The combination style resume is good. It emphasizes your skills, like you want. If a hierarchy format can be made to look clean and concise, it could be one way of doing the skills (foremost and top) section of a combination resume.
A functional resume also could do this, but lacks the list of jobs, so a largely-functional, but combination, resume, is best in my opinion.
The US Department of Labor has an excellent handbook which can help you write a nice, Functional (skill-based) or Combination (Time & Skill Based) resume. This handbook is commonly used for training military veterans who are transitioning out of the military and into the civilian workforce how to write resumes and focus on their skills.
The standard resume format is the Chronological (Time Based) resume. The Chronological resume is excellent for those working at great companies and in their desired skillset their whole careers, but it does very poorly for those who build their skills in their free time (self learners), those who are making career transitions (ex: military to software developers), or those who have otherwise non-standard career histories.
Therefore, when emphasizing skill is desired and/or you are making a major career change, the Functional (ok) or Combination (I recommend this one!) resume may be highly-effective and highly-desirable.
The 3 resume types: Chronological, Combination, Functional:
The problem with the Functional resume is that it leaves recruiters wondering, "well, where did this person work in the past and what did they do?" This can turn them off, so, I recommend the Combination resume. Essentially, you put all your skills you care about and which matter to your potential employer you are applying to up front, then you place a brief and concise list of employers at the end, with dates and locations and titles, 1 or 2 lines max per role. This way, the bulk of your resume and focus becomes your skills, while your previous work history is an after-thought--just there to prove you were employed and doing something useful at all. Behind each skill you list at the top of the resume should be a description and/or list of projects which support this skill.
Here is an example of a Combination resume from pg 80 of the guide: https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/VETS/files/TAP-EFCT-Participant-Guide.pdf:
There are many ways to style this resume, but again, I highly-highly recommend it when you need to emphasize skills over job history!
Anecdotal evidence and personal experience with the Combination style resume
After 8 yrs in the military I used a combination resume to get a job (with great difficulty, mind you, and some help and referrals) at a top tech company in San Francisco...as an embedded software developer. I had very little software development experience in my military role, but tons in my personal and hobby experience, which I had been doing for years, as able, outside my "day job", and mostly self-taught. My last couple military assignments were so non-applicable to my job I wanted they each got 1 single line on my whole resume, despite taking multiple years of my life.
Considerig that I am breaking the convention but also considering that I want to weed out conservative employers who do not appreciate doing thing innovatively, is this a good idea?
This (using a combination or functional style resume) is definitely breaking convention. I can tell you that the closer the companies were to the US government, military, or Department of Defense, the less-likely they were to take me seriously as a software developer. They largely ignored me. Several of their recruiters even told me my several thousand hours of impressive hobby and side projects (some paid) "didn't count", because they weren't for a major company as part of my "day job." These were what I consider the "non-innovative" companies. It was okay in the end they rejected me, as I would not have been happy working for them either.
BUT, the Googles, Facebooks, and other, smaller but equally prestigious high tech companies looked at my Combination resume, with a list of skills, projects, GitHub links, links to YouTube videos I made, my website, projects I completed, etc. etc., and they were intrigued. They gave me a chance, and I got on-site interviews at many of them. Eventually, I filled in the skill and interview gaps, figured out what "algorithms" meant to the common software world, studied them, and got a job which required 7 white-board interviews, each testing a different skillset I listed on my resume to see if I was "for real." They hired me. It's been brutally difficult to get there, to stay there, and to continue progressing, but the Combination style resume, where skills and NOT employers or titles were the key focus of the resume, was a key part of this success, especially to get into my first job in the industry in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Ever since getting that first job now, I no longer have the problems I used to have getting companies to take me seriously. Even the "non-innovative" companies like the Dept. of Defense contractors and recruiters who previously rejected me for being non-conventional and not having a degree in software, now regularly contact me because they see my companies on my LinkedIn profile and resume now. I still use the combination style resume, however, because my list of skills is still far longer than my list of impressive companies, and if they want to see my companies they can look at LinkedIn anyway, and because it helps me target positions easier when I target my resume and list of skills to the specific job application rather than just listing all the stuff I had to do too which I don't ever want to do again.
Last note: when applying for your job you want, don't list all the skills you have, list just those skills which will help you get the job you want. Ex: I'm pretty good in making PowerPoint presentations and giving inane briefings, but I hate doing that. No amount of money can pay me to do that again, so I leave it off. If you want to do some specific thing, make that and those skills your primary focus. The combination resume helps you do this.
- Slides: https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/VETS/files/TAP-EFCT-Presentation.pdf
- Manual: https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/VETS/files/TAP-EFCT-Participant-Guide.pdf
Screenshot of some of the slides: