Your job titles are a valuable part of your resume. They tell the story of your career.

It seems simple enough, but they need to be written properly.

Well-written job titles allow hiring managers to immediately tell what your career has been, where it is now, and in what direction it’s headed.

And on the other hand, a sloppy job title can put off hiring managers and Applicant Tracking Systems.

That’s why it’s so important to write your job title correctly – and this post will help you do just that.

This article will provide valuable answers to your most pressing questions about writing job titles on your resume.


1. What Is a Job Title on a Resume?

A job title on a resume is an employee’s position within an organization, usually accompanied by a description of duties, responsibilities, and accomplishments.

The job title on your resume shows a general overview of your expertise, as well as your level of experience. 

It also shows what you bring to the company’s table and informs recruiters about what you do so they don’t have to make assumptions.

A few examples of job titles on a resume are Research Associate, Auditor, Account Manager, Executive Assistant, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), etc. 


2. Why Are Job Titles Important on Resumes?

While a job title won’t be regarded as the most vital item on your resume, it is nonetheless important.

Why?

Well, it helps recruiters have a general understanding of your level of experience and the kind of work you do.

Also, a well-written job title with appropriate keywords can give you an edge over other applicants.

This is because recruiters often use ATS software to search for resumes that have keywords relevant to the position they’re hiring for.

These relevant keywords are sometimes the title of the job. (No surprise there.)

So, if your job title is well written, it may be ATS friendly as well.


3. What’s the Difference Between a Job Title and Resume Title/Headline?

People often confuse their job title with their resume title/headline.

Job titles and headlines are not the same, for more reasons than one.

First of all, your job titles go in the experience section, while your headline is located at the top of your resume, right below the resume header (contact info).

Also, while your resume headline is a one-liner that sums up your career, your job titles describe your positions throughout your career.

Job Title on Resume vs Resume Headline

In addition, you can customize your resume title based on the kind of role you are targeting. But the job titles in your resume’s experience section are mostly unalterable.


4. How Do I Add Job Titles to My Resume?

The job titles on your resume are listed in…you guessed it…your work experience section.

When you put your job titles on your resume, you should add the title, the company name, company location, and the dates you held that position.  

After that, the job’s description will follow. 

Here’s an example of a job title on your resume:

Orange Printing – New York, NY, September 2019 – Present

Marketing Manager

Overview of responsibilities

Achievement

Achievement

You can find more examples on our resume sample page. Whichever format you choose to use, just keep it consistent throughout your resume.


5. How Do I Show a Job Title Change on My Resume?

If you’ve held multiple positions or have gotten a promotion at your job, your job position and duties may have changed.

You’ll need to update your resume to reflect the job titles you’ve had with that individual company.

There are three common ways to do this.


Stack Your Job Titles

You can use this form of entry if the scope of your duties does not change at all, but there is a change in the salary and the professional title.

All you need to do is note the company’s name and stack all your jobs’ titles in a single entry. You can then highlight your experience underneath it using paragraphs and bullet points.

Orange Printing – New York, NY, February 2018 – Present

Senior Marketing Manager, September 2019 – Present

Marketing Manager, February 2018 – September 2019

Overview of responsibilities

Achievement

Achievement


Separate Your Titles and Duties

You should use this method if your promotion requires you to take on different responsibilities within the same company.

You can list the company name once, but you should separate each individual job title and describe your experience under each title.

Orange Printing – New York, NY, February 2018 – Present

Marketing Manager, September 2019 – Present

Overview of responsibilities

Achievement

Achievement

Marketing Associate, February 2018 – September 2019

Overview of responsibilities

Achievement

Achievement


Add the Same Company Twice

There are occasions where you work for the same company more than once, often with you holding a higher position the second time.

For any company you’ve worked at more than once, just list your jobs like any other in the appropriate order.

Orange Printing – New York, NY

Senior Marketing Manager, September 2019 – Present

Overview of responsibilities

Achievement

Achievement

ABC Printing Co. – New York, NY

Marketing Manager, February 2018 – September 2019

Overview of responsibilities

Achievement

Achievement

Orange Printing – New York, NY

Marketing Manager, May 2015 – February 2018

Overview of responsibilities

Achievement

Achievement


6. Can I Change My Job Title on My Resume? 

The answer is usually no…with a bit of exception.

There are many employers who think that changing the job title on your resume is tantamount to lying.

They view it as dishonesty, a trait that will mar your chances of getting the job.

So, to be on the safe side, it’s advisable to not alter your job titles. 

Instead, use your resume headline, summary, and other resume sections to get closer to your target position.

On the other hand, some employers believe that tweaking the job title on your resume is allowed if the previous one does not accurately showcase your skills and duties.

They believe that you can change the job title on your resume as long as the change was made to draw attention to your skills and experience rather than for frivolous reasons (such as making it look like you have a higher salary or position).

To be safe, you can add a more recognized job title in parenthesis on your resume if needed:

Orange Printing – New York, NY

Head of Brands (Marketing Manager)

September 2019 – Present

Overview of responsibilities

Achievement

Achievement


7. Can You Lie About Job Titles on a Resume?

No, you cannot lie about your job titles on your resume.

Exaggerating the truth about your job title might backfire because recruiters almost always check in with your previous employers.

In the event that they can’t verify you because you listed a different job title on your resume, you might come off as a fraud and end up getting disqualified.

Keep in mind, however, that replacing some words from your job title with ATS compatible keywords found in the job posting that mean the same thing is mostly allowed.


8. Can I Put the Title of a Job That I Want on My Resume?

Putting the title of a job that you want on your resume is a good idea.

But, your desired job title does not go in your experience section.

Here are a couple of ways you can put the title of a job that you want on your resume:

  • Make your target job title your resume headline.
  • Include your target job title in your resume summary section.

You should ensure that the other sections of your resume also reflect that you have the needed skills and experience for your target job.


9. What Do I Put as a Job Title on My Resume When Unemployed?

Being unemployed doesn’t mean that the job title on your resume needs to reflect your unemployed status.

If you’re looking to properly write a job title on your resume when you’re unemployed, here’s what you should do…

Typically you can proceed as if there’s no gap at all.

You can list your last-held job title and company first, followed by the date, description, and the like. 

Then, list previous job titles in reverse-chronological order.

This strategy works best if the gap is only around a year or so. 

For career gaps longer than a year, you might have to use other resume strategies like using a combination resume or a functional resume that does not put as much emphasis on work history as a chronological resume does. 

Key Takeaways

Keep the following in mind when adding your job title to your resume:

  1. Your job titles are important information on your resume and are scanned by ATS.
  2. Your job titles belong in your experience section, and not always in your resume header.
  3. Do not lie about your job titles.
  4. You may need to get strategic if you have an unusual job title or are unemployed.

As important as your job title is, you should keep in mind that it’s not the only thing that makes up your resume.

So, as you’re putting a lot of effort into it, don’t forget to put the same level of effort into the rest of the resume!