You want to apply for a job as a network security analyst. You handle network security for your present employer, but your official title is the generic and non-descriptive "IT Specialist."
Is it OK to change your job title on your resume to one better reflecting your duties to catch the eye of hiring managers and/or resume screening software?
Recruiters say yes, within limits. On one hand, qualified applicants stand to lose out on opportunities because their company uses generic job titles. On the other, candidates don't want to run the risk of overstating their qualifications or experience just to make it past ATS software.
Recruiters tell Mashable's Adrian Granzella Larssen there's nothing wrong with updating an official title to better-reflect a person's work.
"If you have a vague or unique-to-your-company job title, this approach can be incredibly helpful," Larssen says. "In a previous role, for example, my company didn’t use the word 'manager,' so my title was 'marketing lead' — a term that, as I learned, didn’t work very well in keyword-sensitive applicant tracking systems. When I edited my title and used 'marketing manager' instead — I got many more calls back."
Experts advocate a simple rule of thumb. When you devise a "new" title, ask yourself: Will my boss think this is an accurate representation of my work?
"Remember that employers (very) often call previous employers to fact-check the information you’ve provided on your resume and in your application," Larssen notes. "So don’t ever update your title to something so obscure, inflated or, well, wrong, that your former employers wouldn’t be comfortable saying you did it."