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I currently am a programmer in job title and largely what I do. However, I am applying for UX/UI/ect Design (and front end development) positions. My current skills are important for the positions I'm looking for, but "programmer" just sounds like a poor match.

I really don't want to come off as a programmer applying for a design job; I have design experience, I do front end design at my current job, I have an education background that supporting UX design. At the same time, I don't want to come off as a liar, saying I'm a UI Designer when my resume clearly states my current title is Programmer at Such A Company.

Which title do I chose for my elevator pitch? The position I want, the position I have, or something in between that applies to both?

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Use your title as anyone doing a reference check may throw you out if it doesn't match what the reference check says. If you feel the title is too far off, add the realistic title of what you did in parentheses after the official title. Then explain why you did that in the cover letter.

What you want to do is make sure the description of the job includes the information about what design tasks you performed.

  • To piggyback off this question, in your Experience section, do you list bullets that are relevant to what you want to switch to alongside bullets highlighting your current position? – user7402 Jan 29 '13 at 4:48
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Use your current job/role title on your resume

..but clearly describe the transferable skills you are looking to take forward. Some recruiters will see inaccuracy/exaggeration on your resume as indicative of other problems and reject you. It may not be the prospective employer who does this - it is common to use a third party agency to do routine background checks.

In some territories it can be construed as fraud to embellish your resume, so keep it truthful.

Your cover letter and/or objective statement should describe that you're looking to move across roles.

If you are moving companies, it may be easier to apply for the same role as you're currently doing and then transfer internally when you get there.

  • 1
    +1 For a lot of employers honesty beats exaggeration anyday as they're hearing a lot of bs from others. – Michael Durrant Apr 18 '12 at 22:09
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I always try to customize my resume for the position I am looking for.

The person looking to fill the job I want does not care about the skills I have that are not important to it. Always try to emphasize what is important to the position you are applying for.

List any skills you used in your former position(s) that is being sought in the new position.

You can use the title that you have. Most employers realize that titles are just that. They look at the skill sets that were important to the position.

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