Big Headache in Resume Writing – What to Do If My Job Title Doesn’t Reflect My Actual Responsibility

One of the biggest challenges in resume writing is making sure you get full credit for job responsibilities that go above and beyond your job title. You might have been in this situation. Read on…

Resume Writing: Have you ever been in this situation when job hunting?

Linda holds the position of Office Manager in a small company. Her job encompasses all of the typical duties of her job title. She also has many other responsibilities, such as working with her employer to set policies, communicating with freelance contractors on marketing materials, working with vendors and shipping companies, and following up on sales leads from trade shows. Her job title clearly doesn’t cover all of these job responsibilities.

Now that Linda is looking for a new job, several potential employers have questioned the differences between her job title and the position she holds in the company in terms of responsibilities. One or two have even wondered if she has exaggerated in her resume writing.

Another challenge when looking for a job is the situation where your job title is specific to your current job and company and is not generally understood outside of your company. This may lead to confusion about the nature of your job experience and responsibility.

Both of these situations cause challenges in resume writing, since they represent difficulties in correctly portraying your level of professional experience.   This can be a tough problem if you are committed to remaining truthful in your resume about your job title.   Unless you want to risk having your potential employer think you have lied on your resume, then remaining truthful is the best way to go. Therefore, you are faced with the decision of how to portray your job on your resume. Should you change your job title to better represent the job you actually do, or should you list your actual title and then try to explain what your responsibilities are? Let’s look at both options more closely.

Resume Writing: Upgrading your job title

Let’s first examine the option of changing your job title when writing your resume. If your title is unique or specific to your employer, look for an equivalent title that is well-known and accepted in your industry. As an example, say you provide customer support for a specific product or service, and your title reflects the name of the product or service. Try changing your job title to Product Support Specialist or Customer Support Representative in your resume.

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Here is one note of caution in your resume writing. Don’t give yourself a promotion by changing your job title. Making it sound like you have more responsibility or authority or a much higher salary is dishonest and can destroy your credibility with a potential employer.

Resume Writing: Providing more detail about job responsibilities

The second option for handling the problem of your job title implying less responsibility than you actually have is to include your current job title but to also augment it with more information. For example, if you are a Customer Support Representative but also are responsible for new employee training, list your job title as Customer Support Representative / Trainer. After you list the job title, provide a strong description of your actual responsibilities, listed in order of priority and relevance.

This second option is more honest because you are only adding to your job title to add more information about your actual job responsibilities. If an interviewer were to run a background check or call one of your references, you wouldn’t have to worry about misrepresentation of your job title. Your credibility will not come into question.

Resume Writing: The Final Tip – Be Honest

One of the most important tips in resume writing is to keep your resume truthful. Present yourself honestly, focus on your strengths and positive traits, and you will have a winning resume that you can be proud of.

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From the Desk of Damen Choy.
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