The use of appropriate job titles or skill headings is a crucial part of the “cv” or resume. These titles or headings are one of the major factors in your image projection to the employer. It is crucial therefore that you know and understand the impact that job titles can have on employers. Most of the time employers are not interested in job titles, since job titles can have little meaning. But employers are interested in the skills you have to offer. And your job titles may or may not project these skills. Your job title in the work place often does not represent all of the tasks that you actually perform, and hence can be misleading and it may undersell you.

List all your job titles on a piece of paper. Then see whether the image that is projected by those titles is a strong one or a weak one in relation to the job you are seeking. If it is weak and would not present you as a strong candidate, then you need to readjust the titles, or use “skill headings” instead.

Skill heading

What is a skill heading? A skill heading represents a collection of experiences across different jobs on account of which you have acquired the particular core skill in question. Examples of skill headings include personnel management, branch management, accounts management, community liasion, technical support, administrative support, office administration etc. Note that these are different to job titles

Skill headings give you greater flexibility in marketing the variety of different skills you possess, and they can also portray a much stronger image. To illustrate compare the job titles to the skill headings in the examples below:

Job title Skill heading
Clerical Assistant Office Administration
Receptionist Departmental Reception
Salesperson Business Development

As you can see, the use of skill headings can significantly alter your image, and you can avoid the weak image portrayed by your assigned job titles. As you will be more than aware, you generally perform a much wider range of tasks and have more responsibilities than your job titles may suggest. Using skill headings allows you to move away from the insignificance that job titles sometimes hold.