I am often asked by candidates how they should write a CV so that it gets noticed straight away by a recruiter, and the answer is not always that straight forward. Similar to my post last week about Industry Sectors which you can read here, Job Titles are another topic which can determine whether the reader decides to read on through your CV or just stops at that point. I often find that when reading CVs / Resumes, the job title people decide to use is either written in very generic terms, or it is so specific to the company they work for, that no one outside the business can really make sense of it.
So when writing your CV, should you change your Job Title to make it appeal to a wider audience ? I think you definately should, particularly if it is not immediately obvious to an outsider what you do. Your CV is a selling tool after all, and it needs to be easy to understand and comprehensive at the same time. Personally, if your CV is full or jargon, acronyms and is not very engaging, there is plenty of others I could be reading instead. I dont believe it is lying either – you are merely trying to make it easy for someone to understand you, someone who does not work in your company.
Here are two real examples of people I know personally. When they sent me their CV, on first glance I had no idea what their job title meant:
- Job Title on CV: ‘Project Saturn Leader’ – their role is actually a SAP Implementer for a Global IT business
- Job Title on CV: ‘SBT Analyst’ – they are actually a Finance Analyst and work in a division (called SBT) of a blue-chip Facilities Management business
Whilst they were right to copy the job title from the job description onto their CV, unless anyone reading the CV knows the company in question, how would they know what the job title means. I didn’t know, so I suggested that they change it to something more meaningful to the outside world.
Of course, any recruiter or employer should be more interested in the content of your job rather than your job title, but it is one of those parts of your CV that people glance at immediately after reading the company name. If you feel the job title you have been given does not represent the content of the job very well, then I personally think it is OK to change it. Weird and wonderful job titles like those above do not really help you engage with the reader – you want to give them reasons to bring you in for an interview, rather than reject you !
Leslie has over 15 years Recruitment experience helping blue-chip corporates to SME businesses recruit for their Finance teams. As one of the founding Directors of McGinnis Loy, a Specialist HR and Finance Recruiter across the Thames Valley and London, he is still actively recruiting in the marketplace today. Follow his helpful tweets @McGinnisLoy
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