When employers conduct background checks and investigations on prospective employees, the reasonable expectation is that the information contained on the candidate's resume is truthful, accurate and verifiable. If you worked for an organization that merged with another company or was part of an acquisition, ensure that your resume clearly states both the former name and current name of that company. Depending on the time that has lapsed, you might have some legwork ahead to confirm that your resume properly states your work history.
Confirm the Resume Information Is Current
Before you submit your resume to a potential employer, give it a once-over to determine that all of the information it includes is accurate and current. For your current and previous jobs, include your positions or job titles, the name and location of the employer, and the dates of employment. Of course, double-check your resume for spelling, typographical and grammatical errors. But also check to be sure that every one of your previous employers is still in business. If you find out that a previous employer has moved or is no longer in business, here is where your research begins.
Locate Your Previous Employer
The likely first step in your search for an employer that has dissolved or moved is your previous supervisor if you are able still in touch, particularly if he or she stayed on with the company after your departure. If your supervisor was still there when the company dissolved or moved, he or she might be able to explain the circumstances or provide current information. In the event that contacting your previous supervisor isn't helpful or even possible, search the secretary of state business records to find the business name.
Include Current and Previous Employer Name
If you determine that your previous employer has merged with another company or has been the subject of an acquisition, list the current name first, followed by the former name in parentheses. For example, if you worked for ABC Company and XYZ Company acquired it and made it a division of XYZ Company, list it as:
XYZ Company (formerly ABC Company).
It's up to you if you want to include a brief description, for example:
XYZ Company acquired ABC Company in [month and year]; ABC Company employees formed a division within the new company.
Listing Dissolved Companies
In addition to mergers or acquisitions, some companies may have dissolved since you left. Even though your previous employer no longer exists, you should still keep it in your work history. In this case, list the employer's name, and in parentheses note:
ABC Company dissolved in [month and year]; records are available through [location of employment records, if you know where they are].
Locate your former supervisor to ask for a reference or to verify that you were employed with the now-dissolved company, and be prepared to provide his or her contact information to the interviewer.
- ResumePower.com; Corporate Restructuring and Your Resume: How to Deal with Mergers, Acquisitions, Company Closings and Layoffs; Kim Isaacs
- Dummies.com: How to List Employers That Have Merged or Been Acquired
- Purdue University; Online Writing Lab: Reference Sheets; April 2010
- New York University; Giddy: Definitions and Motivations; Professor Ian Giddy; 2009
- Forbes: What Should Everyone Know About Mergers and Acquisitions?
- Use the same verbiage on your list of personal references as well.
- The term "acquisition" is very similar in meaning to merger. However, when a company is acquired or taken over by another company, there is often a significant change in the financials (shares, assets, debt) between the two companies, as well as the name. Use the same preparation as listed above about mergers to help you decide how to list an acquisition.
- List a bankrupt or out-of-business employer, even if you cannot locate information confirming that the company restructured or was spun-off into another division. Avoid leaving employment gaps, if possible.
Ruth Mayhew has been writing since the mid-1980s, and she has been an HR subject matter expert since 1995. Her work appears in "The Multi-Generational Workforce in the Health Care Industry," and she has been cited in numerous publications, including journals and textbooks that focus on human resources management practices. She holds a Master of Arts in sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. In addition, she is a certified facilitator for the Center for Creative Leadership Benchmarks 360 Assessment Suite, and is a Logical Operations Modern Classroom Certified Trainer . Ruth resides in North Carolina and works from her office in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C.