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I am asking this question mostly for my peace of mind since at the moment I probably can't do much more than wait for the outcome of the background check.

In my CV I describe my work experience this way:

1 year: Android Software Engineer for company A [description]

1.5 years backend Software engineer for company B (as an extern from company A) [description]

I'm worried about two inaccuracies:

  • My actual title was Software engineer throughout, the prefixes were simply added by me in order to better describe what I was actually doing even if I now realize it was probably a bad idea.
  • I never had a contract with company B. Company A pays my paycheck and has an understanding/contract with company B and in practice my day to day work is exactly the same as any employee of company B. This situation is called an "extern" in the company but I realized that this term might not be more generally used.

Should I be concerned about any of these or can I sleep comfortably while waiting for the outcome?

  • Did you already have an interview? I think background check is usually done before they extend an offer. If you've had your interview, did you not explain this at the time? – Toby Pickles Jul 3 '18 at 11:01
  • who was your employer? sounds like you worked for A for 3 years I know one company that I worked at that had a large number of people subcontracted to GCHQ doesn't mean that they where Civil servants – Neuromancer Jul 3 '18 at 19:17
  • Frankly I don't see how your work experience description can be misunderstood in a way that one would believe you were hired by B. – Dmitry Grigoryev Jul 4 '18 at 16:16
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The change to your title in each role is minor, and doesn't suggest a different seniority than you held. As such, you are probably safe. However, in future I'd recommend you use the actual title and just extrapolate next to it:

Software Developer for Company A, [dates] - focused on Android Development

This gives you the best of both worlds - ensuring no chance of misrepresenting your past role, while still showing the actual experience you have.


For the second situation, this is a little more complicated and could come back to bite you.

The real issue with listing the wrong company, is any referencing they do could go to the wrong place. It could result in a response from Company B's HR saying "Sorry, we don't have YourName on record here" - which, while hopefully unlikely, would ruin your application.

Importantly, while the changing your title is more of a clarification - using the wrong employer can give a different impression of your abilities and reputation (externing with X, gives a different impression than being a full-time employee at X). As such, it could definitely leave the hiring manager with a bad taste.

In future, I'd recommend you just write the exact situation:

Software Developer working extern at Company B, employed by Company A

  • In Dutch we have the wonderfull word "detacheren" (semi-loanword from french/english to be detached) , which fills the meaning exactly. The closest translation I can find is "to second" but that is too suggestive of it being a loan, a temporary thing. To be detached is exactly what you are here: a educated professional working for company B but on the payroll for company A. – Borgh Jul 3 '18 at 12:47

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