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I am looking over a good friends resume and he has worked for a midsize company for 9-10 years. After his first year he started working with the sales team on apps and tech, was in charge of a chunk of their sales tech and worked as an "expert" for it seems like everything tech at the company including have a small dev team under him. However his official titles kept changing as he took on more but the titles were almost random from Technical Trainer, to System Architect, to Capability Manager, to Sales Technology Manager (and more).

He currently has 4 titles listed below on his resume but the duties overlap between each other and the progression doesn't make sense so I don't really know what kind of advice to give him. How should this be factored into a resume without confusing others (it was confusing to me since he had 4 different titles listed that had too many overlapping items) and displaying more responsibilities as years went on?

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    Ttiles only matter to your current employer, the rest of us don't know what they mean and don't care that much. What your friend has done is more important than a specific title
    – cdkMoose
    Commented Apr 24 at 20:37
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    @cdkMoose - I am just trying to help him get his resume tight. I know once he gets into interviews he can handle explaining. His resume right now is a mess.
    – blankip
    Commented Apr 24 at 20:39
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    Messy could be interesting. Many titles at one place suggest a very dynamic person with wide experience. I would rather be rejected by 100 companies that want a prepackaged drone worker and hired by one who wants an interesting, capable person. But that's just me. It's how I've gotten most of the jobs I had. Commented Apr 25 at 10:14
  • Title matter when it's System Architect vs Sales... Commented Apr 25 at 18:49

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There is no standardized, accepted definition of what a specific title means that crosses industries and employer types. To those outside your company, they are at best an approximation of his skills and abilities. Unless he is in some time of certified/licensed role, it doesn't really matter much. For example, some companies make you a senior widget master just because you have been there a certain amount of time, while others would only change your title when you have demonstrated mastery of widgets.

Your friend should worry much more about accurately describing what he does and his significant accomplishments. That will be a much better indication of who he is and what value he might represent for a potential employer. For his resume, I would suggest he put a more generalized title that fits his highest level and leave it at that. Showing a succession of promotions by titles could be valuable, but again I wouldn't stress over the specific titles.

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    This is generally good advice. I guess the thing that I had trouble wrapping my head around was that as his responsibilities grew the titles (subjectively) got worse. Maybe I am thinking how my company handles the titles so I am too biased.
    – blankip
    Commented Apr 24 at 21:02
  • If the title progression indicates a promotion, I think this could help a resume'. I'm not sure how to phrase / format this, maybe a bullet point: "Was promoted" with some more details ... Commented Apr 24 at 22:30
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    @JosephDoggie - his company was bought out a few times in that period - 4. So he was put into new titles based on classifications an overseas company wanted. I am his main reference and I am sure he will get a great job but this guy was basically an escalation point for anything technical at the entire company. His titles did not shadow that.
    – blankip
    Commented Apr 25 at 3:33
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    @blankip if the company he worked for was bought four times and he was always kept on, that in itself would tell you something. Happened to me too. Commented Apr 25 at 10:18
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    @blankip I hope he has your phrase "escalation point for anything technical at the entire company" on the resume. Commented Apr 25 at 18:52
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First disregard the chronological progression in favour of pertinence to the job posting. List the title entries in that order. Then, add the responsibility items under those titles, placing the high priority items in the highest priority title. After that, if any title is sparse in items, drop that title and add it, and its items, as an item into another title. Perhaps Technical Trainer and Capability Manager can be combined, or both subsumed into System Architect.

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