Q. The companies I worked at keep merging or getting sold and changing their names. I do not want hiring managers or recruiters to think I am lying, and I really want credit for working at some big-name companies that were bought out. How do I address those changes on my resume?
A. Company name changes as a result of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are very common, especially in the healthcare, technology, financial services, and retail industries. Company name changes are also common to mark a change in company direction or for better branding. Accounting and consulting firm Price Waterhouse became PricewaterhouseCoopers after a merger. In a recent change to emphasize that it sells more than donuts, Dunkin Donuts became Dunkin.
In a resume, the four main ways of handling a company name change are:
- Give the current name of the company followed by the old name: XYZ Inc. (formerly, ABC Co.).
- Give the old name of the company first, possibly with the date of the M&A: ABC Co. (acquired by XYZ Inc. in 2014).
- Separate your positions under each name, indicating the date when an M&A (or name change) occurred.
- Just give the current name of the company.
The choice depends on several factors, including the length and type of your position at the company, the importance of the company in your career trajectory, and the familiarity of each company name. You especially want to note an M&A if you survived, participated in, or received a promotion after the merger or acquisition. For example, you should take credit if you contributed to a smooth transition, training in new procedures, or efforts to increase employee engagement.
If you need help deciding how to handle a company name change on your resume or in describing your role in a merger or acquisition, please contact me at Robin’s Resumes®.