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Very straightforward question as stated in the title. I am a mid/senior level individual contributor in a technical field, with experience in creating and leading projects across teams in a company (matrix org), and also executed by external contractors. Now I want to move from leading projects to leading the team implementing these. The issue is that I only have experience in managing a few interns.

Is that valid managerial experience? And by valid I mean not as in I learned something, which I did, but can I put that in my CV as managerial experience/ team leader? Importantly, when applying to team lead positions, how valued is that experience by recruiters? Will this note in my CV be discarded off hand because only leading other full-time employees count?


Additional information:

  • I lead the hiring process of these interns, from job description to final hiring decision. Once hired, I was responsible for assigning them a project, tasks, track and help their progress, put them contact with stakeholders, train and mentor them. Basically everything a manager would do for a junior member of staff.
  • I lead the hiring of FTEs for my team to the final stages, but no offers made because of high-level company decisions on staffing. Does this even count in my CV?
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    I would not include details about involvement in a hiring process that did not result in offers. I would include your role in hiring and managing interns - some companies may not value it as highly as managing a full-time employee but it is still management. If you can point to statistics about these interns success while working under you, even better. You only mention leading the hiring in your additional information, in what capacity did you act as a manager for them?
    – InBedded16
    Mar 17, 2023 at 14:18
  • Cheers @InBedded16. I added a few more details re what I did for the interns a manager. Basically anything one would do to a junior member of staff. I was the sole responsible for their success at any level. Mar 17, 2023 at 19:03
  • Question: Did you have Hiring/Firing authority for these Interns and did you have a Budget? Those 2 things IMO are what differentiates a Team Lead from a Manager. Mar 17, 2023 at 19:21
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    You can simply write in your resume that you manager a few interns. That will imply that you are a team lead with some mentor skills, which is valuable to employers. Mar 17, 2023 at 21:51
  • @TheDemonLord no budget or hiring / firing authority. But your question chimes with keshlam's distinction between team lead and manager. I think the distinction wasn't 100% clear to me as I wrote the question, mostly a question of working, but this is extremely helpful. Mar 18, 2023 at 9:16

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I would say it counts as basic team lead experience. Team lead is only part of a manager's role, and you may have experienced only part of a team lead's role.

Whether it's worth putting in your resume ... Depends very much on whether you can make what those interns were doing, and what you did to help them achieve that goal, sound impressive. At this point in your career the resume needs to focus on strengths and achievements, not just experience.

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    Two very good points that hadn't occurred to me @Kehslam: "At this point in your career the resume needs to focus on strengths and achievements" and the distinction between "team lead experience" and "managerial experience". Mar 17, 2023 at 19:05

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