The Trouble with IT Job Titles

What do you do when your title doesn’t accurately describe your role and responsibilities? Suppose you hired on to perform a particular set of activities but over time what you actually do has morphed into something entirely different. This is not at all uncommon in small departments where project demands don’t always fit the current skill set of available employees. Opportunities arise for those willing to learn new skills on the job and little or no consideration is given to how these changes might affect future employment. No worries―there are options available to circumvent a less than desirable title on your resume.

Your actual job title needs to be included for employment verification but that doesn’t mean that you’re stuck with a title that doesn’t represent you and possibility excludes you from potential interviews. You’ll want your job role and responsibilities to be captured in computer scans. To illustrate how to handle this, I’ll use the example of an IT Support Specialist who has taken on the fulltime responsibilities of a database administrator.

Example One

XYZ Company
Database Administrator (Actual Job Title: IT Support Specialist)

Example Two

XYZ Company
IT Support Specialist (assumed the role and responsibilities of aDatabase Administrator)

Example Two

XYZ Company
IT Support Specialist
As a Database Administrator:

  • Implemented full range of DBMS functionality including advanced features such as in-database OLAP and in-database data mining.
  • Designed and built database applications and utilities with an integrated database component.

Example Three

John Smith
123 Main Street
Oakland, CA 93455

IT Professional with more than 10 years experience in database design with a specialty in the physical implementation of database management systems.

These examples will give you a sense of how you can position yourself. The most important thing is that you ‘come clean’ in the interview by making sure the interviewer knows your actual title. You don’t want misunderstandings during your employment verification. It is actually to your benefit to explain how you assumed additional responsibilities beyond your job title. Information Technology is known for mismatched job titles so explain your situation and move on.

Jennifer Hay is a highly credentialed resume writer and LinkedIn writer for IT professionals. Her clients include data engineers, data scientists, software engineers, systems analysts, project managers, program managers, product managers, IT managers, and IT directors.