I need to list someone as my immediate supervisor for a job application. Normally this wouldn't be an issue. However, the person who was responsible for supervising my branch is not technically a "supervisor." I could speculate as to why this is, but I don't feel it's relevant to the question.

Instead, my "immediate" supervisor was listed as the person who was in charge of my department across all branches, despite the fact that they were not directly responsible for day-to-day supervision of any one of those branches (e.g. staffing & work scheduling, verification of time sheets, enforcement of policies with customers and employees, etc.).

These duties were delegated to the person in charge of the department I worked in for a specific branch location, and each branch has one such delegate. However, as I stated earlier, that delegate is not employed as a supervisor, despite filling virtually every conceivable role of an immediate supervisor.

Additionally, my "immediate" supervisor (the one in charge of all branches) even stated that while they would have no issues with me listing them as my immediate supervisor that I really should list the delegate for my branch as my immediate supervisor, for the reasons I've stated above, and for the fact that any queries about my employment by a future employer would be redirected to said delegate, anyway.

As well, the delegate worked with me directly considerably more and has much better information about how I worked.

All things considered, I really don't know which one I should list as my immediate supervisor. I feel like both answers would be half true, at best.

While I realize any answers I get here will be more of guidelines than anything, I feel like I need more professional input before making a decision.

  • 2
    So, If your "immediate supervisor" told you to list your "delegate", why not go for it? Where I come from such thing is not required for an application, but I really don't think it is that important. They only want someone who can tell them something about you. If your "immediate supervisor" does not want to do that job, you shouldn't force him.
    – jwsc
    May 5, 2015 at 18:41
  • What I'm most concerned about is the fact that part of the contract that I'm signing to apply where I'm looking to work states that if anything is deemed to be "untrue" with my application that I may be subject to termination, or my application may be deemed invalid. While my "immediate supervisor" may not want me to list them, if the company contacted someone else (say, human resources) at my previous workplace, they may ask if that person actually was my immediate supervisor, and find out that they weren't TECHNICALLY my immediate supervisor.
    – Anonymous
    May 5, 2015 at 18:43
  • 1
    But if even you and your teamleader do not know who to list, I do not think HR will give a totally confident answer. They most likely will ask someone in your department who was responsible for you. But hey, Why not list both guys in your application with a few short sentences of explanation?
    – jwsc
    May 5, 2015 at 18:49
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    Not enough space on the application XD Anyway, you make a good point. I'll have another talk with my actual supervisor today, and will likely end up just putting the delegate on there. Thanks!
    – Anonymous
    May 5, 2015 at 18:51

1 Answer 1


Your day to day manager is the obvious choice or if you have 121's and appraisals the one who does the appraising.

I think you may be over thinking this one

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    Agreed, their official job title is irrelevant in this case, a prospective employer just needs to know who to contact to get the right information about your day-to-day activities.
    – Cronax
    May 6, 2015 at 9:00

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