Don’t Judge a Book By its Cover, Nor a Job by its Title

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Many candidates can get fixated on job titles, where in reality, a job title is just a thin blanket covering a detailed and interesting role. However, job titles can become confusing when the same title means different things at different organizations and don’t always represent the same level of seniority. The purpose of a job title is to describe an entire day-to-day role in three words or less… as you can imagine this can lead to some inaccuracies.

Companies and recruiters can often complicate job titles and it’s usually due to over-thinking. The key is to keep job titles simple and recognizable. This way, when a company posts a job, it will appeal to a much larger group of people and attract the best talent. It’s understandable that 64% of job seekers would not apply for a job if they didn’t understand the job title. I mean, would you apply for a lifeguard role if it was listed as a “Wet Leisure Assistant”?

The reality is that the top job candidates won’t be searching through a large list job postings, they will refine their search to find the most suitable positions. Job titles that are confusing or out of the ordinary will likely be overlooked by those candidates whom you value the most.

When looking at a position try not to get stuck on terminology, the title does not determine if the role is the right fit for you. If you are slightly unsure about the title, open the job advert and try and understand the culture of the company as well as visualizing the day to day lifestyle of the role. Studies have shown that joy in your career is determined by meaningful work and positive relationships rather than salary and hierarchy, so take this into consideration.

Each good and credible job post will have structured content behind the title. There will be clarity around what the job entails, the structure of the business and the salary. Details like this will give you a quick understanding of the role and will help you to tell if the role is suited to you. If these details are difficult to find, I would recommend moving on to the next job. Comparing positions with the same title can also be difficult, the quickest and easiest was is to look at the salaries. This is a good indication of the level of responsibility in your role and whether the job is in your depth range.

Ignoring job titles altogether is not what I am suggesting, this will not produce a productive job search. Just remember that titles only represent a small fraction of the information needed for you to decide if the job is suitable. Looking far beyond the title is how to productively job search, however if you are short on time, then just look for those important details in the content.

Find the right position—not just the one that sounds right.

If you are interested in a career change, want to know what opportunities are available, or are just plain bored of flicking through job titles then give TRS a ring on 0800-171-000. As recruitment experts, we can find jobs that will suit your skills as well as lend you some handy job-search advice. Alternatively, email me:

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