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Don’t Judge a Job by its Title

Jessica Ross Blog

Job titles are the first thing that a candidate will see when they’re browsing through the web for a new role. Job seekers can often judge a job by its title, which is why I want to dig deeper and look at what job titles really mean.  

To get a full perspective on this, I’m going to share my thoughts on this subject looking at it from a recruitment and employers point of view. In today’s ever changing and fast paced environment it seems companies are finding themselves in a position where they are creating new roles to fill business and technology needs. This creates a scenario where they are advertising and recruiting for roles that they may not have previously.

IT talent is in high demand for IT organisations across the industry, so how can you create a suitable and effective job title? Choosing a good job title, though it may seem simple, can have a significant impact on the way the role is presented and the talent you attract.

Current Influences on Job Titles

There are many new job titles out in the market at the moment. However, as I specialise in IT & Transformation I'm going to talk to you about some of the trends I have noticed in my sector. I see two areas in specific that are impacting job titles: culture and trends.

  1.  Culture: From my observation, in a bid to aspire to reflect the “Googles” of the world, many companies are adding interesting terminology, either to set a precedent for team culture or to inspire greater individual responsibility. I think both goals are good ones, but on the other hand it can leave some roles as rather hard to decipher from a job title alone.
  2.  Trends: There seems to be a constant stream of new “buzz words” arriving almost weekly in technology, which all seem to reflect slightly different meanings to each different organisation. Generally, it can show that companies are keeping up with or ahead of the crowd when it comes to technology. But it can also detract from the message the job title is trying to convey and impact the advert’s ability to attract the right people.

How to Choose an Appropriate Job Title

Taking a step back and fully evaluating the job before choosing the title is useful. Regardless of whether you are replacing someone, or have created a new position, be clear on exactly what the function and responsibilities of the role will be. Technology and business needs are always changing and evolving as do roles and their responsibilities. Understanding these changes can be key to picking the right title. 

I always consider why the role exists, and what value it will bring to the organisation. Once you understand the job itself, you can then decide on a job title that reflects the position accurately.  

We know people are closely watching out for emerging roles and specialities that suit their skills, or roles that give them the opportunity to work with new technology. From my experience though, I think there are some simple things to keep in mind when choosing what to title a role:

Area of Expertise

“Easy,” you may say, but this is also where we can get lost in buzz words and jargon. When I think about IT & Business Transformation, there are always sub sectors that fit under this broad banner. To attract the right talent at a glance, you need to appeal to that sector as a whole.

The Market

As a market, we have noticed that attracting top talent is becoming more and more competitive. You want to engage the right people and get them to click through and read your advert, but you also need to attract the right people in the first place. If you go for a job title that no one would think to search, then they probably won’t. Add that to the fact that most job sites send emails notifying potential talent about your ad, and it becomes clear that if you don’t have the right key words then it won’t reach the right people.


If job seekers can’t find what they’re looking for, they can easily switch off and move on with their search. This means that clarity around what the job actually is, is crucial. Put simply: “what is this person going to be doing?” Again, aim for the right sub-category in your sector. Remember that people will think about themselves in different ways and you need to appeal to their way of thinking. Are you looking for a leader? A coordinator? A consultant? An engineer? Add an “ing” on the end of their title and that is primarily what this person will be do-“ing”.


A job title provides a small window of opportunity to engage with a target audience and motivate them to read on. In my view, companies need to make sure they are sending the right message. Most importantly ask other people’s opinion to “judge the job by its title.”

If you’re having trouble defining your job title and need a hand, feel free to get in touch.

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