aspose file tools*
The moose likes Jobs Discussion and the fly likes Job Title Dilemma Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Careers » Jobs Discussion
Bookmark "Job Title Dilemma" Watch "Job Title Dilemma" New topic
Author

Job Title Dilemma

Danish Shaukat
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 16, 1999
Posts: 340
Hi everyone,

I have 10 years of industrial experience. For the last 5 years I have been running a mobile/telecom space consultancy startup. Employee strength was around 10 people. My job responsibilities included business development / sales, product strategy advisor for clients, project management, client coordination, designing applications etc. Last month I decided to call it a day.

Now I am looking for a job. I would like to get in to product development related positions in mobile and telecom companies.

The big question for me is that what job title should I put on my resume for my last job. If I write “Founder” it might get intimidating. Small companies might consider me overqualified. If I mention something like “Project Manager” then at some point in time, especially when they conduct background checks, I will have to come out with the truth which again will put me in a difficult situation.

I need your advice. How do I handle this situation?

Regards,
Danish

arulk pillai
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 3223
Why do you think it will be intimidating if you said "Founder"?


Java Interview Questions and Answers Blog | Amazon.com profile | Java Interview Books
Danish Shaukat
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 16, 1999
Posts: 340
arulk pillai wrote:Why do you think it will be intimidating if you said "Founder"?


1. The HR team might think I am one of the CEO types and thus overqualified for the job. Reality is different. It was a small consultancy startup where I was doing all kinds of work with main focus on the business side of things.

I can explain this during the interview but I will have to pass the initial screening of the HR team where I will be defense less.

2. A small or mid-level firm might want some one coming from a typical employment background. They might consider me a misfit just because I have been doing my own thing.

3. Very small firms might see me as a threat or even a competitor. Although I do not have any such intentions but I cannot control thought processes. In one of my recent interviews with a wireless carrier, I was specifically asked how do I assure them that I am not joining them for my own business networking. In such a situation someone coming from a typical employment background will have an advantage over me.
arulk pillai
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 3223
Why not have customized resumes to the role(s) you are applying for?
Danish Shaukat
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 16, 1999
Posts: 340
arulk pillai wrote:Why not have customized resumes to the role(s) you are applying for?



Yes I do have multiple variants of my resume keeping in mind the positions I am targeting.

In this post I guess I am debating the pros and cons of mentioning Founder as the title for my last job. I’d just like to know what others think about the impact it will have on my job search.
Vikram Kohli
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 27, 2005
Posts: 174
This link is for you.

Hope it will help. Big mobile VAS companies might be the right segment for you. I think you should try with Founder and CEO title only.


Vikram PracLabs
Danish Shaukat
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 16, 1999
Posts: 340
Vikram Kohli wrote:This link is for you.

Hope it will help. Big mobile VAS companies might be the right segment for you. I think you should try with Founder and CEO title only.


Thanks Vikram. Nice article. Gives a different perspective.
Jayesh A Lalwani
Bartender

Joined: Jan 17, 2008
Posts: 2409
    
  28

IMO, if you think that your qualifications make you over-qualified for the jobs that you are seeking, you might be aiming too low Have you tried applying for positions like Director of Engineering at startups? I am sure there have to be some who are looking for people with your kind of experience. Have you tried expanding your search outside of telecom space? You must have learnt a lot of soft skills that can translate out of your core area of technical expertise! Where are you located? Are there high level jobs available in your target area?

Jimmy Clark
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 16, 2008
Posts: 2187
"For the last 5 years I have been running a mobile/telecom space consultancy startup. [...] Last month I decided to call it a day."


Instead of "Founder", you might want to consider using "Principal".

However, if you were the "founder" of the organization, and you abruptly decided to "call it a day." This may create the perception that you were not successful, failed as a business operator, or some other negative interpretation. You should be prepared for this.

For applications for low-level positions, you can use "Principal/Project Manager", "Principal/Business Analyst", etc.

If I mention something like “Project Manager” then at some point in time, especially when they conduct background checks, I will have to come out with the truth which again will put me in a difficult situation.


You are not being dishonest here, or at least it does not seem to be the case. It looks like your imagination is running a bit wild and you should keep it in check...unless the falsehood lies in what you are presenting and you are a bit paranoid.

Danish Shaukat
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 16, 1999
Posts: 340
Jayesh A Lalwani wrote:IMO, if you think that your qualifications make you over-qualified for the jobs that you are seeking, you might be aiming too low Have you tried applying for positions like Director of Engineering at startups? I am sure there have to be some who are looking for people with your kind of experience. Have you tried expanding your search outside of telecom space? You must have learnt a lot of soft skills that can translate out of your core area of technical expertise! Where are you located? Are there high level jobs available in your target area?



I will have to admit that I am not aiming too high

I am in Pakistan. Most of the tech firms here are service based companies with employee strength of 15 to 25 people. There are lots of openings for people with 1 to 3 years of experience. Anyone who has plus 5 years of experience becomes over qualified and unaffordable for these companies. So most senior people either set up their own startups, get in to academia, leave country or leave IT sector.

This is the real reason why I am shying away from using the the word Founder if I am applying for a job in Pakistan.

If I am applying abroad then ofcourse I should not hesitate to use Founder.

Danish Shaukat
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 16, 1999
Posts: 340
Jimmy Clark wrote:
However, if you were the "founder" of the organization, and you abruptly decided to "call it a day." This may create the perception that you were not successful, failed as a business operator, or some other negative interpretation. You should be prepared for this.



I did not abruptly call it a day. There is always a combination of factors at work and you decide it is better to move on to something else or perhaps explore better opportunities. The fact that I am in Pakistan says a lot. I live in a region that is highly unstable. The economy is pretty much dead. My startup served its purpose and served it well. If I want I can probably revive it but this is not what I want to do any longer.
Jayesh A Lalwani
Bartender

Joined: Jan 17, 2008
Posts: 2409
    
  28

Danish Shaukat wrote:

I am in Pakistan. Most of the tech firms here are service based companies with employee strength of 15 to 25 people. There are lots of openings for people with 1 to 3 years of experience. Anyone who has plus 5 years of experience becomes over qualified and unaffordable for these companies. So most senior people either set up their own startups, get in to academia, leave country or leave IT sector.


Yeah, we have a office in Karachi too, and it's hard to find senior people there. Like you said, most people leave the job market one way or the other. This was kind of what was happening in India about 5 years ago. I suspect the job market in Karachi would take about that long to mature, barring any political problems.

One of the problems is because there is a cultural expectation that someone who has been in the industry for a certain amount of time would leave the country, anyone who doesn't leave automatically gets a black mark against them.

Have you tried reaching out to your network? It seems to me that a lot of hiring in our Karachi office happens through social networking. Almost everyone we interview happens to be referred by an employee. In your case, it would be easier for you to explain your situation to a prospective employer, if the message is coming from someone they know and trust
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: Job Title Dilemma