Just a quick word to the wise this week. CV writing is difficult, now I’m not pretending to be an expert on the subject, and I am most certainly not the messiah of CV formatting etc. But there is one particular hint that all in sundry could benefit from. It is a mistake that people regardless of industry, qualification, experience or age have made time and time again. Changing the title given to a position that you have held on your resume.
Recruitment Consultants and HR managers worth their salt recognise, that particularly within a smaller organisational environment, a given job title might not cover the full scope of what you actually did within the course of a role. In another life I held an administrator position which included hands on first aid, culinary aspects, dance choreographic work, creating newsletter content and a whole lot more. Stating Administrator and just a timeframe would not have begun to cover the scope of that position.
So, what do you do when your job title means nothing? Or perhaps it is just that it does not accurately reflect what it is that you have been doing within the course of your role? Don’t be tempted as many are to change the job title to one you think more accurately portrays your input. Keep the title, it will make you look bad when we call a reference for clarification and they call you out on it. Instead write a brief description of what this position actually entailed. By all means feel free to write that even though your title may suggest this, in actual fact your responsibilities were more along these lines… This way you get to have your say without putting yourself in a vulnerable position. Win – win.
Doing this takes you out of the leagues of people who try to big up their experience by changing the title of a role given. If we call an ex-manager asking for a reference and tell them that you have said they effectively did their role for them, unless they are a truly humble person and this is in fact the case, all that will happen is this will rub them up the wrong way. And they will give you a bad reference as comeuppance. Congratulations, you look like an idiot!
Like a great wise man once said, “Honesty is the best policy.” Although if you have covered more than a title would suggest, do yourself a favour and add this, without the overindulgence.
Happy Job Hunting!