I have such situation. In general based on my general programming skills I would not call myself junior developer (over 3 years of development experience). But the vacancy I saw now, is about junior C# developer. Now, the technology listed on vacancy is c# as I mentioned: one could say I am junior in that direction based on my knowledge in that specific domain - C#/.NET. As well I might be still bit more than junior even in C# direction.

Is there some possibility I ask the company the kind of role that is so that maybe it is possible to drop title junior from the position?

For some reasons I am reluctant about putting junior on CV - because before that i was just software developer for three years (I did some coding in uni - so maybe that's why in this position it was ok to be just software developer).

Also I am not that young about 30, so that is why junior thing is bothering me little.

Although I understand dropping title won't change the duties on job which I am fine with.

On the other hand I am also ok with the junior job - the title is that bothers me, because it would be fine for me to progress in C#/.NET direction.

  • 1
    Really, the title is a problem? – paparazzo Apr 18 '16 at 11:41
  • @Paparazzi I don't know am I wrong? I am a little bit confused that is why I came here for help – user49211 Apr 18 '16 at 11:42
  • Possible duplicate of: workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/3347/… – Brandin Apr 18 '16 at 12:31
  • 2
    Honestly - three years of experience is very much in junior range. – scrwtp Apr 18 '16 at 14:21
  • 1
    What makes you think that you will actually get this job? – PM 77-1 Apr 18 '16 at 14:30

Start with applying.

Get through at least the phone screen and maybe even the in person interviewing before you start debating titles - give them a chance to get to know you and like you. While you're at it, speak clearly and eloquently on both your expertise in general and your relative unfamiliarity with C#/.NET

I would wait to get an offer or until you've met the hiring manager and had a chance to have a focused talk with him/her. At that time, the manager may ask "Any questions or concerns?" and it would be a fine time to say something like - "I really like this job, (and other good stuff about the work, the team, or the company), but I'm concerned about taking a step backward in my career - I have enough experience in (some details) that I'd normally NOT be considered a junior engineer - that will be something I have to seriously consider if you give me an offer." - you don't even necessarily have to ask for a title change, you just have to put the concern out there and see what they say.

They may say:

  • all our positions are linked to salary ranges, and we literally don't have the budget to do better than junior right now
  • our team is full of more senior engineers, we really want a junior (chances are if they really wanted someone 1 year out of college, you won't have gotten this far in the process).
  • fair point, we'll see what we can do
  • in our terms you ARE a junior here's why...

I'll say as a hiring manager I have taken the opportunity to increase title when the applicant was noticeably higher than the job description. In the particular case it was pretty radical - the person was at least 2 grades above the job he applied for, and I went cautious - I went with the lowest grade that was in the vague vicinity of the skill set. In that particular case, I had the budget and the opportunity to make that work from a human resources perspective and within the requirements of the work we were doing.

Factors that a manager has to consider when doing this:

  • positions are usually linked to salary ranges - the applicant MUST be paid w/in a fair range when they have a given position. Often, a manager does an employee a huge disservice when they raise the title and don't raise the salary too - so there has to be budget.

  • job descriptions and titles are also very much linked - if your title is higher, the expectations MUST also be higher. A manager can't usually say "this guy is a senior but it's OK if he's doing the job of a junior". For evaluations, the manager MUST evaluate everyone in a given title with the same general set of expectations.

  • what is the work - if the work is mind-bogglingly junior, how would you make it of a reasonable challenge to higher level employee? Often with software engineering, I can find ways to do this... but it's not a given in every field.

  • any decent manager worth working for wants you to succeed in doing the job they've described, and wants to pay you well enough that you won't find or take a better paying job - they want to like you and keep you working for company as long as possible

These two factors are generally beyond the manager's control and the company will have very little interest in changing the rules. There's usually some degree of ambiguity - for example, juniors do some of the work of seniors, and most grade levels overlap each other in terms of pay, so a really well paid junior may make more than a really badly paid non-junior.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thanks for response! One thing is I have interview with a recruitment agency - they are proxy. So according to you - I should not raise this issue with them, but only with the company itself in case they get in touch with me after the recruitment agency? I don't know if I will have chance to see the hiring manager of official company, so I don't know even if I will be in position to ask this later if I don't raise this issue now? – user49211 Apr 18 '16 at 15:30
  • Depends - if you think the recruiter will be useful in the future, clarify your expectation, something like - "I am game to apply to this position as a junior - (insert nice stuff) but normally I won't consider a position below a X based on my experience". Shows you are positive, but sets an expectation. I'll admit, that when it's a hot market and I know that my skill set is super employable, I won't waste time with a recruiting agency that can't find me a job as good or better than my current title. I generally don't even write back to cold calls that don't get close to my current title. – bethlakshmi Apr 18 '16 at 20:46
  • A lot of this is "who called who?" - when I am urgently/ardently looking, I'm way more forgiving than if I'm happy at my job and don't have a reason to spend time looking. – bethlakshmi Apr 18 '16 at 20:47
  • The original position they are offering is good. only problem is title as I asked. Now the question is if I should ask recruiter to convey to company my problem with title - as I have asked. Or delay till I meet company and ask them - not sure if I will have chance to ask them though. do you see? – user49211 Apr 18 '16 at 20:55
  • If you reached out to the recruiter - no, leave it alone, wait until you've spoken with the company. If they reached out to you, bring it up - and also clarify if the pay fits your expectations. – bethlakshmi Apr 18 '16 at 21:19

Job titles are company specific and often have little to do with the actual job. You can ask anything you like, but be prepared for a negative answer.

In general asking a prospective employer to change anything to suit you before you even get the job isn't a great idea. And in this particular instance I would think your application would just be discarded. But you never know, if it means that much to you to take that risk then ask away. Personally if I cared about the title I'd try and get it changed after I had gotten the job, made a good impression and given them a reason to contemplate changing my title.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Job titles can be fairly meaningless, I've worked at a company where everyone including totally unqualified people were Senior Engineers, no Engineers or Juniors at all. Judgement call if you want that detail to be a potential stopping point on you getting the job. When I read a CV I'm really more interested in what the tasks were than the title. – Kilisi Apr 18 '16 at 11:22
  • 1
    I read the question, but that's all beside the point, do you want the job or not? Junior positions are not hard to fill so a request like that might lose you any chance of getting the job. Which makes the rest moot. If you think it would hurt your career then don't apply for it. – Kilisi Apr 18 '16 at 11:33
  • 2
    @user400500 The point of this answer is that you don't have the job yet, so whatever you say about this may work against you. Just imagine yourself in the interview, and you're asking "well, actually I was wondering about the word 'junior'...". Even if you're delicate about it, they may just see that as disinterest in the job they have on offer. – Brandin Apr 18 '16 at 14:02
  • 2
    @user400500 It may not be that simple from their end. For example, if they allow you to 'promote' your title from 'junior' to 'software developer', they may feel pressured to promote their current 'software developers' to 'senior software developers'. – Brandin Apr 18 '16 at 14:39
  • 1
    You can always ask. They will probably say "no, this is what our system calls this position; do you want the job or not?" – keshlam Apr 18 '16 at 19:08