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Somewhat related to this (closed) question: As a recent graduate with limited experience, is the company name or the work more important on a CV?

In very many CV templates I find online, I see that the entries in the Experience section are formatted something like

Company name. Position.

Intuitively, it feels to me that this is the wrong way of writing this, and I would be more inclined to write

Position at Company name,

because I believe (expect) what I have done to be more relevan than the name of the company where I worked.

Which one is best practice? Does it depend on the field or how well known the companies I worked for are?

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  • I imagine, in the long run, the formatting you use will have little impact on how successful your CV is.
    – thebluefox
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 10:13
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    As long as all of the information is there in logical and readable format, it wont matter. Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 10:15
  • @thebluefox Comic Sans it is, then!
    – Ant P
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 12:36
  • @AntP Don't be putting words in my mouth! I meant the formatting aspect of this specific part and you know it ;)
    – thebluefox
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 12:37
  • I have had through the years several jobs where I worked in different professional specialties at the same company, putting the company name first makes it easier to group these.
    – HLGEM
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 16:59

3 Answers 3

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To me, this decision would come down to:

  • How meaningful your job titles are (first and foremost)

    If every title in your resume is the same or some variant of the same thing, putting the company first makes more sense, because putting focus on a somewhat meaningless title above where you worked just doesn't make that much sense.

    Beyond that, job titles can be mismatched with the responsibilities that job entailed or just overly vague, in which case you probably don't want to focus too much on the title itself.

    If you were a Meaningful Expert of Specificity, you can make a good case for putting the job title first.

  • Where you worked

    A well-known international company will probably draw more attention than some typical uninteresting job title, so putting that first might increase your chances of getting an interview, which is exactly what you want a resume to do.

    That's not to say it will affect your chances of actually getting through the interview stage, but your resume is more about getting to the interview stage than getting through it.

  • General formatting

    From a readability perspective,

    {Short term} {This is probably a lot longer than it needs to be}

    might be better than:

    {This is probably a lot longer than it needs to be} {Short term}

    So if the company names on your resume are all reasonably short with longer job titles, putting the company name first might make more sense.

    This might just be unreasonable nitpicking.

Which one you use probably isn't all that important, but you should absolutely stick to one throughout in your resume.

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    If one of the companies changed its name (leading to a long name/explanation), you should probably go with positions first. Whatever you do, be consistent about it. If you have Awesome Job Title A at Mundane Company A and Meaningless Job Title B at Awesome Company B, decide whether you want to highlight the awesome job title or awesome company, and use that formatting for everything.
    – Llewellyn
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 18:03
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I would put the position first, always.

Remember that, when you are looking for a job, what you are selling are your skills/experience - as ultimately they define what you are.

I can understand why some people would like to put the company name first (to promote the fact that they went to a trendy place, probably), but to me, at least, what matters is what you are able to do, not what your previous companies are selling.

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    You could also be selling "Look, I got through the interviews at X". For some companies, getting hired is an accomplishment of itself. But that would require the company and its hiring practices to be well known.
    – Erik
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 11:43
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Company name. Position; This is how my career services advisor taught me and has stuck to me since then. Their reasons were clear and makes lot of sense to me.

  1. Companies/Universities are (usually) well known and if you can, you should capitalize on the fame of the company first. That is your first identity. If you think about it, more often than not, you would introduce yourself as "I work for XYZ". If that company is well known, then that remains as your identify. Very few times, you get to talk about what your is designation in that company.

  2. Designations/Positions are very subjective and broadly varies from company to company. Senior Engineer at some place may be someone with 20 years of experience and at some places with 2 years of experience. Also in start-ups (and even in some big companies I know), these titles are just made up to impress the customer. (Like senior vice president, etc.)

When I look at a resume, first thing I look for is what Universities/Companies the person has been associated to. This gives me first impression immediately.

I work for a very small company now but I moved from a large fortune 500 MNC. In my new company I am just known as "ex-[company name]" guy. No one cares or even knows what my designation was in that company.

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