I would like to change my job title on my resume from something like "Business Analyst" to "Product Manager" (sorry cannot give exact details). All other details are correct - Name of organisation, duration, educational qualifications etc. All my experiences were gained abroad.

However, would changing my job title on my resume make me fail an employment background check for a bank in Canada?

Edit: For the background check, do they usually send another form to complete and would it be a good idea to correct it at that point?

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    Why would you want to put a different job title in the first place? – Noir Antares Nov 8 at 7:24
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    Possible duplicate of How to label inaccurate job titles on resume – Dukeling Nov 8 at 7:48
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    Because I have the skills and only received interview invites when my "job title" matched the roles I was looking for. When i put my actual job title X and applied for my dream roles in Y, i never got called for interviews. So I updated my resume and changed my job role from X to Y and applied for roles in Y. Would I fail a background check for a financial institution? – Aeduek Nov 8 at 7:50
  • Are you changing it from "janitor" to "bank manager"? – gnasher729 Nov 8 at 7:50
  • How does the fake job title relate to what you were / are actually doing in the job? Is it less or more accurate than your actual title (or the same)? – Dukeling Nov 8 at 7:57

It's from like Business Analyst to Project Manager

For this kind of change, this is a "No".

If you were changing the title from "Computer Programmer" to "Software Developer", then that's ok because you're not implying there's a change in role - you're simply updating the terminology to be more modern.

But in your example, you're changing your role to be something else. A Business Analyst is different to a Project Manager. Similar, but different. In my own business, we have people in both roles.

If you're changing your job title in your resume, expect that your prospective employer will find out about this when they seek your references. If you say you were a Project Manager and turn out not to have been one, then you can probably see where your application is going to go.

You can update/refine your role, but you shouldn't change it.

  • My case is a bit peculiar. I have had the new title for a few months while in the organisation but I am back to my old role. I built a rapport with my colleagues in my dream role during my short stay and they are happy to give me references since i did work there (well just for a period). My concern is my background check more than the references because I have my references in order. – Aeduek Nov 8 at 8:30
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    If you have actually held the role for some time, why not mention it separately on your resumé? – AsheraH Nov 8 at 9:44

However, would changing my job title on my resume make me fail an employment background check for a bank in Canada?

Depends on what "fail" means. (I don't think background checks are pass/fail.)

Imagine someone conducting the background check calls a reference and says "So Aeduek says they were a Product Manager at your organization?". And the reference says "Hmm, that's odd. I'm pretty sure they were a Business Analyst."

It wouldn't be much of a stretch to imagine that could be interpreted as a deliberate lie, and cause some concern.

Better to state your real title and use bullet points to describe the nature of the actual job so that it sounds more like a Product Manager if that's the way it actually was.

  • Or even say "Performed Project Manager function" followed by some project manager activities and achievements. – Patricia Shanahan Nov 8 at 14:27

I think this is ok.

Background checks are normally with HR, and normally confirm/deny your presence in the company, not your skills etc.

The background check form is also a different form - you have to fill it in separately, so you can list "business analyst" there if you like. Nobody ever really checks the results of these things (as long as it's all ok), and BA/PM are relatively similar titles anyway, as the skill sets required are similar.

Putting it in your resume as "PM" is fine, I'm assuming that in your work you actually did work that was PM related (ie you're just changing the title to reflect what you actually did to get past the various HR screens, as opposed to inventing work you did).

  • In my experience HR will typically confirm start date, end date and job title. So if your resume/CV says you were IT Partner when your actual role was Part-Time Book Keeper, questions might be asked. – Laconic Droid Nov 8 at 13:17
  • In the US and Canada at least, background checks for jobs in financial industries are taken more seriously than in some other industries, and many FIs have strict policies on background checks, which are enforced by government oversight. They're specifically looking for people who are apt to lie, or at least engage in deceptive behavior. It may be appropriate in some industries to stretch the truth of a job title, and in those cases HR may just want to confirm you actually worked at the employer, but I would absolutely not make up a title if I was applying for a job at a financial institution. – dwizum Nov 8 at 19:59

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