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Should you have a separate line on your resume for every official change in title even if the fundamental job remains the same?

tlhausmann's picture

When you get a new title or promotion the recommendation is to have a new section on the resume. But I am confused as to how titles can change with "the fundamental job" remaining the same.

Can you elaborate?

Mark's picture

It depends.

Upon what, you ask?

As the joke goes, "that, too, depends."

stephenbooth_uk's picture

 I don't, in the main because that would mean a meaningless update about every 3 to 6 months.

To address Tom's question.  I don't know 1122's situation but mine is a common one, I work in the public sector.  For some reason a common feature of public sector organisations is that they like to change people's job titles without any change to the underlying job.  There are even jokes about it, usually along the lines of "You know you work in the public sector when you've done the same job for the same people at the same desk for 5 years and have had 10 different job titles."  I no longer order business cards via admin as a lot of the time by the time they arrive the job title is wrong!

Stephen

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1122's picture

Thank you for the replies....

Stephen summed it up well.  If the core responsibilites remain the same, your title changes, and it's not a promotion, is it necessary or advisable to list it as a separate line item?

In my situtation, I had one title for 95% of the time I was in my last position, then my title changed a few months prior to me taking a different position.  Does this warrant a separate line between the title I had for the great majority of the time and the new position?

My core concern is trying to balance between a cluttered resume and not wanting to misrepresent my work history.

ashdenver's picture

As Stephen pointed out, if you have a progression within the same job respsonsibilities:

  • Peon
  • Senior Peon
  • Lead Peon

Then you can simply leave one entry, updating the title as you go, leaving the responsibilities the same (though updating accomplishments is a good thing) so that you end up with a single entry showing the latest & greatest title only.

If/when you transition into a new, different role (such as from Marketing to Sales or Lead Peon to Manager), you should have an entirely new entry.

For instance:

  • Company A, Lead Peon: duties including, accomplishments of, X promotions in Y timeframe
  • Company B, Muckraker: duties including, accomplishments of XYZ
  • Company C, Rabblerouser: duties including, accomplishments of ABC

Or:

  • Company A, Manager: duty set 123 including, accomplishments of XYZ
  • Company A, Lead Peon: duty set 789 including, accomplishments of, X promotions in Y timeframe
  • Company B, Instigator: duties including, accomplishments of ABC

Hope that helps!

wendii's picture

You can't go from

Peon
Senior Peon
Lead Peon

and have the same responsibilities. As Senior Peon, you would be expected to have a higher quality and volume of work product, work on harder problems, deal with different customers, mentor the peons, perhaps do some reporting, stand in for the lead peon during his holidays, liaise with the rabblerousers and instigators, perhaps do some presentations at the Peon Team Meeting, come up with process improvements, work on special projects, save money and time.

If the responsibilities were exactly the same, you'd still be a Peon. Rarely do companies give title changes based on years served, because this leads to title inflation and expectations of salary enhancements. The Senior Peons are undoubtedly being paid more than the Peons, and that means there MUST be a difference in their responsibilities, either spoken or unspoken, or else the company is overpaying for skills, and it won't last long. (For Stephen - yes, this is different in the public sector).

That said, if the company changes your title for harmonization purposes or as part of a rebranding exercise, then yes, use the last title (or that which means most in the outside world).

And.. thank you Ashdenver for the job titles. They were much more fun than boring real titles :-)

Wendii

1122's picture

Let me clarify further...

I was in the second level of a salaried position with three levels.  After a restructuring, I was slotted into the top level of a five level hourly position.  The pay remained the same, however it was effectively a demotion as the earning potential was less,  there was no possibility for advancement within the role, and not all (but the great majority) of my colleagues were reclassified in the same manner.

So in this situation, would you separate the time spent in the higher level position, lump it together under the lower level title I had for the last few months before I started the new job, or use the title of the higher level position for the entire span of time?

 

The last option seems like a misrepresentation to me but I thought I would throw it out there.

 

Mark's picture

Wendii's right.