Resume Question: How to List a Stripper’s Experience

Here’s a resume question you don’t come across every day: How should a stripper list her experience on her resume? See what Yana Parker suggests below.

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Resume Question: Exotic Dancer

Dear Yana,
I have a client who has been an exotic dancer (stripper) for 12 years. She’s 32 now and has changed her lifestyle and her career.

More recent experience includes hotel management, waitressing, and housekeeping. She has started taking various training and education courses and plans to go to college or university to study law.

My concern is that I do not want to put this 12 years stripper experience on her resume, so how do I account for those 12 years? She will be applying for work relative to the hospitality industry, and an exotic dancer is not relevant. What creative ideas or helpful hints might you have?

Thank you,
Leslie (Resume Writer)

Dear Leslie,
I’ve heard of a similar problem, with a lady who was once a dominatrix. I think you have to come up with a different job title that will:

  • Be indirectly HONEST if she gets called on it and has to explain.
  • Be innocuous enough to NOT call attention to itself, and will hopefully slip by without any comment.

It’s in her favor that it wasn’t the most recent thing she did. Here are some ideas:

  1. Focus heavily on the recent experience when she wasn’t a stripper.
  2. Make a heading called “RECENT RELEVANT EXPERIENCE” and list the hotel, waitressing and housekeeping positions, all of which are good background for hospitality. FILL UP most of the resume with the details of these jobs.
  3. Toward the bottom make another heading called: EARLIER WORK EXPERIENCE, and GENERALIZE under that, without dates; for example:
      • Over ten years additional employment in the entertainment field.

OR

      • Over ten years additional experience as self-employed party organizer and part-time Night Club Hostess.

If you give them lots of info on the more recent jobs, and make her look well qualified, MAYBE they’ll never ask about the earlier stuff, especially if you make it look UNinteresting! She should, however, have a back-up plan in case they DO ask for more specifics and she HAS to admit to “exotic dancer.” For example, she could say, “That’s behind me now and I didn’t want to emphasize it because that image doesn’t fit with my present lifestyle and goals.

I hope this is helpful!
Yana