The Surprising Truth About What You Should Actually Include On Your Resume

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June 23, 2024 at 7:37AM UTC

“I realized that I was shortchanging myself while job search. If I was making that mistake, maybe others are as well,” an anonymous Fairygodboss’er wrote on the community feed.

“When applying for positions, I concentrated mainly on how many years I had in [the] field rather than overall experience. After speaking to a recruiter, she mentioned that it's not about your experience in a single field that represents your background. I've divided my career into different industries and when applying for positions, made sure that I had enough years in that sector.”

The surprising truth this Fairygodboss member learned about her resume? Don’t just focus on your experience in the field you’re applying for. 

If you’ve worked in multiple sectors, your overall experience can paint a better picture.

You never know what skills from other industries might be transferable or even beneficial to the role you’re applying to. In fact, your unique expertise from other places might give you a leg up in the hiring process. 

How to Include Experience From Various Sectors on Your Resume

Focus on the keywords

Some keywords are industry-specific, but oftentimes job descriptions can include skills that you may have gained in another sector. Review the keywords to see if you can pull out any relevant skills or accomplishments — from any one of your positions — and add it as a skills or professional summary section.

Show your work

Like any resume, you should emphasize the impact you had rather than the logistics of what you did. Add relevant figures, but contextualize them if they’re not intuitive to someone whose background is in another industry. 

Give yourself credit

Don’t limit yourself to adding accolades, certifications or certificates from the specific industry you’re applying to. “I've added to my portfolio over the years but only included what I perceived as relevant material from the industries I wanted to work,” wrote the original Fairygodboss member. “That doesn't bring attention to awards, certificates and experience I've gained from other industries. While still focusing on my desired markets, it's time to reexamine what I feel is important to share from my collective experience.”

What’s your no. 1 piece of advice for job seekers with varied industry experience? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss'ers!

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