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Advice / Job Search / Resumes

This Is How You Spin 1 Resume for 5 Different Industries

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You’d like an engaging new job and—here’s the kicker—you want it in a totally new field. As a career coach, former tech recruiter, and certified professional resume writer, I’ve helped more than 500 job seekers update their resumes and land jobs. (I’ve also sat on the other side of the table as a hiring manager, too.) More often than not, the people I work with want me to show them how to create materials that’ll help them change careers.

How do I help them go about it? Those of us who geek out over resumes use the term transferable skills. In a nutshell, it’s a tactic that lets you take the exact same experience and make it sound relevant to multiple industries.

It’s absolutely doable, but you’ve got to be strategic about it. Selling yourself as an undeniable fit—especially when you lack the same experience as your competition—means explaining where you’ve been, based on where you want to go.

The best way to understand it is to look at examples. So, I’m going to show you how to flip one sales resume so it’d work for positions in five other fields:

Sales Resume

This is our starting point—the resume you’d use if you were staying in sales. The job seeker leads with relevant experience and uses numbers and active verbs to show impact throughout the bullets.

Copywriting Resume

Jumping from sales to an arguably more creative field like copywriting can be challenging, but both require blistering hot communication skills and a “closer” mindset. Seize any opportunity that you can to outline ways you’ve sold through your writing.

While they’re not ads or product descriptions, materials like phone scripts or pitch decks still count as content that sells. Check out the same bullet on both resumes:

Sales Resume
“Prepare and execute presentations / demos, and provide solutions to customer inquiries (traveling as needed)”

Copywriting Resume
“Created content for and presented a pitch deck that secured a $15M deal—Vitrucon’s largest ever”

In addition to your career timeline, use your heading and skills sections to highlight content creation (and consider flipping the order, combination resume style). Ditto for your summary: Make it clear up front that you know how to string together words to inspire action. (And yes, you’ll see summaries here, because career change is one time an objective statement is definitely the way to go.)


Sure, marketing involves the same muscle memory as sales and copywriting, but what should you do when you have next to no formal experience and you’re competing against candidates who’ve already been in the field for a bit?

Well, once you’ve taken the time to describe anything you’ve done on the job in the way of communications, social media, or reaching audiences; demonstrate how you’ve gained marketing experience outside your nine-to-five life.

Flesh out a story around your community involvement or passion project. As you’ll see, I swapped the earliest career position for a volunteer experience section that expressly points to time spent in marketing and social media. That way, Cora’s resume is still the same length, and only highlights what’s most relevant.

Operations Management

In operations, your professional value lives in your ability to wrangle teams, steer and improve processes, and most importantly, foresee and manage change. Talk of targets, metrics, goals, and measuring performance will warm your readers up—and to show you mean business, present clear-cut evidence that you can do those things.

Were you the guy who guided your team through a choppy period of change? Talk about it! Did you anticipate and resolve a serious business breakdown? Explain the benefits your resourcefulness delivered (and quantify it).

Your operations resume has to show that you’re a planner and problem solver in every move it makes. For example, I added in “Trained and onboarded team of 3 sales coordinators recognized by regional sales director as ‘exemplary’” to the second job in Cora’s operations’ resume, because training is an operational skill. Even little tweaks like shifting the first bullet verb from “manage” to “execute” makes it feel more suited to operations.

Business Intelligence

Sometimes, it takes more than shifting some wording around to show employers you’ve got what they need. If you’re looking to make a leap into the business intelligence world, you’ll want to note that you’ve completed specialized training, which can range from a bachelor’s degree in computer science (OK, less likely if you're changing careers) to a certificate or program in database technology and analysis (more likely, and important nowadays).

The bulk of this magic will happen in your education section, but don’t forget to polish up your skills list with a mention of the data management tools you’re savvy with. In this version, I added “Systems Analysis Certification” along with relevant coursework.

Finally, look at your bullet points and draw out any hands-on experience you’ve gains in organizing, reviewing, and presenting important data. Even routine reports and recommendations can demonstrate your proficiency in identifying patterns and trends that are important in making business decisions.

Product Management

Product Management is another field that will require more than a little resume wizardry to get you in the door. Again, use your Education and Skills sections to present your newfound credentials and swinging range, touching on field-specific lingo to show that you “get it.” So, along with listing an accelerated course, I also changed the following bullet:

Sales Resume
“Prepare and execute presentations / demos, and provide solutions to customer inquiries (traveling as needed)”

Product Management Resume
“Create business cases / demos to influence partners about the potential product-market fit and prioritization”

Beyond that, be sure to work in language around your ability to identify needs and build consensus (your Summary and Professional Experience section are prime real estate for this!).

Despite what some people might tell you, you’re never stuck in the field that you started in. But there is one vital hack to pivoting like nobody’s pivoted before, and that’s being able to articulate your value creatively, in ways that you competition can’t. How you tell your story makes all the difference.

Create a resume that shows you’re ready for the curveballs your new role might serve you. (Because, you so totally are).