Can’t decide between a chronological CV or a skills-based CV? Combination CVs are designed to include the best of both worlds with the aim to highlight both your skills and progressive career.
Similarly to a chronological CV, jobseekers who have a solid professional background and wish to demonstrate their work history, in conjunction with key skills, can use a combination CV to promote both angles of their professional profile.
Include all of the standard CV sections that you would on any CV, but instead, order them in a specific way to target your CV selling points and shine a light on your key qualities. Combinations CVs demonstrate your clear career path and use your work history to back your solid professional background. They can also be used to highlight specific talents, skills or job responsibilities.
A combination CV template can be just the perfect tool for drafting your combination CV or even completing it for the first time in one simple attempt. Our website offers users a variety of different CV templates, designs and styles with tips and advice which guide you through the process of writing your CV. So, before you get in a pickle and wonder how you’re supposed to create a combination CV by yourself!
What is a combination CV?
Think about the key skills section of a functional CV and the neatly organised work history of a chronological CV, put them together and you have a combination CV.
This type of CV layout is ideal for job hunters who are not sure whether to go with a chronological or a skills-based CV. As both types of CVs have different advantages and disadvantages, it can be difficult to decide which CV is most suitable for you.
A combination CV is also known as a chrono-functional CV, due to its clear mix between the two CVs, chronological and functional. Use this type of CV template if you wish to demonstrate your key skills to recruiters, but also have a sturdy professional background in the same sector.
Compared to other CV templates, a combination CV is generally longer than other types of CVs, so it might not be the right option for you if you feel that you should be taking the short and snappy approach. However, the standard CV layout includes a profile or personal statement which can serve to draw attention to your most important attributes quickly, making recruiters want to carry on reading.
Ideally, if you wish to impress prospective employers with your professional skills and influence them with your successful career progress, a combination CV is a great choice of CV template.
Use our online cv builder to draft as many CV types as you please before choosing your favourite.
How to write a combination CV
The combination CV layout is similar to that of most CVs, though differs in parts. Read our explanations on how to write each section of a combination CV.
Title your combination CV with your full name and list your personal details. Where you list your personal details depends on your chosen CV format and layout. You can view various CV designs on our website and choose from a variety of CV templates.
Your personal details should consist of:
- Full name (CV title)
- Email address (a professional one!)
- Telephone/mobile number
- LinkedIn handle (optional)
You may choose to include your address on the CV if you wish, as well.
Choose whether you would like to write a career objective, personal statement or CV objective as a short profile introduction to your combination CV.
A career objective is usually no longer than two or three sentences detailing your ideal job position, why you want to work that particular job or why it interests you and why that means you would be an ideal candidate for the job.
There is also such thing as a career summary, though in the UK they aren’t as common. You can explain your end career goal or instead, reflect on your whole career to date, outlining any momentous or impressive achievements and responsibilities.
Use a personal statement to influence prospective employers at the beginning of your combination CV. This is a reputable technique for summarising your strong points and is commonly used throughout the UK. List your reasons for wanting the job at the company or your interest in the job position and what you would contribute to the team or company.
Similar to a personal statement but punchier, a CV objective presents the applicant, their skills, key elements and strong points in a couple of sentences and is designed to capture the hiring manager’s attention, as well as summarise the applicant’s personal profile. As a combination CV is designed to outline your skills and achievements, this can be a productive way of highlighting the most important and influential factors before anything else.
View combination CV examples to get a better idea of the type of profile you could write for your CV.
Remember: do not write all three! Choose one and make it your powerful introduction to your CV. It is not compulsory include a personal statement or other types of profile introductions on a combination CV, as there are some companies which favour them and others which disregard them entirely.
Functional skills/key skills
Bullet point approximately 5 skills which you feel encompass your best attributes and detail them slightly.
This section should not be long, as recruiters prefer short and snappy skills sections which list the skills and maybe give a few examples of when these skills were used in a previous job.
Make sure you read the job listing multiple times to understand the sort of skills that recruiters are looking for so that you can analyse your own skills and list the most relevant ones.
On the other hand, the work history section of a combination CV replicates that of a chronological CV.
List your work experience in a reverse chronological order and be sure to include the following details:
- Job title
- Company or organisation name
- Job description
- Employment dates
Make sure you don’t repeat the skills you have listed previously in the skills section of your combination CV. Instead, demonstrate further evidence of these skills to reinforce the strength of your job application.
However, make sure your descriptions are not too long. You don’t want to bore recruiters! A tip for shortening job descriptions is starting your sentences with a powerful verb such as, “lead a team in…”, “awarded employee of the month…”.
Seeing as the combination CV’s most important aspects are mainly the skills and work history section, the academic background is left until last. You can fill in as much academic background as you feel is necessary or as much as the rest of the CV space allows you.
If you have recently completed a degree or an academic qualification which you would like to highlight or feel is relevant to the job post, either place this section at the top of your CV or alternatively, contemplate using a different type of CV or CV layout.
Tips for writing a combination CV
Here are some extra tips for CV writing:
- Don’t waffle! Keep recruiters awake!
- Ask someone to reread your combination CV once you have completed it
- Use powerful terminology to capture the hiring manager’s attention. You can also read the job specification to see which kind of language is used
- Make sure your email address is professional-sounding
Advantages of a combination CV
How advantageous is a combination CV and how do you know if this CV template is the right kind for you? Read the advantages of a combination CV to decide:
- The ideal combination of a chronological CV and functional CV allows jobseekers to combine writing styles
- Highlight your key skills
- Distinguish your progressive career with reverse chronological order format
- Grab the hiring manager’s attention with a profile or personal statement
- Outline achievements and accomplishments easily
- Support your key skills with your employment history
Disadvantages of a combination CV
If you have the feeling that a combination CV may not be the best type of CV for you, confirm this with our list of disadvantages. Despite a combination CV being a useful CV template for many job hunters, unfortunately, one size does not always fit all when it comes to CV writing.
- Sometimes combination CVs can be a bit lengthier than what all jobseekers look for in a CV
- Recruiters may stop reading after scanning the profile or personal statement section if the picture hasn’t been painted correctly
- Listing skills prior to your work experience might shorten your work history section or limit your CV space
- Unemployment gaps are easily noticeable in the reverse chronological format of your work experience
- Those who have chopped and changed between jobs might be labelled as inconsistent or indecisive. If you have experience in lots of different job sectors, it may be a better idea to draft a skills-based CV and decide whether the CV layout works better for your personal profile
When to use a combination CV
Combination CVs are perfect for those who wish to present recruiters with a solid work history in conjunction with key skills and achievements. Those who are proud of their progressive and consistent career path and combination of skills and abilities should have absolute confidence in creating a combination CV.
It’s not recommendable to use a combination CV template if you have large gaps in your work experience history or you have changed job sectors.