What's my title?
June 18, 2010 5:04 AM   Subscribe

What's my title ? I'm practically IT manager, except for the title. How to handle this on my resume ?

I'm doing everything an IT manager would do, but the guy who came 6 months before me has the 'IT manager' title.
I have 10 years of IT experience and a few years of management experience, he has barely 3 years of experience, no management.
There is no 'people management' involved since we're basically 2 + an intern in charge of IT.

Partly because of this, I'm considering quitting (but not only this, work is boring, location is bad, so I'm quitting anyway), so I'm wondering what title should I put on my resume for this experience, and here is the problem:
- I'm honest and it says 'senior system and network admin', which is true, but greatly understated, and with this title as last experience, there is no chance I land an interview for an interesting job. And I don't want to end up in the same situation.
- I put IT manager anyway, which is what I'm doing (in sense of 'I manage IT'), but in case a potential employer makes a verification call (e.g. "can I speak to IT manager please?"), I'll look like a cheater, and certainly won't have any chance to explain.

A bit of background: I've been in this company for more than 2 years. My previous experience was officially 'Team Leader' in a much bigger company.

How to handle this ? what's the 3rd solution ? I'm out of ideas.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
To me, "IT Manager" means you were managing people at the time, not just IT related systems. If I saw IT Manager, and talked to you, and you explained that there was another IT person, as your peer, I would question the IT Manager title.

When looking at resumes, I really did not exclude people based on previous title. But, if your situation came up like that, yea... I might wonder what else was favourably stretched on your resume.
posted by kellyblah at 5:17 AM on June 18, 2010

à la Dwight Schrute, what about switching it around to "Manager of IT Systems" or "Administrator of IT Infrastructure"?
These cannot be mistaken for managing people, only the system itself.
posted by nineRED at 5:25 AM on June 18, 2010

Put the actual title on your resume, but also describe the position in detail and use words like 'manage' when describing your duties.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:46 AM on June 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

I would put Network Administrator. IT manager says that you are the boss. Network administrator does not imply that.
posted by majortom1981 at 5:57 AM on June 18, 2010

I once interviewed a guy that described his previous position as "network manager". After questioning him a bit, I found out that what he was doing was basically working nightshifts in a call center taking customer complaint calls. I'm not implying that you changing your title would amount to the same level of dishonesty, I'm just saying don't do it. If your would-be future employer finds out that you lied there (and it would be lying), they won't consider any other potential merit you might have.

You don't want to be hired by a company that gives a damn about your previous job titles anyway.
posted by cronholio at 6:12 AM on June 18, 2010

Oh, and you could ask your current boss to change your job title to IT manager (though IMO that does sound like you are managing people, which you are not - as has been said above). But what have you got to lose if you're gonna quit anyway? Hell, demand to be called Grand Poobah of the Blinkenlights while you have the chance. ;)
posted by cronholio at 6:20 AM on June 18, 2010

My last title was system administrator, and that's what I use on my CV. The description makes it clear though, that I was a one man IT department for the most part (in my last year and a half I'd hired a junior sysadmin to anoint as my replacement). IT titles really do tend to be nebulous as to what they really mean from place to place.

On top of that, in most cases when I apply to a position I'm including a cover letter that goes into further detail about my responsibilities and experience as relates to the specific position I'm applying for. I just got an interview, so I'm doing something right.
posted by ursus_comiter at 6:22 AM on June 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

Manager to me means that you directed the work of other people. It does not imply management of tools or networks. That's a network adminitrator, as you current title says. You may wish to empasise that you trained others and were the technical lead in interviews.

However, unless you handled payroll, HR, hiring and firing, had control of a budget, final signing authority for purchases and contracts and so on, you're not a manager. Your current title is accurate in my view.
posted by bonehead at 9:56 AM on June 18, 2010

To clarify, that's handled payroll, HR issues. Could you discipline a report, dock pay? Could you approve holidays? etc...
posted by bonehead at 9:59 AM on June 18, 2010

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