Job Chat

On Résumé, Treat New Title Like a Promotion

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Washington: I am updating my résumé, and I'm not sure how to list a long-overdue job title change. My responsibilities have grown a lot over five years, and repeated requests for a new title were fulfilled this summer. At a previous employer, my job and title did change, so I list the responsibilities with the appropriate title. I am concerned that prospective employers will misinterpret this year's change, while the truth is that my current employer does not recognize or reward its employees adequately (which is why I'm updating my résumé).

For most private-sector jobs, titles matter less than actual job duties and accomplishments because titles themselves are so often vague. Sometimes it seems that title inflation has made everyone a vice president of something.

Official promotions usually lag duties, anyway, so your situation isn't unusual. Treat your new title like a promotion and group the appropriate duties/accomplishments underneath it.

Arlington: I'm planning to pursue a PhD in another state. In the meantime, I'm looking for related jobs in my field. Is it a good idea to let potential employers know during the interview process that I plan to pursue a doctorate in a year, so I won't be staying long with the company? Or do I just keep mum?

Keep mum. You have no idea what could happen over the next year that could require you to cancel or postpone that PhD plan.

Fairfax: Is it okay for me and my manager to flirt? Or is it against something?

It's against common sense, assuming you both want to keep your jobs.

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