3

I’ve worked for my current employer for about 12 months. The role offers the opportunity apply skills I’ve been working on growing for the past few years. But my values and the company’s values don’t match, and there seems little chance that the company will change. I feel it would be better for me to find an employer that better fits my values.

I’ve contacted a few recruiters, and discussed my current role and how my employer is a poor fit. I have run into my first job-hunting snag: I haven’t updated my resume to include this employer. (I guess I’m embarrassed to admit I work there.) The recruiters know I’m employed, but my resume doesn’t reflect my current position, yet. Obviously they, and I, need something more current to send to potential employers.

I have a few questions:

  • How difficult will it be to job hunt without revealing my current employer's identity on my resume?

  • Is there a way to mention the work I’ve done for my employer on my resume, maybe reformatting my resume, without stating that I currently actually work there?

  • less than a year being how much? At least 6 months? – DarkCygnus Apr 12 '18 at 22:44
  • 2
    Can you be a bit more specific about what values we're talking about? This could be anything from "I didn't realize that the company had military contracts when I joined" to "I'm doing off-the-books work for an organization that is illegal" with lots of variations in between. It's likely that you'd want different responses to those different situations. – Justin Cave Apr 13 '18 at 0:22
  • 2
    @user70848 - If, say, you're doing off-the-books accounting work for the mob, then there is almost certainly no way to talk about what you've learned there. If you're doing web development work for a legal but embarrasing adult site, then there are various ways to indicate that without mentioning the employer until the background check. If you just discovered that your current employer does something you're not fond of and which you couldn't reasonably know before you took the job, listing the employer on your resume is almost certainly the way to go and can be spun positively. – Justin Cave Apr 13 '18 at 1:21
  • 3
    I have trouble imagining an employer that would be embarrassing enough to work for not to want to put them on a resume, can you elaborate a little more on that? – Cronax Apr 13 '18 at 8:51
  • 2
    @JustinCave You say "off-the-books accounting for the mob". I say "private financial advisor for a well established family business". – Laconic Droid Apr 13 '18 at 16:55
5

How difficult will it be to job hunt without listing my current employer on my resume?

If you don't list your current employer, then possible recruiters will think that you are currently unemployed. You would have better chances to search for jobs while employed (or admitting so). Further reading on that regard here.

Is there a way to mention the work I’ve done for my employer on my resume, maybe reformatting my resume, without stating that I currently actually work there?

Maybe there is, but I doubt that in such case doing so would be recommended.

By doing the reformatting you mention you would be deceiving possible recruiters, by not disclosing the actual truth about your status and experiences. This can easily have negative consequences for you if they start digging out more information on your profile; also, given that this is your most recent job, there are higher chances that they will find this information.


To be honest, I think that your best choice is to tell the truth and update your resume to include such information, and proceed with the job hunt. Surely there are valuable things you have learned in your time there despite the company's values not fitting to yours.

If you get an offer or an interview, and are prompted about your reasons for leaving your current company, there is no need to badmouth or say unnecessary negative things: just stick to the truth and tell them what you wrote to us here: "my values and the company’s values didn’t match", but that you feel that their's are a strong fit.

More guidance on answering such question during an interview: Should I be sincere - in an interview - about the reason for leaving my previous job?

  • I will add more detail because the recruiters know I’m employed and where I’m working. It’s just not on my resume. So there’s no deceit going on. – user70848 Apr 13 '18 at 1:02
  • 3
    @user70848 If the recruiters already know you're employed and where you are working, why would you not include this information? The recruiter will no doubt pass it on to the prospective employer anyway. Not to mention that any employer worth their salt will want details of what you are doing now. If this was being masked then I automatically assume a negative reason for it and place your CV into the bin. – Jane S Apr 13 '18 at 4:34
  • @JaneS Please read the question details for answers to your questions. – user70848 Apr 13 '18 at 4:36
  • @user70848 I'm afraid it doesn't answer the questions at all. A poor fit doesn't mean that there aren't any transferrable skills. In the end, it boils down to either include your current employer and duties so prospective employers can make the judgement themselves, or expect not to find another role any time soon. I've hired plenty of people and unless they are upfront and honest, then I become concerned about their work ethic. There is also no way that the recruiter did not pass on your current work details to the prospective employer anyway. – Jane S Apr 13 '18 at 4:39
  • 1
    @user70848 Your resume is what prospective employers receive as being an accurate description of your skills and employment history. By misrepresenting any information there, you are deceiving them, no matter who you tell what verbally. As the answer says, it's never a good idea to deceive a potential employer in any way. Sooner or later the truth will come out and you will lose their trust. – Cronax Apr 13 '18 at 8:59
4

How difficult will it be to job hunt without listing my current employer on my resume?

It is hard to tell, as this will really depend on the perception of whoever reads your resume AND the market conditions. Generally, with a good overall resume and looking for high demanded roles it doesn't have to be difficult to find employers willing to overlook this until you are in the interview - however, you should expect everyone asking about this; so be prepared.

Is there a way to mention the work I’ve done for my employer on my resume, maybe reformatting my resume, without stating that I currently actually work there?

Yes, it is somewhat possible. Let me give you an example: A few days ago I reviewed the resume of someone whose current position is Big Data Developer at Undisclosed Startup. The candidate even included some generic details of the technical stuff he's been allegedly working on. The rest of his resume is OK, and to us this does not automatically exclude him from the recruiting process, so we may reach him out for an interview anyway - although someone here will ask him about his past employer, of course.

It is a rare thing, but it happens sometimes.

  • 1
    This was going to be my answer. I have seen similarly vague resumes - the candidate describes the position, but withholds the employer's name. I've even hired some people who had a resume like that. It's not a big deal, as long as there's a good reason. Stating your employer is "embarrassing" doesn't feel like enough info to know if it's a good reason or not. – dwizum Apr 13 '18 at 13:40
  • +1. I've used 'Company Confidential' to describe my current client before, and the only people that really gave me grief about it is a recruiter that literally started in that profession a month ago who attempted to demand to know. – Jim Horn Apr 13 '18 at 16:25
  • @JimHorn Did you tell the recruiter, or did you keep that to yourself? – user70848 Apr 13 '18 at 20:04
  • Kept it to myself. The recruiter looked like he was about 23 years old and I figured that was his training talking as opposed to an actual need to know. Most hiring managers realize that most of their candidates will already be employed elsewhere with various reasons to not make their job searches public knowledge. – Jim Horn Apr 13 '18 at 21:22
1

I'm going to write an answer combining portions of the two previous answers, since I think they both have merit, and the original poster may be misreading some of the implications in them.

How difficult will it be to job hunt without listing my current employer on my resume?

It will be difficult. As per countless questions on this forum and research available on the web (see the link in DarkCygnus's answer), it is easier to get a job while you're employed versus if you are unemployed (or appear unemployed because you're leaving your most recent job off your resume).

To answer your question: If you leave your most current position off, you will appear unemployed, and employers will not be as likely to select you. Plus, as you indicated, you're losing the value of showing the experience you've gained in your current position. That leads to your second question:

Is there a way to mention the work I’ve done for my employer on my resume, maybe reformatting my resume, without stating that I currently actually work there?

There are lots of ways! Some of them will come across as deceptive. Others ways may just raise questions, but not necessarily make you look bad. Let's look at a few potential ways you might incorporate that experience in your resume:

  1. Mix your current experience into past positions: This would be flat out deceptive, and as I'm sure everyone (including you) would agree, a very bad idea. Also, you're still left with the employment gap issue, too.
  2. Put your current experience in a generic "skills and experience" section, versus associating it with a specific job you've held. This will likely raise questions, since it'll probably be obvious that these experiences don't fit any of the positions on your resume - and you're still also left with the employment gap issue addressed above. You'll likely be questioned as to which of those other jobs you had those experiences at, which will lead to you having to reveal your "hidden" job, which will at the least be awkward and difficult to explain.
  3. List your current position, as you normally would, but don't explicitly name the employer. Write something like "A midsized engineering firm" or "A Large School District" or "A custom software startup" or something appropriate for your current employer. This is not exactly a common tactic but it does happen when an employee has a valid reason to not disclose their current employer. Sometimes these reasons are related to security or trade secrecy (ie not wanting to disclose an employer related to a defense or intelligence contract, a startup or established firm that's being purchased or is involved in some other non-public transaction, etc).

Depending on your "values" based reason, you may want to use the third option, but it's hard for us to give specific advice without knowing more, which you don't seem interested in sharing (which is your choice, of course).

In the end, you should carefully consider your reasons for not disclosing your employer, as it's likely something you'll need to deal with for any future job hunt: let's say you want to switch employers again in 3 years, if you leave this current job off then too, you will likely be asked about the gap in employment. Best to consider the long term versus just a shortcut now to get your next job.

  • +1 for "List your current position, as you normally would, but don't explicitly name the employer" – mhwombat Apr 13 '18 at 22:31
1

I wasn't going to answer, but the OP encouraged me to do so after a brief discussion in comments, so here it is.

The first rule of thumb when applying for a job is to be sure that while you can elect to leave out items on your CV, if it's something that you want to allude to in any way, then you need to be completely upfront and open about it.

In your question and comments on various answers, you say that you are almost embarrassed about saying where you work. The problem is, by excluding this information then you are not allowing a prospective employer to make their own judgment call on this. And without all the information here, then I as an employer immediately feel uncomfortable.

So really you have two options:

Leave it off your CV completely, and imply that you are not currently working (NOT recommended)

Note that this is in almost all cases a really bad idea unless it was a matter of weeks since your previous role. Employers generally prefer to employ someone who is already employed as it shows at the base level that you are currently employable.

Add it to the CV and deal with any possible negativity if it arise

In almost any job, there will be aspects that can be applied to other roles. Rather than leave it off completely, focus on the elements that could attract the attention of an employer. If there is something distasteful about the business dealings or industry in which you currently work, leave that until the interview stage if it is raised.

A Final Note

Remember, that the recruiter knows what you do and for whom. The chances of them not passing that information on to a prospective employer is near zero, because they understand that it's better to be open and upfront with a prospective employer. Hiding something, even if it's not something bad, immediately sets off the suspicions of an employer.

Just put the role on your CV, focus on the useful elements and be prepared to answer any questions that may arise about what you currently do. In the end, it's better to be judged and possibly fail for the right reasons than for the wrong ones.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.