Re: Resume citation for ex-companies

Subject: Re: Resume citation for ex-companies
From: "Nealon, Jessica" <Jessica -dot- Nealon -at- McKesson -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 09:54:55 -0400

I was a recruiter for some years before I made the transition to technical
writing. The clearest and most effective strategy I remember (it's been a
while) was something like this:

ABC Company (currently XYZ Company) 1991 - 1994
[the "currently" or "now" could be underneath the company name depending on
length but always in parentheses.]

That was to the point and not confusing at all -- Company ABC somehow became
Company XYZ, 'nuff said for the resume. Most people are savvy enough to know
that companies merge and change names all the time and will intuit what
you're saying. The danger in using the current company name is that they may
not have existed at your start date. While innocent, it can make you look
bad -- "Does this guy think I'm stupid? I know XYZ wasn't around back then."
You don't want that. The danger in sticking just with the old name is that
no one knows who they are and it might be important that they do. The above
strategy always seemed like the best way to handle it to me.

I remember looking at resumes that contained a long explanation of mergers,
changes, et al and getting very confused and losing interest. I'm not saying
that that was a professional attitude but quite common when going through a
stack of resumes, I'm afraid. Anything longer than the above distracts the
reader from and diminishes the content of that position and you don't want
that either. A more robust explanation is for the interview, if it even
comes up.

The only potential snare I can see with this strategy is "currently" because
it could be another company a year from now. However, anyone who deals with
resumes knows that they are time-sensitive. That's why people are always
asking for a current copy even if you've sent it five times already.

I hope that helps!


Jessica Nealon

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