From time to time, I conduct leadership and professional development training sessions for various organizations.
About six months ago, I was delivering a seminar and got a little peeved when a very vocal participant arrived one hour late and proceeded to take over the session. You know the kind, asking unrelated questions and interrupting the flow of the session and drawing unnecessary attention to himself (smile)
Now, whenever I meet someone who goes out of his/her way to get attention – I get curious – I want to know the person’s story, check out his/her career background or professional resume and learn the real deal. Well, I decided to do a Google search on my participant to find out more about him and well, let’s just say that there was a great disparity between his real and perceived job titles.
Let’s be honest for a moment, which of these job titles sound more impressive on a resume and grab your attention right away?
Chief, Recruitment Services vs HR Training Manager
Senior Sales Representative vs Regional Sales Director
Project Manager vs Marketing Associate
In most cases, a more “impressive” job title on a resume usually means you have high-level responsibilities and leadership contributions – nothing wrong with that, right? The issue I am bringing to your attention today is the case of using exaggerated, misleading job titles on your resume when conducting an executive job search.
If you are calling yourself a Director or Senior Manager on your resume, but you really line or lower-level responsibilities, sooner or later your deception gets exposed – and employers and recruiters will not find your strategy amusing.
I recognize that there are times when your job title on your resume does not accurately reflect your tasks. For example, your job title is Business Development Coordinator, but you actually oversee a team of employees and have managerial responsibilities. However, the best approach for communicating your role without inflating your job title on your resume is as follows:
Business Development Coordinator (equivalent to Regional Manager)
Business Development Coordinator, American Tech Systems
– Hold managerial-level responsibilities with complete oversight and supervision of ten sales representatives in the Southwest Florida region.
Either way, you get your message across without creating a puffed up job title…do you have an unusual job title that you have trouble communicating on your resume?