Listing Job Titles on Resumes
A job title is a simple description that refers to the responsibilities of a job and the level of the position. An accurate job title is important because it describes what you do and shows how you’re progressing up the career ladder in your field. Read on to learn how to list your current and previous job titles on your resume and how to use job titles in your search.
Using the correct job title on your resume and during job interviews is essential.
You can’t just make up any term you want for your job description because it may not be accurate or mean anything to an interviewer. In addition, job titles can be useful tools you can use to search for jobs in your industry.
Listing Job Titles on Resumes
When you apply for a mid-career or upper-level job, employers review your resume to determine your career path and how that track fits with their needs. They want to see upward mobility.
For example, when an applicant has progressed from a software engineer to a senior developer to a chief technology officer, most likely with other jobs in between those, the hiring manager sees that the candidate has been promoted, changed jobs, or otherwise advanced during her career.
Your current job title not only reflects the jobs you've held, it also provides companies with information on your career level. For example, if your job title includes the words "supervisor" or "manager," it will indicate that you have management experience.
When you create your resume, you’ll need to list your current and previous jobs, the companies you worked for, and the dates you worked there. The job title is the first thing you see for each entry.
Here's an example of how to list a job title:
Carbarra Communications Inc.
- Manage media planning and event coordination for local and regional clients
- Coordinate with Media Affairs director on national campaigns
- Manage production of press releases, blog posts, media advisories, and newspaper articles to drive usage and adherence to brand
- Coordinate with creative services to produce appropriately branded materials needed for press conferences and meetings
Can You Change a Job Title on Your Resume?
When you create your resume, you may wonder if it’s acceptable to change the job title of a position that you held, or maybe you’re thinking about expanding the amount of time you held the job.
Technically you can change your job title, but it’s not a good idea. A resume is a synopsis of your employment and educational experience. It’s not a formal document on which you must attest that everything you have written is accurate, like a job application, but using alternative job titles could result in problems at some point.
The issue with changing your job title is that it won’t match your employment history. When prospective employers check your background or review your LinkedIn profile (and many do), it will be a red flag when titles or times at work don’t match what you have on your resume.
For example, if your resume says you worked as a process engineer, but your actual job title was junior process engineer, what you said isn't going to match what your employer says, and that's an issue. Details matter, and what you say about your work history needs to match what your previous employers say.
Using Job Titles in a Job Search
Depending upon where you are in your career, you may know exactly which job titles you qualify for so it’ll be easy enough to use job search engines such as Indeed.com. Use your current or desired job title as a keyword (a word from a job title or a related term), in the search bar and find a job that interests you.
For example, if you do a search using the term "editorial manager" you’ll get a list of editorial positions. If you click on Title and More to see a list of the following related jobs:
- Marketing Manager
- Social Media Manager
- Communications Manager
- Content Manager
- Project Manager
- Public Relations Manager
- Marketing Communications Manager
- Web Content Manager
- Social Media Coordinator
Job titles can also be helpful if you’re a career changer or not sure of all the positions that suit you. Start your search with a keyword then view the "People also searched" list of job titles related to your search term (you'll find them at the bottom of the page).