Combination CV Tips and Examples (with different formats)

Updated 16 August 2023

When creating a CV, you have several formats to choose from, including chronological, functional, and combination. A combination format CV focuses on your relevant abilities and accomplishments. Learning more about how to write an effective combination CV can help increase your chances of getting invited to interview for a role. In this article, we define a combination CV, discuss when to use one, highlight why you need a CV, discuss how to write one, and review a template and example of a combination format CV to help you write your own.

Related: CV format guide: examples and tips

What is a combination CV?

You might be wondering, 'What is a combination CV?'. This type of CV emphasises skills and achievements and also lists previous employment history. It incorporates elements of the other two most common CV formats, including:

  • Functional CV format: The functional CV format focuses on your relevant and transferable talents that distinguish you from other candidates. It's best suited for people with little relevant job experience for the role in which they are interested.

  • Chronological CV format: This format focuses on current and pertinent job experience in reverse chronological order, beginning with the most recent work experiences in a professional history section.

If you're a junior or mid-level candidate with essential, relevant abilities that match the job description, the combination format is an excellent choice to use when applying for a role. For instance, this CV format can be useful if you have a few years of job experience following graduation. Utilising a combination format CV can help you highlight the abilities you gained throughout your early professional career and relate them to your professional experience.

When to use a combination format CV

Here are some instances of when you might benefit from using a combination format CV:

  • You're a young professional with one to three years of work experience.

  • You're a recent college or high school graduate with only a few years of professional experience.

  • You're changing your career or industry.

  • You've only worked for a few employers, but have a consistent work history.

  • There are no gaps in your employment history.

There may be some situations where other CV formats may be more appropriate. For example, if you're a recent college or high school graduate with little work experience, you may consider a functional CV structure. If you have extensive professional experience, a chronological CV format may be preferable, as details about your most recent professional background may be the most important information for potential employers.

Related: Why is a CV important? Everything you need to know

Why do you need a CV?

You need a CV because employers usually require candidates to submit one when applying for a particular position. An effective CV can demonstrate to employers why you are suitable for a certain position. Here's a list of other reasons why you require a CV when applying for a job:

Highlights the benefits you can provide to prospective employers

A CV can communicate to employers what you can offer an organisation. Try to incorporate quantifiable descriptions to help convey your value as an employee. For example, if you have experience in a sales position, rather than just stating that you're a top performer, you can state that you achieved £30,000 in new media sales in six months.

Gains the attention of prospective employers

Along with your name and contact information, include the most critical and impressive information at the beginning of the document. Another strategy for gaining an employer's attention is to use a template that has effective use of colour. This can help make your CV more memorable.

Matches you with the appropriate job

A strong CV aligns your abilities with job requirements. One approach to accomplish this is to ensure that your CV includes the same keywords as the job description. For instance, if the job description specifies understanding of CRM software, ensure that your CV includes the term CRM software. If you submit your CV online, some employers may automatically categorise it using keywords. If an employer uses an applicant tracking system, keywords are especially important, as these programmes filter applications based on keywords that are typically included in the job description.

How to write a combination style CV

Here's a list of steps you can take to write an effective combination format CV:

1. Begin with your name and contact information

Your CV can begin with your name and contact information. This helps to make it easier for hiring managers to identify who submitted the application and contact you if they want to invite you for an interview. Verify that the information you provide is accurate and recent, including your current phone number and email address. Optional information can include URLs to online portfolios, which may be advantageous depending on your industry.

Related: What is a visual CV? (Plus tools to create one)

2. Include your summary

Your CV can include a concise summary that highlights your most impressive and relevant abilities, experiences and skills. Use active language to help hiring managers determine why you are a good fit for the role. If you're new to the workforce and have little relevant experience, you can include a CV objective statement instead of a CV summary. This summarises your short-term and long-term professional objectives to helps convey your goals and ambitions.

3. Add your abilities and skills

Include a section that outlines your expertise, knowledge and skills following the summary. When creating this section, be sure to review the job description and identify keywords. These may include any skills or abilities listed as necessary or desired by the company. You can include both technical skills and soft skills in your list.

Related: The ultimate guide to CV basics (with example)

4. Create a section for work experience

If you're creating a combination format CV, your professional experience can help support your skills section. This section can help employers have a better understanding of your work abilities and talents by elaborating on how you acquired and used these skills. For example, if you're currently employed in an entry-level sales role, your skills section may include soft skills such as collaboration skills and communication abilities and also hard skills such as customer relationship management software skills and experience with data analytics tools. When listing your work experience, you can include explanations of how you applied these skills, such as by saying, worked collaboratively with other sales employees to assist customers and processed payments using CRM tools.

5. List your education

Education history and experience vary in importance depending on your level of professional experience. Including your educational achievements can be especially beneficial when you have limited professional experience. If you're a recent university or secondary school graduate or have limited professional experience, you can consider including more information in this section, such as relevant coursework, grades, honours and extracurricular activities such as leadership positions, volunteer opportunities or club membership.

Related: How to write a marketing manager CV (with template and example)

Template for CV using combination format

Here's a template you can use to follow the combination format CV:

[Name]
[Phone number]
[Email address]
[Portfolio link]

Summary
[CV summary statement explaining your goals and most impressive skills]

Skills summary
[List of most impressive and well-developed skills that are applicable to the role]

Work experience
[Title]
[Company name]
[Date started-date employment ended]
[List of tasks and accomplishments for the role]

[Title]
[Company name]
[Date started-date employment ended]
[List of tasks and accomplishments for the role]

[Title]
[Company name]
[Date started-date employment ended]
[List of tasks and accomplishments for the role]

Education
[Degree]
[College or university], [City]
[Year of graduation]

Example CV using combination format

Here's an example of a CV using the combination format that can help you write your own:

Peter Grey
(993) 477-7111
peter.grey12@email.com
www.petergreyportfolio.com

Summary
A strategically minded and hard-working sales associate with two years of experience increasing sales and brand awareness.

Skills

  • Sales and marketing skills

  • Spreadsheet software

  • CRM software

  • Team player

  • Hardworking

  • Creative

Professional history
L&O Financial, Sales Associate
August 2016—Present

  • Utilised CRM software to help manage client accounts

  • Learned and used various data analytics tools to provide data insights

  • Worked collaboratively with other associates and managers to create new marketing strategies

L&O Financial, Intern
June 2016—August 2016

  • Trained on industry financial systems

  • Assisted sales teams with day-to-day operations

  • Learned skills in sales and developing client relationships

  • Accepted as full-time sales associate following a successful internship

Educational history
B.A., Communications
Morfella University, Birmingham
August 2012–June 2016

  • Awards: Magna cum laude, President's Scholarship award, academic honours

  • Extracurricular activities: Debate team captain, student government treasurer

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