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I'm a studying in UK and I have taken last year on my sandwich course to work doing a placement. I went through a programme for students to find my placement, which name I won't disclose, but lets call it "ABC". My problem is this - on the role description that I was given before accepting this placement the job title states "ABC", which doesn't describe what I was actually doing. My actual job was developing a web application and that's what I say whenever someone asks me what do I do for a living. Unfortunately the job title went on from that point forward and even my contract states the same.

Now the placement is almost over and I should be getting my resume ready for future employment and I'm not sure what I should put in my job history. Perfectly I'd like to use "Web Applications Developer (placement) at ", but would that be a lie?

marked as duplicate by Adam V, gnat, IDrinkandIKnowThings, jcmeloni, Jan Doggen Sep 5 '14 at 14:39

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Have to disagree with @Joe here :-)

Your job title is there for two reasons.

  1. To tell the person reading the CV what you did.
  2. To make it slightly easier when checking your references.

Your "official" job title is really only relevant inside your employer. If I put down on my CV that I was a "Grade 7 Product Manager - SPMI" no one outside of one specific employer would understand what it meant.

Instead, I put something similar to "Mobile Website Manager". That way, the person reading the CV knows not to skip over the description of what I did.

The only (minor) downside is that when an employer asks your previous employer for a reference, they may come back saying "Alice was employed as an ABC between date X and date Y."

I've never had that be a problem. By and large, the UK web industry isn't very bureaucratic. A minor discrepancy over a job title isn't going to cause any problems.

That being said....

  • If your current job title is "Janitor" and you put down "Head of IT" - yeah, you're likely to be caught out on that!
  • If you work in a specific profession which places a great deal of weight on titles (Dr, Engineer, etc) or which has a legally defined meaning (CEO, Director, etc) then you shouldn't change your title.

But for web development? No one cares about titles - they care about skill, experience, and potential.

In your specific instance, I'd say something like "Intern Web Developer" or "Web Developer - Placement Year (ABC)"

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I'm not sure what I should put in my job history. Perfectly I'd like to use "Web Applications Developer (placement) at ", but would that be a lie?

Since "Web Applications Developer" was not actually your title, then Yes - that would be a lie.

Think of it this way - if a potential employer were to call your current employer and ask if you held the title "Web Applications Developer" would you want them to say "No, kacpr didn't hold that title"?

However, your resume should include not only your title, but descriptive text indicating the work you actually performed. In there, you can indicate that you developed web applications.

Additionally, you will want to develop a Cover Letter specifically tailored to the specific job and company for which you are applying. In that letter, you can provide details of your work which will tell the potential employer what you did and not just what title you held.

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