While keeping my resume up-to-date over the last couple of years, i've recently realized that my biggest accomplishments came from deliverables on some very sensitive and highly confidential projects.

Any suggestions on how to add these to a resume?

Description, without breaching the NDA would sound something like:

"Lead cross-functional, International teams that included members from multiple Fortune 100 companies, ensuring successful delivery of multi-year, industry leading projects."

How can I address the specifics if the interviewer asks to provide more detail?

Thank you in advance.

jhack's picture

Somehow, your resume bullet point needs to provide something about impact: revenue, cost savings, new markets... You can be vague, but you need to indicate what type of impact your project leadership had.

Then, in the interview, you tell the interviewer that you are under an NDA and so some aspects of what you worked on cannot be discussed.

My experience in financial services included some proprietary analytics that could not be discussed. Every interviewer with whom I discussed the project respected my discretion.

You can still talk about how you resolved conflict, addressed stakeholder interests, disagreed with a project sponsor, got the group to overcome a technical challenge, etc.

This is a challenge for folks who've had military or state dept experience as well.


wendii's picture

I've interviewed people who couldn't tell me who they were working for, what they were working on, or when they did it - in fact, I once recruited an entire team and found out a year later what the project was, so it can be done.

JHack's right, your accomplishment needs to focus on the quantified result of your work but that needn't give anything away. You can describe the project conceptually - platform design, system integration, implementation, strategy review, equipment testing for example. Sometimes folks are worried about giving away revenue numbers or profit margins - competitive intelligence usually means this information is wider spread than you would imagine, but again, you can be discrete. For example:

Delivered £3Bn implementation project on time and on budget by leading cross-functional, international team
Increased product revenue 6% by reducing manufacturing costs and time to market
Contributed to design strategy for government agency by advising on communication technologies.

My favourite interview answer ever was to 'Can you tell me about a time when you've had to persuade someone to your way of thinking' and the interviewee described meeting some people (who he couldn't name) in a place (he couldn't name) for a meeting (the subject of which he couldn't name). They were hostile, he pointed out the benefits of including him in their plan and they were turned around, finally inviting him to the demonstration of the product. I still have no clue who they were, where they were or what the product is, but I am absolutely convinced of his persuasion skills.

You might need to work a bit harder at your resume and interview answers, but it can absolutely be done.


RobRedmond's picture

Also consider that non-disclosure usually is effective while the project is underway, but once the project is made public (such as development of the U2 spyplane?), claiming the accomplishment may not be that big of a deal as the information could be considered declassified.

I think there are extremes and shades of grey in the middle. The guy who worked with Delta force and assassinated some people may be sworn to secrecy for life. The guy who helped work on a big project six months ago that was a state secret in the company but is now public knowledge can probably confirm with the project leads if the NDA is now expired and if some claims of accomplishments can be used.

mgas's picture

Thank you all for your input. I was very helpful. I am sure it's quite common in any industry.