Nov 30, 2016 1:30:38 PM / by Karen Relucio & Cassandra Czech
Job searching can be tricky, especially when you’re looking for a position that you’re passionate about. This is why most job hunters narrow their searches by a job title. However, be careful not to focus solely on the job title because doing so could actually limit your options. Instead, try searching by your skills to find a broader range of positions that could be a better fit. Here are reasons why job titles don’t matter as much anymore and what a position is really about:
1. It’s about your role and responsibilities.
Instead of focusing on the job title, think of a position in terms of the responsibilities associated with it. Companies care less about fancy job titles and more about what you’ve done. Compiling a job responsibilities list will help you highlight your main responsibilities and the specific skills you have. It’s better to evaluate your whole experience rather than relying on just your title. Despite what we may think, a title does not necessarily imply success. Instead, think about how your responsibilities contribute to success.
2. It’s about being cross-functional.
Too often employees stick to only doing work that reflects their job title, when it should be the opposite. Don’t limit yourself to your title, and don’t let your title limit you. Go above and beyond to excel in other areas as well. Be open to other training, achieving performance development goals, or seeking advancement opportunities. Employers look for candidates who have transferable skills. Completing your current employeer’s performance development goals will support your ability to develop new skills. Also it’s important to note that when creating your resume, titles don’t necessarily explain what you have accomplished. Employers are more interested in seeing how you achieved your goals rather than when you were awarded a new title.
3. It’s about your achievements.
When you’re searching for a job, research exactly what it takes to succeed in that position. Job titles don’t always align with prerequisites. Look at the skills and experience of other employees in that role and company, and see how yours compare. Take that information and map out a professional development plan. A career development plan example would be your short term goals, personal goals, and long term goals in measurable steps that ensure your overall success. It’s important to ask yourself if these goals could be accomplished in this new position.
4. It’s about your brand.
Make your own brand. Base it around your past experiences and achievements as well as your future goals. Your title only plays a small part in what your brand actually is – your brand is how you present yourself and how you carry that title. If you still feel your brand doesn’t align well with your job title, consider communicating your role’s function with a more creative job title. Ask yourself: how do you want others to see you? What brand are you projecting? How is your public reputation?
5. It’s also about impact.
Impact goes along with brand, but while brand is about image, impact goes deeper. Impact is your legacy and your influence within a company. According to Business Insider, people are judged by their impact. Employers like to know how you contributed in your past experiences. Did you make changes? Did you improve a process? When you’re job searching, make sure you highlight where you made a sizable impact.
6. It’s just a title.
Don’t get too caught up in the importance of a title, no matter how impressive it seems. A title may not hold much weight if your former job’s responsibilities don’t align well with the responsibilities of the position you’re applying for. For example, Director of Accounting might seem like an impressive job, but if that position consisted of managing a small company with only eight employees, those skills may not be immediately transferable to the same job title in a Fortune 500 company. In the eye of an interviewer not every title is created equally, so keep your expectations reasonable.
When seeking a new position think about what do employers look for in a resume. A job title means less than you think. Discover what transferable skills you have to bring to this new job. You are not limited on your job hunt based on your past titles. Highlight the skills you’ve cultivated that are associated with the new employment opportunity, and how they align with your long term goals and career development plan. Whenever you decide to pursue a change, focus on gaining new achievements, improving your brand, and leaving an impact. Remind yourself that a job title is just a title. It should never come at the cost of your long-term career goals.