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I worked at a company for a year an some days. When I entered, I was told that I would work at max 9 months (6 months mandatory, 3 optional) as a part-time Trainee. The first six months I did some minor testing while my team leader try to place me in an stable project, without success. Then, he got a project with a new client, a top Company in its field. Soon became clear that he would need all hands on deck, so I started there as a Shadow dev, mentored by a Semi Senior.

As my time as a Trainee was coming to an end, I asked my mentor if he had any idea regarding my situation. He told me to ask the team lead. When I asked him, he told me to ask the PM, whom I didn't know by that time. Time passed by and I still was a part-time Trainee, even though I wasn't a shadow dev anymore, I started visiting the client with my mentor and facing deadlines. Whenever I asked about it, the answer was "I don't know".

As my first anniversary in the company was coming closer, I decided it was good moment to ask again. This time, my mentor told me to ask formally to my team lead, CC-ing him and the PM. I sent a very polite "I'd like to know the status of my situation" email. I was fired the following day.

I updated my CV, adding a description of my position, but I'm not sure which seniority I should add. I've read many articles about seniority levels, and so far my responsibilities and time in the company seem to place me as a Junior. On the other hand, most of the texts only mention Intern as lower than Junior, but I was nothing of the sort.

TL; DR: My seniority got stuck in a gray area between an Intern and a Junior and I can't find a proper way to make it clear enough without risking my chances to be hired.

So far, my options are

  • Junior dev:
    • I get to the employment check stage, HR says that I was a Trainee, not getting hired
    • I get to the employment check stage, HR only confirms I work there, may or not be hired
    • I don't get further than the first interview
  • Trainee dev:
    • Raises alarms ("a whole year as a Trainee? what happened there? This person may be a bad performer"), I don't get further than the first interview
    • Interview goes normally, may nor not go further in the process
    • I get to the employment check stage, HR says that I was a Trainee, may or not be hired
    • I get to the employment check stage, HR only confirms I work there, may or not be hired

Maybe I'm overthinking it, maybe I'm suffering of Imposter's Syndrome, or maybe it's a reasonable question. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

  • 2
    What's wrong with merely saying dev? – JB King May 29 '15 at 20:15
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    I would email HR and ask what title they are going to give when future employers call to confirm your employment. – Myles May 29 '15 at 20:21
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Whatever. If you weren't a student at the time, Intern is inappropriate. Thus Junior ____ is fine to put as your title at the company. In the end, it's what you can do (or at least who you know) that will get you hired, not what title you had in HR paperwork months ago.

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Heh - my first job after graduating, I was a Trainee Support Engineer for 18 months. Different companies have different training periods, and how would they know how long your trainee period "should have been"?

Put trainee on your resume as your title - but then make clear that you were given responsibilities above that role.

  • Well, the contract I signed said very clearly that my time as a Trainee could not be more than 9 months, and that after that I will be either promoted to Junior or terminated. I was fired 3 months after that limit was due. (Note: I consulted a lawyer, who told me that there was not enough evidence to prove mobbing, let alone something more serious.) – Trickylastname Jun 1 '15 at 14:11
  • Yeah, but your next employer won't see your old contract, so it doesn't matter what the time-frame "should" have been. As for hanging on a few months more - this isn't too unusual, as sometimes it takes time to process decisions. Maybe your supervisor wanted you to be made Junior, but there was a budget issue meaning there was no space for a Junior. It's crappy, but at the end of the day, they didn't exactly promise that you'd be kept on, either. – HorusKol Jun 1 '15 at 23:08

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