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I have a somewhat random question for you today: it's the silliness of HR job titles. I have three titles at my job:
1) What HR says is my job based off of my "band" (aka promotion level) 2) What my business card says 3) What I actually do
1) So technically my title is "Senior Product Consultant". The "senior" part is me being promoted in January of this year. HR only has a set number of titles any position in marketing can have, and our product managers at my band level all have the same title, even though our roles couldn't be more different. Silly, yes?
2) My business card says "Marketing Consultant". Again, I am in no way a consultant, but due to our internal structure I can't use certain more established terms to describe my job. My job is actually a brand new role in a brand new organization ". .. ... ... OEM BD" if you like corporate acronyms. The "BD" part of our structure actually stands for business development, which is more of what I do.
3) My role is really a mix of business development and commercial marketing. I do some marketing research, but I mostly create and execute go to market plans for emerging OEM industries for my business. I am only tied to a certain family of products, and I've done a great job penetrating these markets through thought leadership activities, poster sessions, speaking at conferences, etc. I'm more solution/executive messaging oriented rather than product-focused. Most of my efforts are on trade shows, hospitality events, and creating leads for our sales teams. I own the relationship in most of the opportunities and see them through but sometimes "hand them off" to sales where appropriate. I help influence these OEMs to drive specifications for my company's products.
I initially put "Senior Business Developer, Emerging Vertical OEM Markets" on my resume to reflect 1) I got promoted in my business developer role this January with expanded roles/responsibilities and 2) to reflect what industries I support, being emerging vertical OEM markets (fuel cell, battery, solar, etc.). I am only 25 with four years of work experience, so I want to be careful not to sound too "puffed up" if that's the case.
These b schools will conduct background checks, and my company is very un-supportive of recommendations (not even allowed on LinkedIn). I don't want to cause alarm if my actual title (and very hilariously incorrect, since I don't consult on products) doesn't reflect what I put on my resume. Should I go with option 1, 2, or 3? With Harvard I went with option 1 to be safe but am unsure if that was the best move. Do AdComs know this or is this silliness my gigantic firm? It feels like a global box of about 30 non-senior positions that they force all 400,000+ employees to fit in.
So this is definitely an interesting question - thank you for it! It's nice to see something off the beaten path. There's no right answer and others may provide differing viewpoints but here is what I would suggest. Choose the title that most accurately your position and role for the resume and application. Then, in your optional essay, write in fewer words what you just told us. It's definitely going to have to be explained well - otherwise it'll seem you're justifying a lie. But you're not - you're merely trying to be as accurate as possible.
So many familiar terms! I have a feeling I know which company this is!
If it is the giant Technology company, I agree with CriticalSquare MBA to use a descriptor of your role as your title! I performed a similar role to yours during a secondment and also didn't have a title...so I made it up. I based it on what my team did and made it sound fancy - "Strategic Offerings Manager". Essentially, you bridge the gap between marketing and product management, right?
I can empathize. The whole thing is frustrating, especially because we want to convey our position as lucidly as possible, but the most clear choice may be unethical according to some. Some applications do us a favor by explicitly asking the HR position (Duke, Wharton etc.). For others, I'm just going with my role and not the HR title. My team doesn't really fit in the standard title scale HR uses and the position name itself offers absolutely no information of what I do.
I was a bit lucky that I could talk to the HR of my firm before doing this and they mentioned they will be willing to clarify if needed. I feel sorry for someone who doesn't have an option to do that. And I agree that optional essay is the place to talk about it.
Check out this awesome article about Anderson on Poets Quants, http://poetsandquants.com/2015/01/02/uclas-anderson-school-morphs-into-a-friendly-tech-hub/ . Anderson is a great place! Sorry for the lack of updates recently. I...