A little background on me: I'm a freelance IT consultant and contractor who specialises in doing short and mid term projects involving a particular set of technology for a vendor (Let's say Microsoft Exchange, for ease here). I have my own company and over time I wish to do less contract work and more direct consultancy.

That is, without a doubt, my main focus - I'm an out an out engineer and my CV is full of project based achievements such as "Deployed Exchange for a company with 3000 users" etc and this is the kind of work I intend to keep on doing.

On my last project, however, I encountered a very well known issue that has no real fix. It's just accepted as "one of those things" - in this case, however, the customer was particularly disappointed in the technology and I happened to have some time to allow me to do some research. Cutting a chunk out, I now have a properly released and packaged piece of software which I can sell to companies which resolves this issue. (And yes, that customer purchased it, deployed it and is very happy)

That in itself I'm quite happy about, but I've managed to take things one step further and Microsoft have now seen the software, verified and approved it as compatible with Exchange and they also kindly posted a blog advertising it and tweeted about it. I'm super thrilled about this as it's my first proper industry exposure.

My question: How do I show off and brag about having written this software and having it approved by the vendor without compromising my primary consultancy goals. I don't want people thinking I'm a developer (Because I'm not), though I'm happy for people to realise how useful my development skills may be to their project.

  • 1
    Not so secondary or tangential if you want to drive home that you have the capability to devise your own solutions to resolve customers' problems. And that you have The Microsoft approved and validated patch to prove it. Jan 9, 2015 at 13:19
  • @VietnhiPhuvan Quite right, but I do worry about people (Recruiters...) seeing it as an odd strange of direction
    – Dan
    Jan 9, 2015 at 13:25
  • @gnat I don't think those answers really help because it's not a second job and I'm not a permanent employee so companies are looking for very different things
    – Dan
    Jan 9, 2015 at 19:10
  • 1
    You worry too much. You don't want your worrying to get in the way of what you need to do for the client. You are offering something that very few of your competitors are capable of offering. You thrive on the difference and the value add or revert to doing what everybody else is doing. If you do so, there goes your competitive advantage. If the recruiters get the wrong impression, who cares? Just set them straight and move on from there. Jan 9, 2015 at 19:51
  • @VVietnhiPhuvan post an answer as to how exactly you'd include this stuff and I'll probably up vote it ;)
    – Dan
    Jan 9, 2015 at 20:01

2 Answers 2


You would put your software writing capability within the context of your systems capability:

  • Your problem domain expertise is systems
  • Your software writing capability is meant to serve your problem domain expertise, and enables you to come up with customer-serving solutions of your own when no such solutions are published or otherwise available to anyone.
  • Your ability to write quality software solutions to customer solutions is serious, and it is exemplified by the patch that you wrote and that Microsoft, after due testing, has approved and has promoted.
  • Your ability to come up with your own solutions based on your problem domain expertise and your solid understanding of the customer's need - that is a unique value-add that enables you to deal effectively with customer situations that would stump just about anyone else.

I have a section on my resume titled "Other Relevant Experience", in which I list a job that is chronologically too old to include in my work history, but is significant enough that I feel it helps my job search efforts. It is related to what I am looking for but not exactly the same as the positions I am applying for.

Although your situation is different, you could add it to your resume in a similar format; maybe add a section titled "Other Relevant Accomplishments"? My "Other Relevant Experience" section is directly after my "Work History" section.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .