If I change my job, what matters for my next employer :
- The projects I have undertaken / technology(s) I have worked upon.
- Or the name of the current company (which might be a very small company).
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The projects I have undertaken / technology(s) I have worked upon.
The name of a cool company might make your CV stand out a little bit, but if you can tell the prospective employer of the projects you have done and map the technologies you have used with the ones they require it will help a lot more.
This is based on my past experience working with teams hiring people. The most something like "Google" on a CV has got is "oh they have worked at Google". If your skill set does not match the requirements of the role then the word Google would not help. If you do have the word "Google" on your CV and you match then you would get to the next stage of the process, same as is you don't have the word "Google" on your CV.
Is this going to be the same everywhere? I don't know, but think about who you would like to work with going forward, people who hire based on skill and relevance to the role, or on "cool" previous employers and shape your CV around that.
Specifically, It depends on what you're going to be doing in the next role.
For example, if your next role is with a consulting company (or really, any company that "sells" you as a valued person to some client) then the name matters more. After all, wouldn't you rather have Sam from Google working on your next project, over say, Sam from SmallCompany?
If your next role is on some niche areas (say, Web Marketing for Animal Preservation Holidays) then the work you did is going to be more important than name, assuming there is a strong overlap in skills.
It also matters if you are changing role! If you were working at Goldman Sachs as an HR person, and now want to move into Sales, then while you have zero ("real") experience, you do have a great name behind you. That will help you create a convincing "pitch".
Typically, if you are staying in the same general area, then having a good name in that field helps. If you are a banking IT person, having a list of strong banking IT names will help (as opposed to working in a small bank, or a startup in a vaguely-banking related field).
However, if you worked in a startup in a vaguely banking related field, but some company absolutely needs someone who does niche-banking-thing, then, again, having that skill is more important than having a great name, but no experience in that niche field.
For you specifically (assuming an average developer doing typical development work), a strong name helps more than the projects. Anybody can write up what projects they did, but a great name will look more impressive (believability factor).
They do different things. A highly visible company is likely to get you more calls and inquiries and help you to get better through the initial review screening. People from Apple are more likely to get interviews than people from Steve's Software Smithy.
However, once you are in front of the hiring manager, the actual jobs, roles and experience will be more important.