Figuring out if you can mention a client’s name on your resume might feel overwhelming. How much information do you include so you can snag your next job? How little do you mention to respect the confidentiality agreement you have with your client?
Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. However, there are some best-practices you can follow so your resume toes the line between descriptive and discrete.
Generally, avoid mentioning your client’s name unless they’ve given you explicit permission to share it. Not only will this save you potential headaches in the future, it’s also a common courtesy in the business world. If you’re unsure about what you should and shouldn’t say, contact their human resources (HR) department for clarity.
In this article, you’ll learn how to craft an eye-catching resume that doesn’t divulge confidential information about your client.
How to ask for permission
If you’ve done something stellar for a client, it makes sense you’d want to tell everyone about it. However, before you go into recounting all the details about the audience you built or the ad revenue you raked in, make sure you’re allowed to do so.
Send a quick email to your client’s HR department asking for permission to include your contributions and impact on your resume. Make sure their response is in writing so you have legal protection in case things head south.
Unless you were doing top-secret work for a government agency or developing a new product, there’s a good chance you’ll get the green light to mention the information on your resume. If the company seems hesitant, offer to send them a draft of what you’d include in your description for them to review.
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When you shouldn’t mention a client’s name on a resume
If you’ve signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with a client, only mention in your resume what you’re legally allowed to say. NDAs vary in strictness, so review yours to see if you’re prohibited from mentioning your client’s name, the type of project you worked on, or any other related details.
Also, remember, including a client’s name on your resume is only an asset if they’re a big-name company. If you designed a website for a tiny local business, mentioning them by name probably won’t add much weight to your resume. In these situations, focus instead on your accomplishments and the value you added to the company.
Strategies to avoid mentioning a client’s name on your resume
If you need to edit your resume to avoid mentioning a client’s name, here are some strategies you can use:
- Mention the type of platform you worked with — not its exact name. Rather than saying you designed Instagram ads for a company, say you designed social media ads.
- Put the focus on you and not the company. Instead of highlighting that you were a project manager at Amazon, explain how you effectively managed a high-profile project at a Fortune 500 company.
- Include your achievements. If you increased a company’s revenue by 25% by implementing a new digital marketing strategy, say that instead of focusing on the nitty-gritty of how you accomplished it.
What to do if you’ve already mentioned a client’s name on your resume
If you’ve already mentioned a client’s name on your resume, don’t stress. There’s almost no chance the client will find out, so there’s no need to panic.
Plus, minor mentionings of companies you’ve worked with are no biggie unless you have an NDA that explicitly prohibits it — which you’d probably remember signing. That is a big deal, and your client’s HR department likely walked you through all it entails.
In the future, tweak your resume using the tips from this article. That way, you’ll avoid mentioning clients’ names altogether, and you can get back to your job search in peace.