My job title at my current place of work is 'Robot Programmer', but the work I do is much closer to 'Software Developer'. In my industry (automotive), a robot programmer is someone with a specialized skillset for on-the-spot debug and path optimizations. While I have done those duties as needed, the bulk of my time (and the bulk of my value to the company) has been in the development of a standardized program library for implementing a new technology.
When I started working at this company almost 5 years ago, I recognized that my title did not match my duties, but when I attempted to have the situation remedied, I was informed that the position I was filling did not exist at my company. Since I was happy doing the work they gave me, and horrendously under qualified on paper for that work, I let it be (BA Economics, no experience infield).
Just recently, I've been looking for a job doing the same work I'm doing now, but in a different area (I have to move for my wife's career, since she's finishing medschool). The problem I'm finding again and again is that I'm being turned down for a job doing the same thing I'm doing now, because a) I didn't go to school for it and b) I have 'no relevant experience' due to my job title not matching my duties. I was hoping that references saying I can do what I claim would be sufficient, but I never even make it to that stage.
If anyone has experienced difficulties similar to this, what is my next course of action (if any)?