Job application: What to do when job title doesn’t reflect your skills

It’s important to go for the interview with a few examples of past accomplishments. Net photo.

A job title is often used in the search criteria by job seekers and employers. It provides some general insight on a candidate’s level of experience in a particular field. But when a job title on your resume does not appropriately describe what you do, it can mean a lost opportunity.

What, however, do you do when the job title you hold does not exactly reflect your level of experience or the responsibilities you have with the position?


As tempting as it may be, Ritah Muhoza, an administrator warns against lying about your title on your application. Instead, offer clarification on your resume that emphasises your skills more than anything else. 


Don’t give away too much, though. Keep it brief when sharing about a successful project to demonstrate your real skill level. Offer to explain further in a phone call or meeting.


“When you have a consecutive resume, the recruiter, before they even get to your responsibilities, sees your name, job title, place of work and tenure. A practical resume also emphasises your skills capabilities, lists your responsibilities and what you’ve accomplished before mentioning your job title,” she says.

“It’s important to go for the interview with a few examples of past accomplishments that demonstrate your experience and highlight your best work. Be ready to show your results, including challenges and how you overcame them. Remember, you’re more capable than just a job title, so don’t hesitate to let employers know how much you can bring to their table,” Muhoza adds.

If you do not wish to replace your job title, Mariane Ingabire, an accountant says, you can always add additional information next to the title in brackets.

“Employers receive more applicants for job openings than they are able to look through. Ensure your resume is in the best possible shape and that it offers information upfront, like relevant and appropriate job titles, on why you qualify for the job. Employers are much less likely to let go of your resume as unqualified if you use this strategy than if you used unrealistic job titles that do not reflect the advertised field of work,” she says.

 She also adds that if the official title is “out of the box,” consider changing it to something more universally understood on your resume. When verifying employment, future employers will understand why you opted to use a broadly accepted title.

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