Job Search Checklist #14: Job Titles

Dec 4 2012 in Featured, Job Search Strategy, reCareered Blog by Phil Rosenberg

best career advice, best job search information, career advice, job search information, job search advice, job search help, job search tips, career information, career help, career tips, career info, job search info

Different companies may use very different titles to describe similar positions.

Your job title is part of the way you brand yourself. After your audience reads what’s at the top of your resume, your recent job titles are the next thing reviewed.

Some companies use unique titles that no other companies use. Some companies title all managers as Vice Presidents, while others title most managers as senior analysts.

This can make it difficult when looking for a new position that isn’t a lateral move with a similar title.

If you’re looking for the same job as your most recent position, your job titles won’t be much of an issue.

But what do you do when your most recent title doesn’t reflect the aspects of your job that you want to highlight?

How can you show hiring managers that you’re qualified for the job you seek, when you had completely different job titles in your work history?

3 ways to have your job titles help you get a different job:

  1. Don’t Lie: Title is one of the things that HR confirms during reference checks. If you lie about your title, or list a title that relates to your job function rather than your official title, HR will confirm a different title. You’ll appear to be lying on your resume, which is enough to get you rejected from most opportunities. In addition, you need to make sure that your official title is listed because it needs to match your social media profile – if your title doesn’t match (or at least include your title from social media), you’ll appear to HR pre-screeners that you’re lying on your resume. Finally, later in your career, it might come out that you lied on your resume about titles, if you list something other than your official title – 2 CEOs publicly lost their jobs due to lies on their resumes.
  2. Power Of Parentheses: Some of your most recent job responsibilities include functions that qualify you for the job you really want, even if your title looks very different. If this applies to you, use the power of parentheses.
  3. For example, if you’re a finance manager that’s also responsible for analyzing (or developing) sales reports, profitability reports, margin reports, or product reports, those are also marketing functions. So if you’re trying to get into a marketing position, when your recent background was in finance, list your title as Finance Manager (also managed Marketing functions). If you are a marketing manager who wants a job in social media, list your title as Marketing Manager (Social Media Manager). In this way, your actual title is listed, so it can be confirmed by HR (and social media), but you also list the functions that qualify you for the job in parentheses.

  4. Ignore Detail That You Don’t Want To Highlight: You don’t have to include everything you’ve ever done on your resume. When you’re applying for a job that’s different than your last position, focus on the information that’s relevant to the new position and leave out information that’s not relevant to the position you’re applying for. Your resume isn’t a diary, a time sheet nor a listing of everything you’ve ever done.

You don’t have to lie about your job titles and you don’t want to mislead your reader – Lies on your resume can easily backfire on you.

You have a choice in how you present yourself to hiring managers. You can present yourself listing just your formal title, or you can revise it to include the portion of your job that’s relevant to the hiring manager’s needs.


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Author: Phil Rosenberg

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