Combination Resumes! Targeted Resumes! Mini Resumes! Which Do I Choose?

An overview of the different kinds of resumes and when to use them

Two business people sitting on a lounge exchanging mini resumes and discussing their combination and targeted resumes.
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Having a resume that fits the description of the job you are targeting is imperative, but with the many types of resumes out there, choosing which to use can be confusing. This article will provide a brief overview of combination, targeted, and mini resumes, and show you just when to use them in your search for that perfect position.

Combination resume

The combination (or hybrid) resume is a mixture of the chronological resume and the functional resume. It is a flexible format that allows you to highlight the strongest section of your resume: education, skills, or work history. It is often used to emphasize skills and draw attention away from specific jobs and employers. It is very well suited for:

  • Recent graduates with little work experience.
  • Those who have worked a long time in one field and would like to avoid repetitious job descriptions.
  • Those who are changing careers and want to stress their skills rather than specific employers or jobs.
  • Mid-career professionals with long work histories.
  • Those with a lot of special skills or accomplishments.

The combination resume includes personal details, an objective, accomplishments/skills (usually in a few different functional categories, e.g., sales, business development, or management), work history, and education.

If, like most people using this type of resume, your intention is to emphasize your skills, the education and work history sections will be quite brief, listing only degrees and dates, and employers, locations, and dates, respectively.

When looking at our combination resume example, remember this format is highly flexible, so resumes may look quite different depending on the section emphasized. If you are applying for a specific job, however, you should consider the targeted resume.

Targeted resume

Targeted resumes are customized for specific jobs. These are useful in cases where you are responding to a job posting and are familiar with the specific responsibilities of a position. While they are much more work than a general resume or a general cover letter, which you would send to multiple employers, targeted resumes can be well worth the effort, especially if you feel you are a perfect match for the job. You may use a chronological, functional, or combination resume format, which includes sections on personal information, qualifications, experience, and education. 

There are several ways to target your resume to a specific job. You could:

  • Use your general resume, and then include a short summary (either in list or paragraph form) at the top of the resume to emphasize your qualifications, experience, education, and credentials that match the ones listed in the job description.
  • Write an entirely new resume, revising your skills, responsibilities, and experience to match the requirements of the job.

Of course, both of these choices should be accompanied by a specific and properly formatted cover letter, showing the HR professional at your target company why you would be great at the job. Highlight your skills and experience, and explain how these match the job in question.

Mini resume

Mini resumes are just what they sound like—shortened resumes. They are essentially a summary of your full resume that can be used for various purposes. You should have one ready for prospective employers, upon request, and for networking. They are often printed on the back of a standard business card, with your contact information on the front.

Regardless of what resume you use, make sure your formatting is consistent and your grammar and spelling are impeccable—make the best first impression possible. If you are unsure about your resume, no matter the form, our personal document editors can help!

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