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What’s an industry agnostic resume?

...and why your clients might need one.

A Key Component for Career Transition

Last year, over 60% of people who quit their jobs left for an entirely new field. This is a huge (think <15%) increase compared to earlier years.

As career professionals, we’ve all witnessed the underlying reasons for this: our clients are seeking more meaning, flexibility, autonomy, and variety.  The pandemic limited these so much in our lives.

As our clients prepare to venture towards new paths and vocations, we may find ourselves struggling to get them there.

How can we translate what our clients have accomplished in a way that resonates with recruiters in a new field?


This is where an industry agnostic resume comes in.

It’s a resume that’s not targeted for a particular field or industry.

It’s a master resume of all of their past experience and accomplishments, without the embellishments of an industry-focused resume.

Let’s look at a transformation that leverages an industry-agnostic resume.

Meet Rebecca Smith. She's been in apparel design for the bulk of her career. The resume below showcases those accomplishments.

Apparel Designer - Before Resume

To get Rebecca somewhere new, we need a resume that:

  • Completely leaves out industry-specific language
  • Frames sector-specific work in a more general way
  • Incorporates the language of her desired field wherever possible.

See if you can spot the subtle differences in the resume below:

Apparel Designer - After Resume

What makes this an industry-agnostic resume?
  • There's no reference to fashion, or merchandise.
  • Instead of apparel, we reference products.

Now that we have this blank slate, we can make minor edits to tailor it for the different roles that she's targeting.

Andrea Gerson
Post by Andrea Gerson
August 8, 2022
Andrea Gerson is a social worker, career coach and workforce technology founder. Over the past 15 years, she's crafted impactful resumes for over 7,500 clients – many of who have gotten hired at organizations like Google, Apple, and the U.N. She's partnered with dozens of non-profit workforce agencies to lead staff trainings on topics like job search strategies, interview preparation and navigating workplace conflict. Andrea brings a strengths-based, client-centered perspective, and her work is an extension of her commitment to addressing the opportunity gap.