Your job title should be both descriptive and specific
Apart from your name, your job title is really the first thing prospective employers or clients learn about you. In fact, it’s the reason they contacted you in the first place. So it’s no surprise that your job title should be one of your main marketing tools. Use descriptive language and be specific about how your role sets you apart. For example, if you work in online sales, add words such as ‘web’ or ‘online’ to your job title. If you specialise in a particular niche within your industry, make sure that’s obvious.
Research, research, research
When looking for your new, all-star job title, it’s important to do some background research. Recruitment or job comparison sites are great tools for this as they let you see how other people in your industry are marketing themselves. Take into account the pay grades and the language used. Although it is becoming more common for people to use uncommon, or downright unprofessional language when describing their position, it won’t necessarily get them hired. Toe the line between descriptive enthusiasm and professional.
Be respectful, yet different
In a competitive job market, it’s important to make sure your job title works best for you. This usually means it should set you apart from other competitors. However, if you work within a company or corporation, it’s important to be respectful of other people’s positions. If you share the same responsibilities as someone, don’t rejig their title just to seem different.
Be aware of the hierarchy
Every industry and even every company will have potentially different terminology and a different approach to the internal hierarchy. Be aware of your current position within the industry/company; your past experience and your current responsibilities. If your experience calls for it, it’s important to attach a modifier to your job title in order to let others know of your level of seniority. From ‘assistant’ to ‘principal’ to ‘senior’, adding these modifiers to your job title can give the recipient an idea of your level of expertise without having to look at your resume. Be aware of general industry or company guidelines and be honest.
Test out your new job title
Before printing it on your resume or adding it to your online profile, make sure to take your new job title out for a road test first. In a bid to be different, we sometimes overreach and end up at ambiguous. Find a trusted colleague or fellow industry worker and test out your new job title on them. If they love it, fantastic. If they’re confused, it might be time to tweak it before you let it loose on the world.
Job titles are tied into the pride we feel in our job, so don’t underestimate the power they can have on your own motivation to work. You don’t always need a new job to make the difference, just a new job title.