Easy Steps for a Combination Resume

  • A COMBINATION RESUME can be used if you have no formal work experience or gaps in employment.

  • One page should be sufficient for most combination resumes.

  • Use standard fonts like Arial, Calibri, Tahoma, or Verdana in font size 11 or 12 for body text.

  • Use at least a 5-inch margin on all sides. 

  • Use the same heading on the cover letter, resume, and references.

  • Make your name stand out in the heading by using a larger font.


Street Address, City, State Zip Code

(555) 555-5555

Email Address        LinkedIn Profile/Custom URL


Your qualifications summary or career profile is like a billboard for your greatest achievements and most relevant skills. Like all elements, it should be focused on the position you want and should explain in bullet points exactly what you have to offer and how your previous accomplishments will make you an asset.

  • What are your major accomplishments?

  • What skills do you possess that qualify you for the position?

  • What are some of your characteristics that set you apart from other candidates?

For more information see Developing Your Qualifications Summary.


Name of College, University, or Trade School     City, State     Month/Year – Month/Year

Complete degree title

  • Include the information listed above. If you had a relevant major or a specific education track, you can list it here. Other optional information: organizations, achievements, and GPA if 3.5 +.


  • List a skill relevant to the position you are applying for.

    • Use bullets to list accomplishments demonstrating you have that skill.

    • List one complete thought per bullet.

    • Begin each bullet statement with an action verb. For more information see, 185 Power Action Verbs That Will Make Your Resume Awesome!

    • Use keywords from the job description if possible. For more information see Formatting Documents to Beat the ATS.

  • List another skill and repeat this process to show each of the important professional skills that relate to the position


  • If you lack professional work experience, list it here. Include the dates of employment, your role, and the name of the organization.

  • If you have lack professional (paid) experience, but have relevant experience as a volunteer, use the Volunteer Experience section (see Optional Sections).

  1. Optional Sections


Basic Life Support (BLS),     Expires Month/Year
American Heart Association

  • List licenses or certifications granted by a governing body. For instance, if you are required to be certified in Basic Life Support (BLS), list that certification here.


Blood Services Team Member    Month/Year – Month/Year
American Red Cross    City, State

  • This section can be useful for those with little professional experience or career changers who have gained transferable job skills. Don’t list volunteer experience that doesn’t relate to your objective. Depending on the length of your resume and your goals you can simply list your titles and the organizations or can include duties/achievements in the Professional Skills section.

  • List specific additional awards or achievements that help you attain your career objective.


Emergency Management Institute    Year
Incident Command System (ICS-100)

  • Additional coursework required for the position or that the organization would find helpful and that is distinct from your education section.

Final Check!

  • Be sure to check for grammar and spelling errors before submission! Have a second pair of eyes review your documents.

  • Do not include tables, special characters, or non-standard bullets when submitting via computer. These may confuse the applicant tracking system (ATS). 

  • Save your resume as a PDF or in plain text for electronic transmission.

  • Do not include references on a resume nor phrases like “References available upon request.” A separate reference sheet formatted like your other documents should be created in case an employer requests it.

Revised 18 August 2020

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Article ID: 114513
Fri 8/21/20 3:27 PM
Sun 8/23/20 3:00 PM