Title May Not Dictate Behavior by Matt

There was a great bit in the original Clerks film where Dante and Randal discuss if one’s stated function always ties to what they actually do… (As pointed out by Kenji!). Anyone who’s been around the technology industry knows that the meaning of a job title differs greatly from company to company. There’s a famous blog dissecting the difference between the PM role at Microsoft vs. anywhere else, so no need to revisit that here.


I did want to call out though that when you get on the phone with a recruiter, they will pay less attention to the title you held at company X and more attention to the responsibilities you performed in that role. I bring this up because there’s been a few times where I’ve seen something interesting on a resume that made me think about them for a title different than what they are working as now.


For example. I had candidate who was a “Technical Consultant” for a large firm, but when I read the resume, I saw a great Program Manager candidate with lots of experience managing multiple projects with quick lifecycles.  I ended up spending 15 minutes of our phone screen explaining that the work he’d been doing would set himself up well for a PM role. It took awhile to convince him of the parallels, but in  the end, he got the job. When I think back, I don’t know if he ever would have applied for a job with a PM title.


Considering our recruiters are focused on what you did (vs. what you were) my advice is to do the same when looking at open roles on our career site! Rather than searching by job title, consider entering a few words that encapsulate the focus of your work. A search for “Machine learning” Algorithms “Data Mining”  Ads would yield much more interesting and targeted results than Senior Software Engineer C++ Database.

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