Author Topic: advice on updating resume - new job title for only a couple months  (Read 2023 times)

frugalnacho

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I've never really cared what my job title was (though in retrospect now that I'm looking for another job I should have been).  Anyway, I was a "staff engineer" for many years.  A couple months before the company I work at was acquired by another company I was "promoted" to "senior engineer".  The promotion was in name only.  I do the exact same job for the exact same pay, they just changed my title.  I didn't know the company was going to be sold at the time, but now I think the reason for the title change was so that I entered the new company as senior engineer instead of staff engineer.  The new company gave me a manager title instead of an engineer title, along with some new responsibilities and a nice pay cut.   The new company also promised year end bonuses (which I received 12 out of 12 years at the old company) and then boned the entire region by not paying out any bonuses.  We've had 2 people jump ship already, and me and a couple others are not far behind.

How do I reflect that on my resume?  I feel like listing senior engineer for my entire tenure is disingenuous.  However I feel stupid creating another heading and only listing it for 2-3 months.  I've been gradually gaining new responsibilities during my entire career, so I could conceivably list the senior engineer title, say I maintained all the responsibilities as staff engineer, and create a few new bullet points.  I could also just as easily list those bullet points under the staff engineer. 

How should I handle this on my resume?

trollwithamustache

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Re: advice on updating resume - new job title for only a couple months
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2018, 08:06:33 AM »
Its three successive jobs at the same company, staff, then senior, then manager.

Chances are at some point you really did go from staff to senior.  If you are doing it right, the change in knowledge and responsibility is gradual.  Manager is just manager, it took me a couple years to figure out it wasn't really a promotion.

rubybeth

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Re: advice on updating resume - new job title for only a couple months
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2018, 08:16:47 AM »
Like this:

Staff Engineer (2003-2015), Senior Engineer (2015-current)
Job responsbilities below. List all the things you did here.

frugalnacho

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Re: advice on updating resume - new job title for only a couple months
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2018, 08:25:10 AM »
Like this:

Staff Engineer (2003-2015), Senior Engineer (2015-current)
Job responsbilities below. List all the things you did here.

That's the thing though, I was only senior engineer for about 2 months before the new company purchased us and changed my title entirely to manager.   So it would be more like:

Staff Engineer (2003-2015), Senior Engineer (June 2015-July 2015), Manager (August 2015-present)

It's that bolded part that is only 2 months that looks stupid to me.

rubybeth

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Re: advice on updating resume - new job title for only a couple months
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2018, 08:30:40 AM »
Then do Staff Engineer/Senior Engineer (
Like this:

Staff Engineer (2003-2015), Senior Engineer (2015-current)
Job responsbilities below. List all the things you did here.

That's the thing though, I was only senior engineer for about 2 months before the new company purchased us and changed my title entirely to manager.   So it would be more like:

Staff Engineer (2003-2015), Senior Engineer (June 2015-July 2015), Manager (August 2015-present)

It's that bolded part that is only 2 months that looks stupid to me.

I'd put:

Staff Engineer (2003-2015), Senior Engineer/Manager (August 2015-present)

Group the most recent titles together.

frugalnacho

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Re: advice on updating resume - new job title for only a couple months
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2018, 08:45:44 AM »
Then do Staff Engineer/Senior Engineer (
Like this:

Staff Engineer (2003-2015), Senior Engineer (2015-current)
Job responsbilities below. List all the things you did here.

That's the thing though, I was only senior engineer for about 2 months before the new company purchased us and changed my title entirely to manager.   So it would be more like:

Staff Engineer (2003-2015), Senior Engineer (June 2015-July 2015), Manager (August 2015-present)

It's that bolded part that is only 2 months that looks stupid to me.

I'd put:

Staff Engineer (2003-2015), Senior Engineer/Manager (August 2015-present)

Group the most recent titles together.

They are different companies though.  I was staff/senior engineer at company A, and a manager at company B.  The manager roll at company B includes all my previous responsibilities, plus a bunch of new responsibilities.

rubybeth

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Re: advice on updating resume - new job title for only a couple months
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2018, 08:53:27 AM »
Then list them as separate jobs with the company name.

Company B
Manager (August 2015-present)
Responsibilities

Company A
Staff Engineer/Senior Engineer (2003-2015)
Responsibilities

Is this really so complicated? I have had lots of different job titles over the years, and I just make sure things make sense if they were to call a place for a reference about me.

trollwithamustache

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Re: advice on updating resume - new job title for only a couple months
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2018, 08:58:21 AM »
I would think dropping the months as other suggested would be fine.

Can you think of a way to link the positions across the company name change (buyout)? This is about a story that makes sense... after any acquisition people know there will be lots of change and look for new/more stable jobs. Being promoted to manager of a function that you could see being cut, it would make sense for you to move along and possible convince the new company you have a decent "sense of the business" or something like that.

alanB

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Re: advice on updating resume - new job title for only a couple months
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2018, 09:20:14 AM »
Then list them as separate jobs with the company name.

Company B
Manager (August 2015-present)
Responsibilities

Company A
Staff Engineer/Senior Engineer (2003-2015)
Responsibilities

Is this really so complicated? I have had lots of different job titles over the years, and I just make sure things make sense if they were to call a place for a reference about me.

The resumes I've seen from people that come from companies involved in buyouts usually look like this.  You could add "Company B (formerly Company A)" to clarify.  I have seen people just list their latest technical role rather than their entire progression.  Makes more sense to list each individually if you moved between departments or you shifted to manager track, any time your responsibilities changed significantly.  Titles for engineers and scientists vary dramatically between companies as I'm sure you know.  Staff Engineer might be a higher level than Senior Engineer elsewhere, so it is always confusing:
https://www.reddit.com/r/AskEngineers/comments/2572oy/in_general_or_in_your_company_how_do_you_rank/

frugalnacho

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Re: advice on updating resume - new job title for only a couple months
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2018, 10:43:05 AM »
Then list them as separate jobs with the company name.

Company B
Manager (August 2015-present)
Responsibilities

Company A
Staff Engineer/Senior Engineer (2003-2015)
Responsibilities

Is this really so complicated? I have had lots of different job titles over the years, and I just make sure things make sense if they were to call a place for a reference about me.

No I guess not? I just wanted to solicit some advice on the best way to structure the resume, without omitting any titles or being dishonest, but also without being redundant and overly wordy.  I think this example makes the most sense and will look the best on the resume.  Obviously I've been in the same office for 12 years, so I have pretty minimal experience constructing a resume.  I know, shame on me for not being on top of things and getting out there and hustling and selling myself.  I was happy with my life style, totally complacent, and planning to FIRE from this company within 5-7 years.  I didn't anticipate needing to find another job.  I also didn't anticipate the selling of the company, and having the new company come in and basically shit all over everyone. 

frugalnacho

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Re: advice on updating resume - new job title for only a couple months
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2018, 10:55:51 AM »
Then list them as separate jobs with the company name.

Company B
Manager (August 2015-present)
Responsibilities

Company A
Staff Engineer/Senior Engineer (2003-2015)
Responsibilities

Is this really so complicated? I have had lots of different job titles over the years, and I just make sure things make sense if they were to call a place for a reference about me.

The resumes I've seen from people that come from companies involved in buyouts usually look like this.  You could add "Company B (formerly Company A)" to clarify.  I have seen people just list their latest technical role rather than their entire progression.  Makes more sense to list each individually if you moved between departments or you shifted to manager track, any time your responsibilities changed significantly.  Titles for engineers and scientists vary dramatically between companies as I'm sure you know.  Staff Engineer might be a higher level than Senior Engineer elsewhere, so it is always confusing:
https://www.reddit.com/r/AskEngineers/comments/2572oy/in_general_or_in_your_company_how_do_you_rank/

I've never shifted departments or managers or had my responsibilities changed significantly.  It's been a gradual change over 12 years, which is why I had the question in the first place.  I do manage people and oversee pretty much all data calculations and reporting for the company, but it's not like one day I went from not doing that to all of a sudden doing it.  I went from doing some of the reporting, to reviewing other people's reporting, to gradually being in charge of all reporting at some point.  The change from staff to senior was kind of arbitrary and like I said I think it was just because the buyout was happening and my boss wanted me to go into the new company with the senior title instead of staff.  I did gain new responsibilities with the new company, but really 90% of my role is the same thing I was doing prior to the buy out. 

Some companies won't allow you to use the engineering title without a PE, while others seem fine using it for anyone with an engineering degree.  Others seem fine using the title for anyone willy nilly even without an engineering degree.  No one at the new company seems to have an engineering title, so I'm unsure of their title policy, but there was never any discussion of it either.  They just came in and had predefined titles/roles in the company manual and assigned new titles to everyone.

Gronnie

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Re: advice on updating resume - new job title for only a couple months
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2018, 01:36:29 PM »
Then list them as separate jobs with the company name.

Company B
Manager (August 2015-present)
Responsibilities

Company A
Staff Engineer/Senior Engineer (2003-2015)
Responsibilities

Is this really so complicated? I have had lots of different job titles over the years, and I just make sure things make sense if they were to call a place for a reference about me.

The resumes I've seen from people that come from companies involved in buyouts usually look like this.  You could add "Company B (formerly Company A)" to clarify.  I have seen people just list their latest technical role rather than their entire progression.  Makes more sense to list each individually if you moved between departments or you shifted to manager track, any time your responsibilities changed significantly.  Titles for engineers and scientists vary dramatically between companies as I'm sure you know.  Staff Engineer might be a higher level than Senior Engineer elsewhere, so it is always confusing:
https://www.reddit.com/r/AskEngineers/comments/2572oy/in_general_or_in_your_company_how_do_you_rank/

+1 that titles don't mean all that much. Here a Senior Engineer is the step below Staff Engineer.

damyst

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Re: advice on updating resume - new job title for only a couple months
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2018, 12:25:44 PM »
+1 that titles don't mean all that much. Here a Senior Engineer is the step below Staff Engineer.

In pretty much every company I've seen, "Staff" is a level above "Senior". Which makes your arbitrary title change look like a demotion. On a resume, it could raise some eyebrows.

Given this risk, and the short time span, I'd probably leave the "Senior" designation out of the resume entirely.

grantmeaname

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Re: advice on updating resume - new job title for only a couple months
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2018, 01:38:41 AM »
I've never understood there to be any problem with leaving your final title alone on a resume. With long periods of employment I've always heard it's assumed that you may have entered with a different title. They're hiring you based on your skills now, after all. Maybe this differs by field?