When a hybrid resume can win you aninterview

There are times when a hybrid résumé is the best way to grab an employer’s interest and win an interview, and there are times when it isn’t.

A résumé is a marketing document, a brochure to demonstrate how the applicant will meet the needs of the employer. This can only be achieved by demonstrating how the applicant would perform in the job through describing relevant skills, experience and achievements.

Sometimes this is best done using a chronological résumé but at other times a hybrid is a more effective way of convincing the employer that the candidate is worth interviewing.

For those who don’t know the term ‘hybrid résumé’, it is one which contains a section describing relevant skills and achievements usually placed immediately before the chronological employment history section. A good example of a hybrid résumé can be found at http://www.jobwinners.com.au/sample-resumes and then scroll down to Matteo Buonopane résumé.

When is a hybrid résumé the best format? When you are changing career direction, applying for a position in a different industry or taking a sideways move. It can also be very effective for young people going for their first job or first ‘real’ job, one in their chosen occupation.

This is because the skills and achievements section of a hybrid résumé describes in a convincing way that the applicant does have the relevant skills for the job whereas, in the chronological résumé, the employment history may not do so.

Matteo Buonopane is seeking a job in the hotel industry but his most recent experience is running a B&B. This experience probably wouldn’t impress the hotel’s recruiting officers if just expressed as part of his employment history because they may not see its relevance. However, through using a skills and achievements section, Matteo can show that he does have the specific capabilities that they are looking for.

In the skills and achievements section of his résumé, in answer to the criterion ‘Previous hotel experience’, Matteo writes:

Previous hotel experience

Twenty years in the hospitality industry as owner/manager of a motel and of an award-winning, heritage B&B.

  • With my wife, built the “Welcome Nugget” B&B in Ballarat from a 3-room establishment to a 20-room, luxury accommodation enterprise.
  • Over the past three years, achieved a 77% occupancy rate through providing exceptional customer service and through off-season special events.

This is more convincing than:

Joint owner / manager
“Welcome Nugget” heritage B&B accommodation
Ballarat, 1998-2014

which is how he starts the employment history section. Even though he follows this up with achievement statements, they are less likely to get the attention that they deserve in this section than under the first of the advertised selection criteria in the skills and achievements section.

The skills and achievement section serves as a mini-statement addressing the selection criteria. It explains how the candidate meets the specific criteria that the employer is looking for.

Certainly other ways of expressing these capabilities could be in a detailed cover letter or in a separate statement addressing the selection criteria but often the place where these achievements are most likely to be read is in the résumé, in the skills and achievements section.

For young people applying for their first real job in their chosen occupation, the hybrid gives them a chance to display all the relevant skills that they have developed through part-time jobs, roles within colleges or schools, voluntary work, community organisations etc.

So, if you are changing career direction or just starting out on your career path, consider compiling a hybrid résumé to convince the employer that you have got the required skills.

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