Official Job Title vs. Reality

Job titles are funny things. The same role in two different organizations could carry very different titles. Why does it matter?

It may not matter very much in the scheme of things. But when job searching, it might matter a lot.

Take Melissa, for example (not her real name). Melissa was the COO for a multi-national corporation (MNC) for 15 years. She is still working there. MNC had several business units that functioned as separate entities as far as profit and loss.  Melissa was the COO for one of these businesses.

Here’s the catch.  MNC recently centralized all of its businesses. Melissa no longer holds the title COO – now she is Director of Operations. However, Melissa still functions as the COO.

How does Melissa handle this as she pursues another position?

There are several ways to skin this cat.  But one thing is extremely important.  There must be congruence between what Melissa articulates her title to be, and the title that is on her resume. If one hears COO, and then reads Director of Ops on the resume, a big bell will go off.

Take time to think this through and figure out what makes sense.  If a networking contact or potential employer notices a difference between what you say and what is on the resume, it will be a problem for you.

Congruence is important.


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