Ask a Recruiter: Should I ever change a job title on my resume?
by LaTasha Waggoner
Envision you’re about to submit your resume to a job you’re excited about; hoping for a call back as soon as possible. You think to you’re totally qualified. Under your most recent job, you very proudly list your official job title as “Triple Sapphire” because you know the worth behind the name. Before clicking ‘submit,’ ask yourself this question, “Will the person reviewing my resume understand what position I held at this job?”
The answer is no.
Recruiters and hiring managers usually don’t have a lot of time to initially review a resume. Unique or confusing job titles can easily get your resume overlooked. In the case of the resume above there were no job responsibilities or achievements listed. As it turns out, after I spoke to this person on the phone, I realized they were a great fit for this job. However, it wasn’t clear from the resume, and it nearly cost them.
From a recruiter’s perspective, while it would be nice to personally interview each and every candidate who applies for a job (sometimes there can be hundreds), I often have to narrow down applicants based on their resumes. Especially if our company or client is looking to hire someone quickly.
Additionally, when searching for resumes posted on job boards, recruiters use key words and specific job titles to find the candidates we call. If your job title is “Happiness Engineer” and we’re searching for a Product Support Specialist, chances are you won’t show up.
So, here’s a solution. A very accomplished individual that allowed me to job shadow for a graduate school assignment gave me this advice; if you do a job that doesn’t match up with your title, change the title on your resume to better fit what you really did at that position.
Now, some people may think this is lying and I understand. However, a resume is your chance to stand out and market yourself in the best possible way. You should never change your title to something that is misleading or doesn’t truly convey what you do. For example, don’t change your title from Associate to Manager. Even if you’re really good at being in charge. This only works if the title you’ve given yourself matches the job responsibilities you do on a day-to-day basis.
If you change your job title on your resume, you must remember to disclose your official title during the hiring or interviewing process. There are two major reasons for this:
- You don’t want to lie.
- When the job does an employment verification, you don’t want Becky from HR that you’ve never met to say “No, that’s not accurate it says here Tina was just an associate,” which brings us back to point number one.
Now, if you want a career in customer service and your last job’s title is “Sandwich Artist,” it’s okay to change that to Customer Service Representative.