puts your skills first and foremost, before concisely recapping your career history. For many applicants — and hiring managers! — it’s the best of both worlds. Recruiters get an at-a-glance understanding of what you’re capable of in the skills section, while the work history section gives deeper insights into your professional background.
The hybrid resume is nearly always the best choice when applying for jobs. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a recent graduate, workplace returner, pivoting careers or have executive-level experience: the hybrid resume shows off your skills and achievements as well as your previous roles.
However, there are some cases when a hybrid resume is particularly useful. Make sure to use it if any of the following applies to you:
Employers and recruiters often use Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) to help them filter out unqualified applicants. This software scans resumes for keywords and then discards any that don’t contain them.
If you want to beat the ATS, this means you need to include the key phrases from the job listing in your resume. The skills section of a hybrid resume is a great place to include those. Just make sure to use the exact wording from the listing (minus any typos, of course!).
If you’re new to the workforce or are pivoting careers, your most recent jobs may not demonstrate why employers should hire you. Starting with a skills section instead will allow you to lead with the most important information: that you have all the attributes required to succeed in this role.
Perhaps you’ve recently been out of the workforce or your relevant experience dates from a few years back. Maybe you’ve even switched industries a few times. Regardless of the how and why, if you don’t have a linear career path, you should opt for a hybrid resume.
Your goal isn’t to hide your information — after all, it will still be visible under career history. Instead, you want to draw attention to the aspects of your professional experience that might otherwise be missed by a busy recruiter. With a skills section, you can make your relevant experience the number one bullet point.
Perhaps you’re applying for a customer service role and know that your trilingualism would come in handy. Maybe the company has several Japanese clients, and as a teenager you spent every summer visiting your grandparents in Kyoto, giving you valuable cultural insights. Or perhaps you’re looking for a position in the design department, and you’ve also won an amateur art competition.
All this information would be invisible on a chronological resume. On a hybrid resume, however, it can take center stage.
If you’ve decided that a hybrid resume is the right choice for you (and let’s be honest, it most probably is), the next stage is building it. Here’s what you need to include:
Your name should go at the top of your resume, followed by basic contact details: email address, phone number and, if relevant, links to portfolios, websites and/or social media accounts.
Write a concise description of yourself along with your skills and achievements. Make sure it’s targeted to the role in question and no more than five sentences long. For example:
A CompTIA+-certified IT technician with two years of experience in a computer repair shop. I am skilled at diagnostics and troubleshooting as well as hardware repairs.
Aim for four to eight skills that are relevant to the role. Ideally, you’ll demonstrate them with metrics and achievements rather than responsibilities. For example:
Excellent customer service skills: Maintained a 95% positive client satisfaction rate over two years, compared to the company average of 82%.
This section should be in reverse chronological order, but don’t feel the need to include every job you’ve ever had. Stick to recent and/or relevant positions, and make sure to include the start and end dates. Add bullet-point details about your achievements and metrics for the most important roles. For example:
Teaching Assistant, Sedona Elementary School, September 2018 — January 2022 Commended by Principal for work with children with learning disabilities Initiated and led after-school reading club; children who attended scored on average 20% higher in literacy tests
If you’re a recent graduate, you may decide to move this above the work history section. Otherwise, keep it at the bottom of your resume, and be concise. Only include GPAs if you’re a recent graduate with a 3.5 or above. For example:
Bachelor of Science in Electronic Engineering, 2015 University of Virginia
Whether you decide to go for a hybrid resume or a more traditional one, your resume needs to highlight your best features.
Writing a resume that presents you at your best can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Here at Rocket Resume, we have thousands of resume templates that will help you craft a professional resume in minutes.
Each template comes with recruiter-approved phrasing to help you capture an interviewer’s attention, plus they’re ATS-readable.
Start building your resume today, so you can put your best foot forward with recruiters.