Contract work - Company names in resume?

Question - over the past several years I've worked several contract jobs.  I've always followed a "rule" I've heard to never put company names on a resume.  Today I'm questioning that, in part because I know I have a habit of understating what I've done.

I don't want to be seen as a name dropper, but if I've managed the development of interfaces between SAP and an external system, it makes a big difference whether it was GE (not a real customer) or Bob's bait shop.  I feel like I'm leaving out part of my value and experience in corporate environments by not saying who I was actually working for.

The way I'm thinking:

September 2007-February 2009: Contractor, ABC Consulting, Chicago, IL.

Assigned to ConAgra Food.  Managed development and testing of interface between RedPrairie DLx-Warehouse and SAP using standard iDocs.

Bullets follow.  Again, not a real customer.

Your thoughts?



Confidentiality Issues?

Hi BFlynn,

By all means,  you want to state which clients your assignments took you to!! That is the context for the work and an important point for recruiters to quickly assess the level of your experience when reading your resume.

A recruiter or a person hiring where you are applying may know someone there and the reference they provide may tip the scales. The verifiable references will provide the glue that validates the achievements you are claiming on your resume. Notwithstanding the value of references, if you can provide the context in your resume and then in interviews, it will make it easier to put forth a credible body of work that a recruiter can project into the future and assess your suitability to the role they are intrviewing for.

Are there issues of confidentiality that may prevent you from disclosing the companies you worked at as a contractor? If you are not clear on that, as it may vary from customer to customer, I encourage you to contact someone who can provide an answer to that.


 The only reasons I can

 The only reasons I can think of to leave company names off your resume are:

  1. You signed a Non-disclosure or similar (Official Secrets Act or equivalent in case of national security).  In these cases you're usually told what you can put.
  2. You worked on a large number of contracts over a short period of time.  This can be negative (tended to get thrown off contracts) or positive/neutral (tended to be a trouble shooter or work in a highly specialised field that was only needed at a specific point in the project).
  3. For some reason you're embarrassed by having been associated with the company (e.g. "January 1998 to December 2001, Auditor, Enron")

 If you leave off company names without explanation you run the risk of recruiters assuming 3.



Skype: stephenbooth_uk (Please note I'm on UK time)

DiSC: 6137

Experience is how you avoid failure, failure is what gives you experience.

Agreement with post above- company names add value

I work in an IT Staffing and training company, see many resumes daily, know and have input to our screening process.   The company name is vital!  When looking to evaluate a candidate's skills, the company name is used to:

  • Determine if the consultant can fit in an appropriate 'corporate culture'
  • Handle the level of scalability demanded by position.  Managaging a team in a small business environment can be completely different from handling one within a fortune 100 organization.
  • Determine the candidate's level of relevant industry knowledge

This can be particularly poiniant if the candidate has worked within the same company, and the hiring manager can quickly qualify the candidate with and internal call to their prior manager.  

Hope this helps,