How To Perfect the Job Title Section of Your Resume

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated July 7, 2022 | Published January 3, 2020

Updated July 7, 2022

Published January 3, 2020

Your resume should make you stand out as the most experienced and qualified candidate for the position you are applying for. Choosing the right job title to include on your resume can impact how hiring managers and recruiters perceive your previous experience and who you are as a professional.

In this article, we explain what the job title section of your resume is, why the job title section is important, different job title examples and tips for choosing the right job titles for your resume.

What is the job title section of your resume?

There are a few different sections of your resume where you can use job titles. The first section is your desired job title section. Many people leave this section out of a resume even though it is one of the most critical parts. Your desired job title section can be a one-line section, or you can incorporate it into your resume summary section. You will also use job titles in the previous work experience section of your resume.

Related: 7 Powerful Way To Start a Cover Letter (With Examples)

Why the job title section on your resume is important

Job titles on your resume help specify who you are as a professional and the level of experience you have. The desired job title section of your resume identifies the specific position you are seeking, while the job titles listed in your experience section show how your prior experience is relevant to the position for which you are applying. Your desired job title is one of the most essential keywords an employer’s applicant tracking system will search for when screening through the resumes they receive.

Listing your desired job title on your resume tells the reader you know exactly what you want to do and doesn’t leave it up to the hiring manager or recruiter to decide if the position would interest you. Your desired job title can also show your ambitions to grow with the company.

Related: 10 Best Skills to Include on a Resume

Types of job titles you can use in your resume

A job title can represent two different things: what an individual does and the level of experience they have in that position. Keywords like “accountant,” “paralegal,” “receptionist,” “programmer,” “customer service” and “sales” all refer to the specific job responsibilities an individual has. Keywords such as “leader,” “specialist,” “associate,” “junior,” “senior,” “supervisor” and “manager” all refer to the level of experience an individual has or is seeking. Most job titles combine keywords that describe the responsibilities of a job and the level of experience, such as “junior accountant,” “sales associate” and “customer service team lead.

Related: Words To Avoid and Include on a Resume

Job title examples

Here is a list of job titles based on different categories:

Entry-level job titles

Entry-level jobs often refer to positions individuals take as their first working experience or as their first job after graduating from college. Employers might not use the term “entry-level” to label these positions, but they could identify them with keywords, such as “assistant,” “specialist,” “apprentice,” “associate” or “junior.” Examples of entry-level job titles that identify both the job duties and the level of experience include:

  • Human resources assistant

  • Manager trainee

  • Customer service specialist

  • HVAC apprentice

  • Social media specialist

  • Public relations assistant

  • Research associate

  • Junior accountant

  • Sales representative

  • Marketing coordinator

Some entry-level job titles may also only include the keywords that identify the job responsibilities and not the keywords that define the level of experience. Examples of entry-level job titles that don’t recognize the level of experience include:

  • Event planner

  • Operations analyst

  • Architect

  • Engineer

  • Copywriter

  • Graphic designer

  • Digital marketer

  • Elementary school teacher

  • Social worker

  • Auditor

Service industry job titles

The service industry includes professionals in retail, customer service, travel, public service, hospitality and dining. Individuals working in these industries provide a service to the public. Example job titles for positions in the service industry include:

  • Account manager

  • Bank teller

  • Retail sales associate

  • Client relations associate

  • Hotel general manager

  • Police officer

  • Customer service team lead

Business industry job titles

Corporate business positions include a wide variety of industries, including information technology, marketing, legal, international business and insurance. Example job titles for positions in the business sector include:

  • Senior network system administrator

  • Computer and information systems manager

  • Account executive

  • Media buyer

  • Project manager

  • Administrative coordinator

  • Executive assistant

  • Legal secretary

  • Financial analyst

  • Claims adjuster

  • Business development associate

Management job titles

Management and senior-level leadership jobs are often among the top tier of positions available within an organization. Example job titles for positions at the management and executive level include:

  • Director of marketing

  • Human resources director

  • Sales manager

  • Training manager

  • Chief executive officer

  • Chief financial officer

  • Chief operations officer

Skilled trade job titles

Skilled trade industry jobs include professionals who have a specific skill set or trade. Examples of job titles for positions in the skilled trade industry include:

  • Carpenter

  • Construction manager

  • Electrician

  • General contractor

  • Plumber

  • Hazardous material worker

  • Field engineer

  • Groundskeeper

  • Maintenance and service manager

  • Welder

  • CDL truck driver

Tips for choosing the right job title for your resume

Keep these guidelines in mind when choosing the job titles to use on your resume:

Be honest

When choosing job titles for both your desired job title section and your experience section, it is important to be honest about the level of experience you have and the position you want. For example, if you are a customer service representative who doesn’t have leadership experience, you could use the terms “customer service specialist” in your previous work experience section, and list “customer service manager” in the desired job title section of your resume.

Make it relevant to the job you are applying for

It is ok to use a job title that is slightly higher or lower than the exact job title you are applying for, but the job title you choose to promote on your resume as your goal profession should relate to the job you are applying for. For example, if you are applying to a “sales supervisor” position, you could use terms like “sales leader” or “sales manager” when describing your desired job title.

Make sure your resume supports the job title

The information you include throughout your resume, such as your prior experience, skills, training, education and certifications, should all apply to the job title you are seeking.

Clarify unusual job titles

It is becoming more common for companies to use unique job titles to stand out to candidates as a creative employer. But these unusual job titles can be tricky to express correctly on a resume. It is important to use your real job title in your experience section so the hiring manager or recruiter can verify your previous job title on your resume with your former employer. But you can also include a similar job title that provides clarification next to your actual job title in parenthesis. For example, if your job title is “digital marketing guru” you can add (digital marketing specialist) next to it.

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