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Industry Specific Resumes

How to edit your resume for certain industries

You didn’t ask me to clear up all of the confusion, thank goodness, so I will address your specific question on industry or profession-specific styles. My short answer is yes there are industry styles, and yes, they can be a good idea.

However, my first caveat is that your goal should be a professional resume that does a great job of explaining what you’ve done and what you offer.

The second caveat is that certain life stages require special attention. If you are just starting out in your career and don’t have much work experience, your resume is going to be different that 15 years from now. Career changers have their own requirements. These come first, in most cases, over a profession, or industry approach.

Of course, you should pay attention to norms in your field.

Speak to your audience

I believe what you are really asking is should your resume speak specifically to your target audience. The obvious answer is yes, of course. You can do that in three ways:


First and foremost, the language you use and the evidence you provide of your suitability for your target role should be tailored and targeted to fit your professional group or fit your industry.

Content Style & Depth

In many situations, you can and should adapt your writing to suit your profession or industry. If you are in marketing, then your resume and cover letter better demonstrate an ability to craft compelling language, speak to benefits rather than features, and project the right image. If you are in finance or general management, you need to quantify your accomplishments as much as possible. Sales people. Well, they should show that they can sell. I know it is obvious, but you would be surprised how many people forget who they are when they are in job search mode.


You might also want to pay attention to format and length. In some industries, a 3-page resume (and even a 2-pager) would take you out of the running. For others, a 1-pager wouldn’t cut it. If you are interviewing in the investment industry, think what will work. If construction, imagine what their culture and expectations are. When in doubt, stick with the standard 1-2 page resume.

Ultimately, your resume is about best marketing what you have done and what you offer. Your target market is very relevant in how you do that and you should put attention into ensuring that your resume makes sense for that market.

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