You already understand the important role that your experience and qualifications play in the job-search process. Naturally, you include that information in your resume, to showcase yourself as the best candidate for the job. Sometimes, though, the details that you provide may raise more questions than they answer. That can be problematic. After all, are hiring managers really going to be impressed by accomplishments they don’t understand? You can avoid potential confusion by including company descriptions on your resume!
Including Company Descriptions: The Right Time to Use Them
First, it’s important to recognize that you generally won’t want to include descriptions of the companies that employed you in the past. In most cases, those descriptions won’t be needed. You should only consider including company descriptions when:
- The company is virtually unknown outside of its industry. Many smaller firms that serve niche market needs may maintain a relatively low profile. You can provide context for any hiring manager by inserting a brief description.
- Your last job involved responsibilities or achievements that may be difficult for outsiders to understand. You can use a description to bring greater clarity.
- A company description makes your achievements even more impressive. For example, you may want to mention a company’s size if your accomplishment would seem mundane without that information.
- You are switching careers and want to provide context to show how your skill set can apply in a new environment.
Proper Format for Including Company Descriptions
When including company descriptions in your resume, it is important to use the right format. There are two ways to approach the issue. The first option is to simple include a brief description beneath the basic company information, and above the job title and description information. That option can make it easier for a hiring manager to identify the description. It’s a very straightforward, clinical way to address any potential questions about that company.
The second option is to simply include that information in your job description and duties paragraph. This approach is especially useful for resume-writers who focus on telling a compelling story. For best effect, you should try to include that company description somewhere within the first sentence of the paragraph. That provides immediate context for everything that follows.
Examples for Including Company Descriptions on Your Resume
To illustrate this concept, here are two examples of company descriptions for a resume. The first showcases the description as a standalone line, and would work well with resumes that rely on brief, bullet-point presentations. The second is an example of what that company description looks like when it is included in your job description narrative. Choose the one that works best for you, and simply modify the language to fit your needs.
XYZ Corp, AnyTown USA 2010 to Present
Software firm with 17 employees and annual revenues of $20M, providing software-based training for Fortune 500 companies
Coordinated client project development, implementation, and testing for JumpStart program. Worked directly with CEO on design and marketing strategies, while providing oversight for client management and training programs.
XYZ Corp, AnyTown USA 2010 to Present
Coordinated client project development, implementation, and testing for 17-employee software firm with $20M annual revenue, providing JumpStart software-based training for Fortune 500 companies. Worked directly with CEO on program design and marketing strategies, while providing oversight for client management and training programs.
As you can see, the goal is to provide just enough detail for context, without taking attention away from your unique accomplishments. Obviously, most resumes won’t require this additional information – so use the technique sparingly. In the right situations, though, including company descriptions on your resume can be the perfect way to shine a spotlight on your previous experience and accomplishments.
For more advice on great resume-writing, check out our resume-writing instructions and checklist here.