Seeking a Solution for Employment Gaps? Consider the Hybrid Resume

We recently did a post comparing the chronological resume and the functional resume. Several people asked if there were any other formats available, particularly with regard to covering employment gaps and other employment pitfalls.

As some observant readers mentioned, job seekers who have experienced long-term unemployment will sometimes opt for the functional resume style as a way to mask gaps in employment. Yet this strategy may backfire as many hiring managers and those in HR strongly prefer the chronological format. In fact many big-name staffing agencies will only accept resumes in the chronological format. So if you have major gaps in your employment, what are you to do?

Hybrid Resume, Combo Resume

Sample of a Hybrid Resume Style

The Hybrid Resume Highlights Experience and Skills While Hiding Gaps

Enter the hybrid resume style, sometimes also called the combo resume. As the name suggests the hybrid resume highlights job seekers’ skills and accomplishments while also chronologically listing their work experience. As such, the hybrid format can showcase skills without calling attention to employment gaps. Moreover, it satisfies recruiters’ desires for chronological listing and dates.

The hybrid resume format can help the following types of job seekers:

  • Career changers — Present new experience, skills, education or training while putting less focus on work in another industry or profession altogether
  • Those who switch job frequently – Again, the hybrid format can highlight career achievements while not calling attention to job hopping
  • Those who are underemployed or are in a lower-level position – Were you Director of Engineering at IBM more than 15 years ago but today work as mid-level manager for a lesser known company? The hybrid format allows you to highlight this experience front and center so it won’t be overlooked.

(You will get more attention on LinkedIn if you are / were employed by a major Fortune 500 company. You can get creative and apply the hybrid formatting method to your LinkedIn profile to increase your chances of being found by recruiters. )

  • The long-term unemployed – By putting forth your best capabilities up front, you can capture the hiring manager’s interest right away. With the hybrid resume, the gaps won’t be the first thing they see as they often are with the chronological format.

Use the Hybrid Resume to Spice up Stale, Boring Resume Writing

So if you fit any one of these criteria and have a less-than-perfect employment history, consider making use of the hybrid or combo style resume. Even if you have a steady employment record, the hybrid resume format can be used to change things up a bit and breathe some new life into an ordinary resume.

86 Keys Communications creates results-getting resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles and related resume writing services for job seekers of every industry and experience level. Contact them today at to learn more about how the hybrid resume can help your job search.