I'm an accidental consultant - can I list my client as an employer?
June 8, 2016 12:39 AM   Subscribe

An unsuccessful job application has turned into a part-time “consulting” arrangement with the company. May I list that company on my resume and linkedin the way I would an employer?

“TinyCorp” did not ultimately offer me a full-time position, but did propose to pay me to consult for them, on an ongoing, part-time, hourly, and remote basis, as needed, advising them on my area of technical expertise (they don’t have anyone on staff with expertise in my field, although they really should). I’ve accepted that offer (which has thus-far been around 10-15 hours/wk), while meanwhile continuing to hunt for a new full-time job. I am not seeking, nor am I even open to, additional consulting clients - indeed, consulting is very rare in my field.

I would very much like to have an entry on my resume and linkedin listing “Consultant (Technical Area)” as my job title, and “TinyCorp” in the employer field (as opposed to, say, just listing “Independent Consultant”). Is this: a) totally appropriate and standard, b) definitely inappropriate and misleading, or c) somewhere in the middle? Is this something I need to ask “TinyCorp” for permission to do?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm in the software industry. I have a listing with "BigCorp" as employer, and job title as "Normal Job Title (Consultant)". It's simply listed chronologically within my resume.

I've seen this style used by others in my industry. It seems pretty clear and I don't think any permission is needed.
posted by praiseb at 12:51 AM on June 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

Yeah, what parieb said. I work at a "big co" with loads of contractors and most of them have "big co" as their current gig in LinkedIn.
posted by Spumante at 4:55 AM on June 8, 2016

Totally appropriate and standard; you do not need their permission.
posted by randomkeystrike at 7:10 AM on June 8, 2016

Just remember that if a future company wants to do a background check that includes previous employers that you want to make sure it is clear that TinyCorp isn't your employer. Otherwise when they call they may only get, "Nope never an employee here." from TinyCorp.

You can always hope they will add, "But was a consultant." but it is absolutely not guaranteed they will say anything beyond the first line.
posted by magnetsphere at 7:52 AM on June 8, 2016

List them as client, not employer.
posted by JimN2TAW at 10:46 AM on June 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

It kind of depends on how your CV is structured, as well as how your services are structured. IE do you have other consulting clients over time for the same expertise area? If so your CV, project list, or resume would look like:
Alex Doe Consulting LLC - Technical expertise for the following clients:
2016 - TinyCorp - [insert specific services here]
2015 - Widgets, Inc - [insert specific services here]

If not, and this situation with TinyCorp is a one-off, then do as praiseb suggested and list Job Title (Consultant) or Consultant - Job Title in your normal resume format.
posted by a halcyon day at 2:01 PM on June 8, 2016

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