Explaining past employers on your resume

Explaining past employers on your resume

We recently shared the core elements of an effective resume. I want to spend more time on one particular aspect of that article because I see this mistake all of the time.

I’m referring to how people list their past employers on their resumes. On the surface, it may not seem like a big deal – you just list the names of the companies you worked for, your respective job titles, and the dates you worked at each business, right?

Well, there’s more to it. Here is my advice.


Don’t assume people recognize the company
If you worked for companies with little name recognition, familiarize the reader by including a brief company blurb or description. Frame the company using revenue figures, employee numbers, etc. Paint the right picture.

This is particularly important if the company name is not descriptive of the industry you worked in, or if the company is in a different industry than the job you are applying for.


Lean into well-known companies
If you worked for a reputable company with a household name, take advantage of the spillover effect. In other words, you want that company’s brand to rub off on you as much as possible. Provide an overview of the company, its ranking in the industry, what it’s famous for, and any other accolades, achievements, or milestones that the company accomplished while you worked there.


Make the connection
Perhaps you worked for a small subsidiary of a household brand. A mistake would be to list the subsidiary name without tying it to the parent company, which carries much more weight. Name-dropping matters. As hiring managers scan resumes, big names will pop out at them. 


Don’t overcomplicate things
Brevity matters, and so does searchability. There’s no need to add “LLC” or “Inc” to the company name unless it’s part of the brand. Also, list the name of the company that shows the correct result when you type it into Google. 


Overcome bad press
Many companies are known for the wrong reasons (see: Enron, Luckin Coffee). If you worked for one of those companies, separate yourself from the stench. Perhaps the department that you worked in was disconnected from the disreputable segment of the business. Focus on your accomplishments and highlights. Don’t dwell on the negative.

If you’d like us to review your resume, please email us at sales@recruitability.ai.

This post was written by recruitAbility recruiting manager Scott Beardsley.