Filling the gap: How to make a resume if you have little or no square experience

The ‘resume gap’ is one of the biggest challenges to leaving the sex industry. Even though stripping is skilled work, many people don’t feel comfortable listing the skills learned from stripping on a resume; but there are alternatives. Consider volunteer work to build up your resume. Low-barrier part-time jobs in retail, food services, call centres, or bartending can also build your resume. See our infographic Beginning your transition into Mainstream Work here for more ideas.

Consider listing your stripper experience under a different, yet related field. Other strippers have listed work experience under titles such as ‘care giver’, ‘go-go dancer’, ‘promo model’, ‘dancer’, ‘entertainer’, ‘customer service’, etc. This can be particularly successful if you are able to provide a reference from a former co-worker (bartender or bouncer from club), or a reference from a club manager/owner with whom you are on good terms. Some strippers actually list their sex work experience when they have felt comfortable doing so, particularly when applying to jobs in sectors where their experience could be considered as asset – for example, for jobs in healthcare, community service work, or social work (Law, 2011).

Like we said, stripping is skilled work. If you feel comfortable listing your experiences as a stripper under a different title, you could also organize your resume to highlight the skills you acquired while working in the sex industry. Here are some transferable skills other strippers have insisted they have learned and developed in the industry (Law, 2011, p. 77):

  • management skills such as: money management, human resources management, entrepreneurship;
  • communication skills such as: how to communicate with, manage and retain clients, how to quickly make people feel comfortable and safe, how to read people’s emotions, therapy, empathy, listening skills, networking skills, teamwork, care skills (i.e., dealing with people on drugs), conflict resolution;
  • public relations skills such as: advertising, building and promoting a brand/image, maintaining a website, targeting and tailoring marketing to a particular audience;
  • general work skills such as: working independently, stress management, booking and organizing a work schedule, self-motivation; and
  • other skills such as: adaptability, creative problem-solving, long-term planning, strategizing to work around criminalization, assertiveness, boundaries, self-confidence, intuition/reading body language/assessing people, and self care.

Check out our resume example and template below to get some ideas on how to organize your resume. If you have successfully landed a job, please let us know! We’re always looking for tips and tricks to support our fellow community members.

Example resume

Created by Michelle Molubi

Resume template


Law, T. (2011). Not a sob story: Transitioning out of sex work. (MA Thesis, Department of Criminology, University of Ottawa).

Cover photo credit: Markus Winkler on Unsplash

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