Must I (or should I) list my job title [i]exactly[/i] as on my business card, or may I list a title that is more appropriate to the people viewing my resume?

My company is a very small privately owned company with less than 25 people. My title is "Director, Product Development". This is doubly misleading. I only have 1 direct report, a software engineer, and my function is to manage a software development project. The "Director" title is more a term of respect and achievement. I have no responsibility to do market analysis or other traditional product development functions.

I am thinking this title will get my resume tossed out after a quick glance as being over-qualified.


wendii's picture
Admin Role Badge

Hi Rusty,

My job title is Customer Service Professional, but my job is in-house recruitment, which is what my resume says. There's lots of companies which have slightly odd job titles for historic reasons, and it's better to have something recognisable and reflective, than actually what's on your business card. At interview, you can say, 'in our company they are called this, but I put on my resume the more common title', just to cover you if references are called; speaking as a recruiter, I would accept this at face value.

I hope that helps.


rdshackleford's picture

Thanks, Wendi. I would like to hear from some IT people as well.

On the one hand, I feel I am cheating myself for not taking advantage of my big whoopie title on my resume to help me get better prospects. On the other hand, a title with 'Director' and 'Product' in the title in most larger companies will put me well above, and lateral too, any job I would possibly want.


bflynn's picture

Its going to be misleading either way. Either you say "director" and then explain that you're not really a "director" or you put something else down and explain what your official title is.

You can do it either way you'd like. If you don't put down your official title, you'll have to make sure you explain that every time you interview.

Personally, I would put Director on the resume, then make sure the job description was very clear.


madamos's picture
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The title you use shouldn't really matter. If you have listed your [b]Accomplishments [/b]accurately on you resume, then the recruiter should be able to see if you have the experience needed for the job.

For example, a Director at a mid-size company may only have a budget of $3 million, where at a large company, a Director may be expected to handle a budget of $30 million.

The recruiter or hiring manager should be able to tell from your accomplishments if you are under qualified for the job.

I would use the title within your company. Don't sell yourself short on the resume, but let your accomplishments really show what you can do.


Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

I'm sorry this has taken me so long. I regret my absence.

Leave it as is. It's not a "must", but your situation is fairly common, and that 25 person firm is a dead giveaway that there may be what APPEARS to be title inflation going on. (There's not, but that's a different conversation.)

You're fine - nothing to worry about.

Again, my apologies for my delay.