My job title doesn't accurately reflect the work I do. I'm thinking about changing it on my résumé; not inflating it at all just making it more accurate.

How do one of these automatic readers or an online form score job titles typically?

For example my position is Graphic Designer. The position I want is Marketing Coordinator. As Graphic Designer I do 100% of our marketing, communications and copywriting in addition to all of my design duties, also because of the nature of our business I am often doing marketing for our clients as well.

I basically function as a one-man advertising firm within a larger company (publishing company). We don't have a marketing person; it is all me. If I change my title to something like Graphics and Marketing Coordinator or Graphic Designer / Marketing Coordinator will it significantly benefit me in trying to get through an online form? The rest of my résumé will be the same either way.


2 Answers 2


I have solved this problem in the past this way:

ADP installer (Database Developer)

Then in the cover letter I noted that the parenthetical title was what I actually did and the other was my official title. (Why was I an ADP installer when I was really a developer, it had to to do with jobs available in a government contract they expanded the work but the contract only had a particular set of jobs that were officially contracted for.)

  • +1 for briefly and parenthetically stating real job function(s) if the actual title does not match. It might mess with automated resume parsing tools but most jobs are obtained via a lead from a human contact, so if you know a skilled human is going to read it "as-is" it is good to use a little nuance.
    – Angelo
    Nov 30, 2012 at 13:51

Putting aside the question about automated tools, there are major potential downsides to changing the title on your resume. When the potential employer does a background check, they are generally going to call up the prior company's HR department and ask "Can you confirm that Ryan worked as a <<title>> from <<start date>> to <<end date>>?". If the HR department looks in their records and replies that they show a different title, that can be a red flag that could be perceived as lying on your resume. Now, maybe HR will just pay attention to the first part of the title when they're doing the background check and maybe it won't raise any issues, but I wouldn't take the chance.

Realistically, I would expect that the automated tools will care much less about the job title than human interviewers will. Automated tools are generally doing things like keyword searches so it doesn't really matter to them whether a keyword is in your description of the job or in the job title or somewhere else.

While humans are likely to read your resume very quickly, it's unlikely that they'll disqualify you immediately after reading the job description. If the description of the job is very different from the actual job details, you'll want to ensure that the first sentence of your job description makes that very clear. If you do that, you're likely to keep the human's interest and have the potential to explain the amusing story of how you came to handle all the marketing from your position as a graphics designer in an interview.

  • How might you put that as a first sentence?
    – Ryan
    Nov 29, 2012 at 19:32
  • Oh and the company I'm working for currently also does not have a Human Resources department.
    – Ryan
    Nov 29, 2012 at 19:36
  • @Ryan - Just talk about your marketing responsibilities. "Responsible for developing strategy and materials for marketing campaigns with a budget of X" or something like that depending on exactly what you did. If you can talk about results rather than budgets, so much the better. Nov 29, 2012 at 19:36
  • @Ryan - The background check will call someone at the publishing company that would be responsible for doing things like verifying employment. There is a good chance the call won't go to someone that knows you personally and doesn't know whether you chose a title that better reflected your actual job duties or whether you inflated your title. Nov 29, 2012 at 19:39
  • Justin, the entire company is only 7 people. 2 acct mgr, the operations mgr, office mgr, myself and 2 part-time clerks. And I'm already called different things like the Acct Managers usually tell clients I'm the Head of the Art Department
    – Ryan
    Nov 29, 2012 at 19:41

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