I work in software development, but I have a PhD and my work has a small research element to it. I have signed a confidentiality clause saying I won't reveal confidential information without the prior permission of the management of my company.

The company are ultimately owned by a massive conglomerate with a multi-billion dollar turnover so they have plenty of money to spend on lawyers if required. They are paranoid about confidentiality, they don't even share what I do within our company. Its a very competitive industry, so their caution may be justified.

For various reasons I am unhappy here and have discretely started looking for other work. How can I market my skills to recruiters, and not break the clause? So far I've just put one sentence about my current job on my CV/resume, what I have written is what is in the public domain from the government grant application.

The first job I applied for, the recruiter came back and said I needed to make it obvious on my CV/resume that I have commercial experience in C# programming, but the only place I've done C# programming is in my current job.

If I mention that I am using neural networks for this particular application, then I'm in deep trouble...

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    Can you elaborate on what is confidential information? For instance, can you say you have skills in designing and building complex data models using SQL Server 2008, but not give information about the actual database you designed? (I don't know your skills, I'm just making something up.)
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Sep 12, 2014 at 18:35
  • You have to read the NDA very carefully and get legal advice. But you should be able to mention your PhD and its research and imply that you are using those skills at your current employer (also mention you are under NDA about specifics). Sep 12, 2014 at 18:57
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    Related (same?) - workplace.stackexchange.com/q/11740/2322
    – enderland
    Sep 12, 2014 at 19:02
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    Maybe you could ask HR if they would review the text of an update to your LinkedIn profile to make sure that it doesn't violate your agreement, and then use that as a guide. You could pitch it as though you are promoting the company's great work via your LinkedIn network.
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Sep 12, 2014 at 20:22
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2 Answers 2


You do not need to give specifics about what you are doing. A line to the effect of:

Developed applications in support of a networking research project using C#, LINQ, Multithreading, ...

Just list out the technologies you want to highlight that you used in the position.


The clause is about the company protecting the IP rights. So you can give a general outline of the project(s). E.g. I have been working in a team of X members on a research project that aims to solve the problem of fish paste not smelling. You are not giving away the technology involved and your present employer will still be happy. In fact they may be more than happy as you are doing a bit of marketing for them.

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