How to Evaluate if Your Job Title Still Fits

What’s in a job title? Even if you don’t believe in labels, they may mean more than you realise. Here’s why you should find out if your job title matches your scope of responsibilities. 

What are examples of a job title discrepancy?

In start-ups, which typically have fewer employees, workers may sometimes need to fulfil duties beyond what employers specified formally in their job description. For instance, if your official job title is “writer”, your defined role might be to propose article ideas and come up with drafts. However, you might find yourself doubling up as a proofreader and editor-in-chief as well – checking drafts for tone consistency and grammar, developing content plans, providing editorial direction and so on. While you can expect to go beyond your designated job scope sometimes, when it happens too often, it will affect your productivity and focus on your main role as a writer.

This is a classic example of job discrepancy, which not only happens in start-ups, but anywhere where you overstretch yourself beyond your actual role. 

How can job discrepancy affect your future job opportunities?

Job titles speak volumes about how likely you are to attract leads. If your job title does not exactly match what you do, employers may not consider you as a good fit for the role. 

Having to sift through hundreds of applications per day, HR normally takes only a few seconds to scan resumes. If you’re aiming for a higher editorial role, but your resume states your official job title as a writer, hiring managers may chuck your application to the bottom. 

While your past superiors may have been impressed by your adaptability, an inadequate job title is not only unfair for you, but also impacts your future job prospects.

Find out more about WSG’s Career Matching Services and how our professional career coaches can help you in your career journey.

Ask for adjustments to your job title

First, research the tasks you’ve been taking on and what job titles match them best. Do these tasks command the title of editor-in-chief? After determining the most suitable job title, seek out the average expected salary for it. This would give you sufficient information to present to HR, for them to recognise the job title discrepancy and make the necessary adjustments. You must also express your passion for your tasks, how you’re seeking growth within the company, and that you are not making plans to leave (assuming that is true).

Ideally, they should make amendments to your job title and increase your salary as well. If they cannot meet your request for a job title change, don’t fret. There are still ways to reflect the extra work on your job profile.

Ways you can update your job profile

If you want to start applying elsewhere, but your job title does not reflect the role you’re pursuing, it can be tempting to simply update your job profile as you deem fit. But this might be misconstrued as misleading hirers by not displaying your actual job title, as they can always contact your current or previous companies to cross-check. 

Instead, do reflect your official job title, but add beside it the actual job title you’ve been fulfilling, such as: “Writer, Acting Editor-in-Chief”, or state “Acting Editor-in-Chief” in parenthesis. This way, you aren’t misrepresenting yourself by “promoting” yourself online, while still putting your additional role out there. Another approach is to indicate being part of the editorial team, followed by an itemised list of your work responsibilities with detailed descriptions.

Yes, job titles matter

Not many realise that job titles can have a significant impact on their career. Job titles should accurately define your role, since they can determine how much you earn as well. We can avoid falling into the trap of doing work beyond our designated scopes simply by finding out if a job title change and/or promotion is possible. 

This article is contributed by JobStreet.

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