How to list a company acquisition on a resume.
October 7, 2008 9:17 AM   Subscribe

How do I list a company acquisition on my resume?

I worked for UnknownCoolStartup in 2006, which was then acquired by GiantCorporation in the same year, and I have been working there ever since, working on the same stuff as I did at UnknownCoolStartup, basically. My title has changed, of course.

How do I list this on my resume? Is it something like
  • UnknownCoolStartup (now GiantCorporation) 2006-2008
  • GiantCorporation (was UnknownCoolStartup) 2006-2008
  • GiantCorporation 2006-2008
or separate entries for both jobs (which takes valuable space)?
posted by swift to Writing & Language (11 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I don't know if there's a generally accepted way of doing this, but I vote for:
  • GiantCorporation (was UnknownCoolStartup) 2006-2008
You get the BAM! name recognition of the large corporation, and then the detail on how that came to be. The thought process of from top-to-down.
posted by demagogue at 9:40 AM on October 7, 2008 [3 favorites]

Best answer: It would be confusing (and maybe misleading) to have separate bullet points for the same job. Demagogue's solution looks good to me. I googled the words resume merger and got suggestions to substitute "formerly" or "acquired" in place of "was."
posted by Xalf at 10:31 AM on October 7, 2008

GiantCorporation (formerly UnknownCoolStartup) 2006-2008
posted by kidsleepy at 10:36 AM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'd say GiantCoolCorporation (was UnknownStartup until Oct 2006) May 2006 - present, or any variation thereof.

You've spent far more time working at GCC, so it's appropriate to have that one show on your resume. You can explain this in the details of the job instead, if the setup works. I wouldn't use your third example in case they call HR to verify dates of employment.
posted by jeather at 10:36 AM on October 7, 2008

Ah, the 90's. Good times.

I have "Final Resting Place (formerly Intermediate Big Company, formerly Small Startup)" on my resume. I've never really been asked about it, but I'm always prepared to weave the tale of the trail of tears. I don't differentiate years or whatnot. I just group it all together since to me it was one job.
posted by cmm at 11:03 AM on October 7, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks!
posted by swift at 12:20 PM on October 7, 2008

I vote a little differently:

UnknownCoolStartup (now part of GiantCorporation) 2006-2008

The emphasis should be on the company as you worked there. The first name always makes the greatest impression. This shows (1) you had some guts and (2) it paid off.
posted by yclipse at 2:35 PM on October 7, 2008

GiantCorporation (was UnknownCoolStartup) 2006-2008
makes it sound like the company changed its name
posted by tsnot at 6:47 AM on October 10, 2008

In the particular case of your work, I might list the product names or project names instead of actual company names. ActiveBuddy is a bigger name than the former company, and organizing by project puts the focus on what you've done instead of on the branding of the companies. I've appreciated that in resumes I've reviewed from people who've been through startup acquisitions.
posted by anildash at 7:04 PM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Good advice, thanks Anil. I am only slightly creeped out that you know where I work and what I do...
posted by swift at 9:50 AM on November 4, 2008

D'oh, sorry for the creepiness! I am just a fan of ActiveBuddy and have a good memory.
posted by anildash at 8:35 AM on November 5, 2008

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