Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

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Be Clear About Last Job's Duties

Q.I wonder what I should do about titles when I'm writing my resume. For some reason I've had a series of jobs that had no real responsibilities, but they sure sounded important. I was a manager of this, a manager of that, but as far as I could see I was manager of nothing. Everyone bossed me around and that's why I'm looking for a new job. How do I explain that on resumes and in interviews?

Ans. Titles are peculiar things-often peculiar to each individual company. Some offices give titles instead of money, and you can be a manager, producer, director or any number of things with no real responsibility, as you found. In Colleen Alyward's book, From Bedlam to Boardroom, she explains that the CFO title can mean simply the company bookkeeper.  So don't assume a hiring manager knows where your title puts you. Alyward suggests you tell the interviewer what you DID on that job. It saves everyone time and miscommunication.

Name-Dropper or Network-Builder?

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