How to Upgrade a Functional Resume to a Combination Format

From time to time, folks send me their functional resumes, asking for help. I tell most of them the same thing: use a combination resume template to change a functional resume into the combination resume format.

Most employers don't like functional resumes because of the way they are formatted with all the achievement statements in one section and the work history at the end. It's hard to tell where the achievements took place, which makes employers think maybe the job seeker is trying to hide something.

How I used a Combination Resume Template for the Resume Updates

Converting a functional resume into the combination resume format isn't hard to do. In fact, it's pretty darn easy if you take these steps:

  1. Open your functional resume in MS Word and one of our templates for a combination resume, also in MS Word.
  2. Copy and paste (or retype) the heading, job objective (if you have one), Summary section, and Education section from your functional resume to the combination resume template.
  3. Copy the contents of your Work History section on you functional resume and paste it into the Experience section of the combination template. It's best to do the copy-and-paste, one job/employer at a time so that you preserve the bullet-point formatting of the template.
  4. Copy each of the Skill Headings in the Work History section of your functional resume and replace the "Skill Headings" in the appropriate places in the Experience section of the combination template.
  5. Finally, copy each of the achievement statements one-by-one and paste it under the job title where the achievement took place and under the Skill Heading that represents the skill used for that achievement.

Functional-to-Combination Resume Format Samples

Take a look at the following two sets of resumes to see how we transferred the contents from the functional format to the combination format.

Functional Resume: Nonprofit Executive Director in Performing Arts
Read details about this functional resume for an Executive Director for a nonprofit performing arts organization.
Sample Resume Nonprofit Executive Director Performing Arts p1Sample Resume Nonprofit Executive Director Performing Arts p2

Combination Resume: Nonprofit Executive Director in Performing Arts
Read details about this combination resume for an Executive Director for a nonprofit performing arts organization.

Combination Resume Example Executive Director Performing Arts P1
Combination Resume Example Executive Director Performing Arts P2

Functional Resume: High School English Teacher
Read details about this functional resume for a high school English teacher.

Sample Resume Secondary English Teacher high school

Combination Resume: High School English Teacher
Read details about this combination resume for a high school English teacher.

Combination Resume Sample High School English Teacher

Susan Ireland Resume Author Susan Ireland is the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Perfect Resume and creator of Susan Ireland's Ready-Made Resume Builder.