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I have a bit of an unusual circumstance that I'm not sure how to word it on my resume.

Background

Back in 2019 I was offered a job at Company B, which is a subcontractor for Company A. Due to various factors Company B wasn't yet approved for the project that I would be joining. So Company B offered that I would work at Company A since they were the prime, and when Company B was approved as a subcontractor for the project they would "flip" me over to Company B.

Question

What is the best way to list working on the same project for different companies with no new roles or responsibilities between transfers? As well as presenting that the transferred occurred within 6 months of starting a new job.

Attempted Solutions

  • List each company separately
    • Pro
      • Would make it easier to view
    • Con
      • The content is the same for both companies
      • I only worked at Company A for 6 months so this can make it appear that I'm job hopping
  • Use only Company B on my resume
    • Pro
      • Simplest
    • Con
      • The start dates are different which can be an issue during a background check
  • Combine both and list them in order
    • Pro
      • Most thorough
    • Con
      • I only worked at Company A for 6 months so this can make it appear that I'm job hopping
      • Can be confusing to people reading my resume

Current Solution

I've combined both companies to a single entry in my resume, and noted that I previously worked at Company A. I'm worried this can be confusing.

Example

Company B fake city Consultant July 2019 - Present

Previously at Company A Developer

  • Achievement 1
  • ...
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Like this:

2019-2020 XYZ Project, Company B, subcontracting to Company A

XYZ, now completed, is a high-priority project to provide high-capacity framis-zumbinating capability to Company A's facilities.

Describe the project. Mention your present paycheck-providing company, and the business relationship to company A. Focusing on the project takes the emphasis off their outsourcing shenanigans.

Remember, the purpose of a resume is to get the interview. It's a resume, not a legal document. It should brag, accurately, about what YOU did. Nobody is going to investigate whether you got the corporate history right. (If they do, great. A wanted you badly enough to work around their slow contracting process to make sure you were on the team. It's a topic of conversation about getting things done.)

When a new company tells you they'll do a background check you can tell them about the shenanigans to help them avoid confusion. If possible give, as a reference, the manager who figured out the contracting workaround.

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The purpose of the CV, from your point of view, is to help you sell yourself as good as possible.

I would present the two jobs separately, describing the job done at each. If you are asked, tell the interviewer that the companies were "married" and you actually only changed paperwork, but not really the project.

However, the change might not be trivial, if you actually changed office / team... because a job is not only about work-products, it is also about team-work and other non-technical details.

Even more interesting is that the companies were not completely "married" (as in one owning the other, or both being in the same corporation), the were only having a "consensual relationship" (customer-supplier). And this makes the change actually BIG.

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Are you in Company A's employee database? What does Company B say your start date is? You will probably want to get the answers to that to guide how to present your work history, considering potential future background checks. This may mean listing two companies to cover a gap or just Company B with a note that you were assigned to Company A for six months.

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