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Say I'm a software engineer for 7/11 but now I want to get a better job. Does have that 7/11 on my resume hinder my job search especially if I want to work for big company say software engineer for Charles Schwab? How to mitigate this can I list 7/11's parent company to make it sound more official?

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    To me listing the parent company would feel dishonest. I guess you could add it as adittional information, something like: software division 7/11 headquarters, a subsidiary of megacorp. I don’t know how this would be received in your locale thou, where are you? I will leave giving a propper answer to someone more knowledgeble.
    – lijat
    Aug 21 at 10:30
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    My answer : No, it does not.. You should proudly list 7/11 as your employer. The important thing you get from that company is your software experience, which will help you to get better or more challenging jobs in the future. FYI: Many software developers for big or small companies are pretty much doing the same thing. Aug 21 at 18:56
  • Unless you work for a company that’s well known to Charles Schwab, say another investment firm or a famous tech company, it probably won’t matter. A high level role with more responsibilities at 7/11 might even look better than an entry level role at a more desirable company. Aug 21 at 20:05
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    I don't know if you chose Charles Schwab at random or if you intend to actually apply, but I went from a few no-name-recognition small software companies to Schwab. They asked a few questions about the companies but they were all framed in a way to gauge my skills and the complexity of the systems I worked on. Aug 21 at 20:50
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    This q. is really bizarre. Ultra-volume, realtime, consumer retail is THE current hyper-demand, ridiculously overpaid field for (the group of elite) programmers.
    – Fattie
    Aug 23 at 21:30
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Does working for a mediocre company hinder job search for your next position?

Typically no. Unless the company has an specifically bad reputation (skill, ethics, business practices, etc) it falls into the same category as "company I've never heard of", which is "normal".

However the opposite is true: having a highly regarded/desirable company on your resume, will definitely help your application and (all things being equal), your resume will end significantly higher spot in the pile.

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    Not really. You might have worked at a FAANG or whatever the hot set is right now - but if all you did was basic CRUD development, or other pedestrian work, potential employers are going to go with the other guy who did cool stuff at a small agency
    – HorusKol
    Aug 21 at 12:17
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    Hence my "all other things being equal" comment. In most cases FAANG resumes will be read first
    – Hilmar
    Aug 21 at 12:47
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    The first resumes received will be read first.
    – HorusKol
    Aug 21 at 12:52
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    What do you mean by "first". Date of arrival? That's often not the case, at least not for the hiring manager. Typically an HR staffer will pre-scan and sort the resumes for the next step.
    – Hilmar
    Aug 21 at 14:33
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    I think you'll find far fewer employers have an HR staffer to do this than you think.
    – HorusKol
    Aug 21 at 15:14
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Being employed always helps your job search

Lying on your resume, like listing the parent company of 7/11, probably will not, though. Experience is valuable. 7/11 is a big company with millions of customers, they face big IT challenges just like Charles Schwab and all other big companies. Trying to hide the company you work for is dishonest.. If the job wasn't prestigious enough for you, why did you take it in the first place?

You've had to solve problems related to processing millions or billions of transactions. You should have plenty to talk about in subsequent interviews.

Lying or trying to hide where you worked is a huge red flag for potential employers

The interview process should focus on what you did at 7/11 and what skill-set you can bring to your new company. Don't torpedo your changes. Focus on what you did at 7/11 and what skills you bring to the table.

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Which company issues your pay checks? That's the company you worked for.

Don't worry too much about "mediocrity" - for one thing, 7/11 is a pretty well known brand.

Ultimately, though, future employers are going to care more about what you were doing rather than where you were doing it. Make sure to show off (but don't fabricate).

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Not necessarily, it depends how you present your work there

It doesn't really matter if your employer was just a "mediocre company" as long as the work you did there was meaningful, and the skills you acquired valuable.

Don't focus too much on the name of the brand, rather focus on the output you achieved for them and how it improved you as a software engineer.

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  • I would add, how much can the person contribute to the new company? If the skills they acquired line up with what the new company is looking for AND they can fit in with the new company's culture, then that's all that matters.
    – BryanH
    Aug 21 at 20:49
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I once sat at a lunch table at a software conference with a guy everyone at the conference knew because he was a featured speaker from one of the conference sponsors, and another regular conference attendee from a well-known company similar to 7/11 that you don't think of as a "software company."

What was surprising and memorable about that lunch was the regular joe from the non-software company was getting most of the attention. He had fascinating stories about solving challenging scale problems in unique ways. He had an interesting perspective on the practical trade offs of the conference sponsor's products, and had the speaker taking notes about the real world applications.

On the other end of the spectrum, I've had colleagues move on to work at FAANG companies, and when I touch base later on what they're working on, my first reaction was thinking something like, "Oh. I guess someone has to maintain that." Not some innovative project with a lot of interesting engineering decisions, that the company is known for, but a small, solid, reliable product where most of the interesting decisions were made long ago, and now someone needs to make incremental improvements.

Not that there's anything wrong with maintenance projects. They are most programmers' bread and butter. Just to bring it back to your situation, the mere fact someone works at a flashy company doesn't mean they have actual flashy experience. Some of the most interesting engineering work is done in unlikely places.

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There's really 3 cases here.

1)A top company in the field. For tech, this would be FAANG, Microsoft, etc. Possible a few of the higher flying unicorns like Uber. These add values to resumes. And to anyone who's saying they don't- I can compare my salary with 3 FAANG companies on my resume to my coworkers who are just as skilled and without it. The difference is very large. (Whether they should add as much value is of course a different debate).

2)Any other company in the field. For tech it would be anyone known for writing software or producing electronic devices. These are neutral- they provide experience but provide no special value to your resume.

3)Any other company out of the field. For tech, this would include 7/11. There is a stigma in the tech field about working for non-tech companies. Again, not saying there should be, but a resume that says you were a senior programmer for a grocery store will be less than the value of a senior engineer at anywhere that's known for their software.

Employed is still better than unemployed, and you won't lose value for working at a company in slot 3. You just won't compare as favorable against someone in type 2.

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