My first, major career position that I landed was with a small-sized company. Shortly after I was hired, the company was purchased by a very large corporation.

After acquisition, the parent company decided to let the smaller organization remain mostly autonomous but certain portions of the company were absorbed into the parent company. In my case, the Engineering department was absorbed into the corporate company.

Over the course of the next 7 years of my experience I, essentially, worked for the child company, however, by employment I transitioned back and forth between the two organizations on four separate occasions, for different positions.

I have done a lot of work after each transition but, at a glance, it looks like I've been job-hopping for over 10 years, especially considering that for the last three years, since I left the corporation, I've worked as a contractor.

My specific question is, should I consolidate all of my positions with the corporation, and it's subsidiary, on my resume for brevity and presentation? In such a case my CV will be quite sizable for that period of career because I worked on numerous project, all with diverse responsibilities and experiences that tend to be relevant.

I want to be honest on my resume, however I also want to construct it in a way that is readable and presents the most value that I can offer to a potential employer. I am a loyal person and if I were to find a good organization offering a full time position, I would gladly work for the same organization for another 7+ year run.

In such a context how can I, or should I, restructure my resume?


From personal experience, I have seen many people break the employment history up for the various owners to make their resume/CV look larger. However, you can consolidate it while still gaining a similar effect and put something such as:

"XYZ Co. (Subsid. of ABC Corp. as of [Purchase Date])      Hire Date - [End Date/Present]"

This way the time and companies are consolidated. You can also explain it at an interview if they ask (which they will most likely). Consolidating has 3 benefits over breaking it up:

  1. Makes you look loyal and that you stayed with a company (despite being purchased) for X number of years. Shows, potentially, that you grew within a company.
  2. Increases the length of jobs to prevent the appearance of job hopping (usually it's only worrying when the time at companies is months OR less than 3 years).
  3. Increases readability of a resume (since most people spend less than 30 seconds on one)

I would say consolidate it and just elaborate on it briefly in an interview or phone screen; if they want more detail then fine, but most will know it is just a formatting decision.

  • Another way to phrase it might be: "DEF Corp. (Formerly ABC Inc.)" Helps with readability as you suggested. – Dupontrocks11 Jun 21 '16 at 19:09
  • @Dupontrocks11 Absolutely! It's a pure formatting decision for whatever works best on the resume as wells however the business merger/acquisition is implemented. :) – B1313 Jun 21 '16 at 19:55
  • @B1313 Dupons' way leaves a precisely defined question vector for the interviewer. On when the transition between ABC and DEF happened. This enables the candidate to elaborate on his change of responsibilities. – workoverflow Feb 8 '18 at 9:09
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    @workoverflow as I stated 2 years ago, it's really a formatting option. Generally, I would be cautious to start speculating about an acquisition because odds are you (i.e. the person looking for a new job) know nothing about it (i.e. not management/important enough to be in the know for those kinds of deals). Rather the interviewee should reframe the scenario as a sort of promotion or lateral move in his/her career and show how they added value to both companies with his/her unique skill sets despite changing management/owners. – B1313 Feb 9 '18 at 21:52

If it were my resume I would list the current corporation as my employer for the full duration. Then in the description paragraph I would include a short blurb that explained that I was originally hired Jan 1999 by ABC corp which was acquired by DEF Corp in Aug 2008 which was acquired by XYZ corp in Sept 2011.

Most employers understand that surviving a single acquisition is difficult, surviving and thriving through 2 is a major accomplishment. You do not need to point it out in the resume but it may not hurt to mention that in a cover letter.

The point of a resume is to convey your experience in a way that is consistent to make it easier for a potential employer to compare applicants. I feel this manner conveys that you have had one job for how ever long, and provides the accuracy if the employer does a background check to verify your employment.

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