Professional CV: customer confidentiality

Monday, November 30th, 2009 - CV Help, cv security, CV Tips, CV Writing, Employment, Professional CV

Professional CV: customer confidentiality


Sam, a software developer, asks: How specific can you be in your CV when talking about projects you have worked on? I am looking to updating my Professional CV and personal website with details of projects I have worked on for external clients in my current role. Is it okay to mention specific clients or not? For instance, I did some work for a well know UK national holiday company. What is acceptable? Thanks!

In answer:
If you are writing your CV up with a STAR system, then the level of detail should be defined as to where you added value, eg:

  • Did you lead the whole thing?
  • Lead one part of a team, such as graphics or database
  • Part of a sub-team, developing graphics?

Customer confidentiality

Whether you can release the name of the customer into the public domain – for that is where it is when you put it on your CV – depends on whether the company itself has released those details into the public? For instance, does your company name or logo appear on the page/s or in a press release? On the example you gave in your question, there is no mention of web designers.

Professional CV focus

The second question is associated with what you add to your attraction to a potential employer if you add a High Street or FTSE name to your CV? Will their brand drag away from your value? Also, if I was interviewing you, I’d be very wary if for a big project you were claiming whole or part credit: I’d want to speak to someone on the client side when referencing you to check how visible you were.

Professional CV: be professional

Make sure the write-up of what you achieved and delivered is right before adding brand names. If you do add brand names, check with others who were on the project to see if they have added the names, and agreeing with your view of yourself. Even if that all checks out, remove the brand names from the public jobs board posted version of your CV – its a great way to dig competitors by “interviewing” desperate job seekers! Just mention “national high street holiday company” etc., if in doubt.

Remember, employers buy the results you create, not a customers brand.

Good Luck!

Sam’s response: Thanks for your words Ian. Regarding the project being in the public domain I hadn’t considered the fact that the association between my company and the client wasn’t public knowledge and as such I guess I cant be shouting about it! Plenty of other useful points there which I’ll be taking on-board.


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4 Responses to “Professional CV: customer confidentiality”

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  3. Simon Says:

    Thanks for the excellent advice! You explained everything, and I am sure many people like myself will have benefited by your article – thanks, Simon

  4. Shane L Mosley Says:

    Excellent site. How long have been working in Testing? What do you make of Microsoft’s Alan Page and others writing essays about how they improve software? I heard a presentation by Page a couple years ago about large-scale automation, very interesting stuff.

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