Career Pursuit - Job Title vs. Skill Sets

Career Pursuit - Job Title vs. Skill Sets
Have you ever considered the importance of your job title? Is it really that important? So many people are consumed with the title given to their position that they lose sight of what is more important – skill sets. Think back to the last time you applied for a position. Did you apply because of the title or did you read the ad to determine what qualifications were actually necessary in order to do the job?

So often people apply for a job without actually reading what is required of the position. This can have disastrous results. First, they could end up being hired for the position because the title matched a previous career but the job duties were totally different. Worse is that they do not get the interview because the skill sets mentioned in their resume does not match the preferences that the interviewer is looking for.

There are things that you can do in order to turn the attention from a job title based resume to a skill based resume. First, is to make a list of the actual skills that your current job requires. Do you write, do research or teach? Is it necessary that you persuade, communicate or advise? Make a list of one to two word skills that your current job requires. Take your list and compare it to the job that you desire whether it is a new hire or a promotion.

Many times a job title does not give a clear indication of what tasks are required in the position. For example, an administrative support assistant in our office does very little secretarial type work. Her work is in the area of payroll. She assists with recruiting, calculates and enters payroll and a host of other duties, very few of which actually have to do with administrative type work. We consider her to be excellent at problem solving for major projects that she is assigned. Imagine if she were to be defined by her job title, and used that in order to apply for future jobs or promotions. Imagine her, again, if she were to define herself by her skills and knowledge base when applying for career advancement.

Professionals have a tendency to want their position title to speak volumes on their worth and abilities as an employee. The tendency is to be defined by being labeled a manager or supervisor, director or department head. Hiring managers are starting to take a closer look at the skills that you possess rather than the titles that you have held. Next time you are considering a career change or promotion view yourself as a list of skills rather than a title. You will embark on the first step in a career path that will have no limits.

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