Q. I have worked in financial services for a long time, and part of what I do is either private to the client or proprietary to the company I work for. This means that my resume ends up too vague and too general; I sound as if I have never accomplished anything. Is there a legal way around all the corporate rules and regulations that surround me?
A. Confidentiality is an issue not only in the financial industry but in any regulated industry, including education and pharmaceutical. However, any company may carefully guard information that is proprietary or not yet ready for public dissemination. In writing your resume, your goal is to be truthful, complete, and interesting without divulging information that you are required to keep secret. Most often, the problem arises around:
- Client names
- Exact amounts
- Products or strategies under development.
One of the most common ways to get around an inability to mention a confidential client directly is to describe the client. Instead of writing, “Identified and analyzed investments for XYZ Company,” you write: “Identified and analyzed investments for $10B company in the oil, gas, and mineral exploration industry.” The detailed description makes you stand out, and the company name is superfluous.
You can categorize your individual clients (for example, “high net worth”); indicate the number or types of deals you structured or closed for them; and describe the exact results (for example, “Delivered a 200% compounded rate of return for a high net worth client.”). In any industry, focusing on the type of clients, the amount and type of work, and the results will generate as much or more interest among hiring managers and recruiters as simply listing well-known names.
Even when you can use the company or client name, you should still provide as much detail as possible concerning the type and results of the work you performed.
If exact numbers amounts are a problem, you can always use ranges: up to $20M; multimillion-dollar deals; an average of 30 companies annually. You should be able to mention the round number of divestitures and acquisitions, for example, without breaking confidentiality.
Products or Strategies
Products or strategies, whether under development or failed, may be proprietary and may have to be kept confidential, but you can still indicate your role: you participated in the development, generated ideas, led the research and development team, analyzed the market. You can also mention projected amounts the product or strategy was supposed to generate, if that information is known and available.
If you need help in creating a resume that is specific and yet recognizes the proprietary and confidential nature of your work, please contact Robin’s Resumes® today. We have helped countless professionals in the same situation.