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Combination Resumes Are a Choice for Older Workers

Are you a mid-life or older worker with a lot of work experience? And with special skills you want to emphasize? Try a combination resume for the best of both worlds.

A combination resume combines elements of the chronological and functional resumes. This resume style lets you highlight your skills and accomplishments, while providing a brief list of your work experience. It focuses on what you can do and how you can do it, rather than on when you did it and for whom.

The combination resume also enables you to select and focus on those skills, interests, and experiences that relate to the job that interests you and drop or minimize those items that don't.

Even if you are planning to stay in the same field, a combination resume may be the best way to present yourself to a new employer.

Sample Functional Areas

When writing your combination resume, group your experience and accomplishments into areas of expertise, also called functional areas. In this way, your resume will highlight your "transferable" skills, those skills you could use in a variety of settings. These can be skills you've gained through paid employment, homemaking, volunteer work, and hobbies.

This list of sample functional areas will help you in writing a combination resume. Choose 3-5 areas.

Administration

Marketing

Analysis

Media Relations

Auditing

Mediation

Bookkeeping

Merchandising

Communications

Negotiation

Community Organizing

Nursing

Computer Use

Office Support

Consulting

Operations Analysis

Contract Administration

Organizational Development Planning

Coordination

Problem Solving

Counseling

Product Presentation/ Demonstration

Curriculum Development

Production

Customer and Client Relations/Service

Program Development/ Analysis

Data Analysis

Promotion

Data Collection/ Entry

Public Relations

Design

Public Speaking

Editing

Purchasing

Engineering

Quality Control/ Assurance

Evaluation

Record Keeping

Facilitating

Reporting

Financial Research/ Planning/Analysis

Research

Forecasting

Sales

Fund Raising

Special Events Planning

Human Resources Management

Staff Development

Information Systems

Supervision

Interpreting

Systems Analysis/ Design

Interviewing

Team Building

Inventory Control

Training

Management

Writing

Skills and Accomplishments

Under each functional area, choose your most important and relevant skills and accomplishments. State what you did, briefly and clearly, by using action verbs. Show the results or the impact of your achievements. Use numbers when possible.

Especially if you are switching jobs or job fields, write statements that show how your skills from one field apply to another.

For example, if you are a teacher and now want to get hired as a professional storyteller, you may choose "Facilitating," "Public Speaking," or "Special Events Planning" as a functional area:

  • Adapt and perform traditional stories and folk tales for all grade levels, K through 12. Work with teachers, librarians, and other group leaders to interview children to create and co-perform original stories based on their lives. Organize and facilitate storytelling sessions for small groups to large assemblies

Say you have been out of the workforce for a few years. You've held several offices on the operating team of a local religious group. Now you want to return to work, but not in your previous job field. You see an ad for a contract administrator. You could choose "Negotiation" as one of your functional areas. Then, you would describe how you successfully negotiated a contract between your church or temple and a printing firm that published the weekly bulletins.

Successfully negotiated a first-time, two-year contract with a printer. Contract saved over $30,000 and led to the organization's willingness to sign several other money-saving contracts.

Work History

Your work history, or related work experience, will take much less space on your resume than your accomplishments. Simply name your previous employers and your job titles. List the years you worked for each employer, or say, for example, "eight years."

Put your work-history list at the start or near the end of your combination resume.

Sample Combination Resumes

(Adobe Acrobat Required)

Sample combination resume #1

Sample combination resume# 2

Additional Resource

Help With Your Resume and CV
The Riley Guide tells you about resume resources to use and tips to follow. Find resume samples, plus where to send your resume for proof-reading and a critique.

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