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I founded a startup and worked for it solely for years, so I actually did almost everything such as marketing, business development, sales and etc.

I'm now looking for a job in an enterprise company, and want to open a LinkedIn profile so recruiters can view me when I send them an application.

Assuming I'm now looking for a "Marketing Manager" position, how should I list my previous title in my startup?

If I'll just write "Marketing manager", it would sound as if I worked in a small role for an unknow organization. I want to emphasize it was my own startup, and that I was the person in charge of marketing, and didn't worked under someone above me in such role.

Should I write it as a single custom title: "Founder and Head of Marketing" for example? (sounds better than "Founder and Marketing Director" IMO.

Another important technical question is, when recruiters are scanning for people looking for job as a "marketing manager", would having a custom title such as "founder and head of marketing", will be counted in their search or not? I mean, is linkedin smart enough to figure that such a title should match a "marketing manager" title?

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Nobody here knows exactly how LinkedIn's search algorithm works, so we can't help you with that. However, other than that, pick the job title that you think is best. Head of Marketing vs. Marketing Director shouldn't make a big difference.

I'm a bit confused whether there were other people working at the company, but both marketing job titles sound like there was a marketing department in the company, and you were responsible for that. I would ask about that in an interview and if it would turn out that you were the only person there and did everything yourself I'd find a bit odd. If this is the case, then I would put something like "Founder & Owner" as the job title and in the description mention all marketing-related tasks that you did.

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    Yes, I was the only person in the company, but I hired freelancer developers for other stuff like programming. I get what you say about writing CEO instead but since I'm looking for a marketing role, it might sounds too out of place for recruiters.
    – Stackaloo
    Oct 4 '21 at 20:04
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    CEO is a generic catch-all title. That's why after the CEO is hired, you then have CIO, CTO, CFO, etc... because they do the stuff the CEO can't.
    – Nelson
    Oct 5 '21 at 0:29
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    It's interesting how the term CEO has been bastardised. Chief Executive Officer implies there are multiple levels of management, and the person is the head of the most senior level of management. In addition, it implies the OP reports to a Board of Directors. The OP is an owner, or a founder. Oct 5 '21 at 1:13
  • @GregoryCurrie You're right, I meant to write Owner, not CEO, since CEO has the same connotations as the Head of Marketing title that I'm criticizing here.
    – Jeroen
    Oct 5 '21 at 8:34
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If you write "Head of Marketing", the very first thing I'm going to ask is how big was the marketing team that you lead.

If you were the only person involved in marketing, I would consider the title misleading.

What I would say:

Owner and Marketing Manager

There is no need to imbibe yourself with the CEO title. Anyone that actually runs a large company, who has to report to a board of directors and lead a management team won't take you seriously.

Marketing Manager conveys that you have executive decision-making capability in that area without falsely implying there was a large marketing team.

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  • Alright, I get it :) why owner though rather than founder?
    – Stackaloo
    Oct 5 '21 at 23:53
  • @Stackaloo Founder works too. If you're happy with that, go for that. Oct 6 '21 at 1:26
  • Ok, what about Director vs. Manager? Would I be asked how big was the team, or can I use "director" which sounds more authorities even if I did it alone?
    – Stackaloo
    Oct 6 '21 at 11:12
  • @Stackaloo Directors operate at a more abstract level, and are more hands off. There is a single person in the marketing team. I don't think that leaves much room for abstraction. You were getting your hands dirty. Oct 6 '21 at 11:39
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Be sure to pick a title that is appropriate for the actual work you did at your startup. If you tell me that you were a CFO, I am going to ask you questions about your burn rate and runway. If you tell me that you are a Director of Finance, I am going to ask you how you lead the organization, and if you tell me that you were an accountant, I am going to ask you how you tracked accounts payable and accounts receivable.

Titles can be passed around frivolously at a startup where they mean very little, but when you move on to other companies, you are going to look really silly if people start asking you questions that you cannot answer.

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