Always wondered - resumes nowadays are supposed to have numbers and explain strategies, etc. but isn't there a risk of insider information (and potentially confidential information) about the employer being revealed?

Not asking from a legal point of view, but more from an ethical point of view.

To what extent is it okay to reveal how much information before it becomes unethical?

  • I think you mean less "insider information" (a technical FTC term) and "stuff that the blanket NDA I probably signed covers and would get me in trouble with the original company."
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Jun 15, 2014 at 3:28
  • If you give relative rather than absolute numbers, and phrase them in terms of things visible from outside the code ("Improved performance of the Greeble command by 50%"), you should be able to avoid exposing anything confidential.
    – keshlam
    Commented Jun 15, 2014 at 16:27
  • Doesn't each individual company set rules and have agreements with their employees as to what is confidential and what isn't?
    – user8365
    Commented Jun 16, 2014 at 19:34

1 Answer 1


Your question used the words insider information. If the company is a public company (in the US) this refers specifically to not-yet-announced financial information such as the present quarter's sales figures. If you personally are in possession of insider information in a company like that, you know it. Somebody in your treasury department has already explained your responsibilities. Follow them. If you don't the Securities and Exchange Commission will become annoyed with you, and that is not good.

If you're not sure whether the stuff you know is specifically insider information, it probably isn't (unless you fished a spreadsheet out of the trash or looked at a financial system or some such thing).

As far as other business metrics you might put on a resume, make sure they're about your accomplishments. For example, these are fine.

  1. I created better new-customer materials, and new-user service calls decreased 23%.
  2. My improved order-entry application reduced shipping errors by 14% and allowed the company to reduce the product return reserve by $500K.

If you're a programmer the tech you use (.NET, Java, Python, etc) isn't confidential unless somebody has explained to you that is, and why.

Don't mention the names of your customers unless they're monopsonies. Similarly, don't describe your employer's business arrangements with suppliers in specific terms.

The point of a resume is to invite conversation (an interview). So you don't have to worry about being very specific. But do keep in mind that competitors sometimes gather business intelligence by conducting sham interviews.

  • I work for a privately held company with multinational branches, so not sure... I am not a programmer an am directly involved in sales and strategy. Could it be dangerous to reveal revenue growth (maybe putting approximate numbers)? And what about experience implementing an innovative strategy to gain competitive advantage?
    – DanAurora
    Commented Jun 14, 2014 at 23:01

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