The Job Title Section of Your Resume
The Job Title Section of Your Resume is the most important part of your resume, yet most of the resumes we see don't have one. We tell you how to use the Job Title section to your advantage, so that your resume will get the attention of the hiring manager.
2. The Job Title Section
This section must match the position you are looking for.
Immediately below your contact information you have to tell the hiring manager what type of position you are looking for. You do this with the Job Title.
Here are some examples of Job Titles:
- Marketing Manager
- Assistant Librarian
- Vice President of Sales
- Project Manager
- Head Nurse
- Web Developer
- Horse Trainer
The Job Title is your target position
If your target position lines up with what the hiring manager is looking for, hurrah! That’s good news for you. It tells the hiring manager if you are a good fit. The hiring manager then continues to read. He may even get excited that he has finally found you.
However, if the Job Title you show in this section is not in line with what the hiring manager is looking for, he moves on to the next resume.
What do you put as your Job Title?
For many people, the Job Title on their resume is the same Job Title from their last job. If your last position was Director of Software Development, then this is most likely the Job Title you want to use.
But, if you are seeking a new position, then you should use that Job Title on your resume.
Look at your latest resume now. Is there a Job Title?
At CareerPlanner.com we see many resumes without a Job Title listed near the top. It’s as if the person is expecting the hiring manager to guess what kind of job they are looking for. We’ve seen many people; smart, highly educated people, make this big mistake.
Why don’t people list a Job Title?
The most common reason people don’t list their desired Job Title is they are afraid to limit their options. What if you ask for a Strategic Marketing Manager job, but there is an opening for Product Marketing Manager, or a Vice President position? Won’t you be excluded or overlooked? Will they still call you?
What if the position you specify in the Job Title section is higher than the position they have an opening for? For example, you specify Director of Marketing, but the only position they have open is one level lower – Marketing Manager.
Yes, you do run a risk by specifying your Job Title
However, the risk is much greater if your Job Title section is empty. Most likely the hiring manager ignores your resume.
You have to trust the hiring manager is smart enough to know that someone who has been a Director of Marketing could probably be promoted to work as a Vice President of Marketing, or the opposite. Perhaps a Director would be willing to work as a Manager.
If the hiring manager is not smart enough and open minded enough to understand this, then perhaps you don’t want to work for them anyway.
What job do you want?
The other reason people don’t show a Job Title on their resume is because they are not sure what job they want. But when I hire someone, I want someone who is really good at what they do. Someone who is really passionate about their work. I don’t want to hire someone who is unsure about what work they want to do.
You must have a Job Title
The Job Title should be customized for each position you apply for. Keep in mind, the rest of your resume needs to support your Job Title. Your resume acts as proof you can perform the work encompassed by the Job Title.
Exceptions: Multiple Job Titles and General Job Titles
There are some cases where you can list more than one Job Title. Or you can use a Job Title that is more general and less specific.
- Human Resource Manager / Human Resource Generalist
- Software & Applications Developer / Web Programmer
- Senior Management Executive / CEO, COO
- Vice President of Marketing / Director of Marketing
- Senior Executive – International Business Development
- Pharmaceuticals Sales and Marketing
Usually you would do this when:
- You are willing to take a lower level position than your last position. i.e. perhaps you were a CEO, but would move one step lower to COO.
- The type of work you do easily spans two different but related fields i.e. Sales and Marketing.
The rule is if the type of work is similar, show both job titles.
Also, if the management levels are not too far apart, show two levels. It’s critical that there is a close relationship between the multiple job titles, otherwise you come across as unfocused and not sure what you want to do.
For example, I would not show this:
- Bank Manager / Real Estate Agent
These two job titles are closely related by money, loans etc. However, you are not telling the hiring manager what you want to do. Do you want to sell real estate or manage a bank?
I would not show this either:
- Customer Service Manager / Sales Manager
Obviously, customer service people work closely with sales people, but which one do you really want to do? The type of work is very different.
"How To Write The Perfect Resume, A Resume Writing Guide, Complete With Resume Templates" Page Number 20-21
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