When scouring job boards, learn how to read between the lines to figure out exactly what employers want — and how to better position yourself as their ideal candidate.
Accounting ninja. Conversation architect. Social media unicorn.
What in the world are employers thinking with these job titles?
The reality is that employers are getting more creative with their hiring processes. Whether it’s asking job seekers to jump through hoops during the application process or simply listing an opening with an outrageous title, understanding what employers want can be challenging.
During your job search, you’ll probably find it difficult to uncover the different meanings behind inconsistent job titles. When you’re comparing similar job descriptions, job titles can be misleading because companies use completely different language to describe similar functions.
As you look for jobs, follow these tips to help decipher job titles and find more opportunities in your field. (Click here to tweet this list.)
1. Research your industry for trending job titles
A great way to learn about evolving job opportunities in your field is to do a little research. Scour job boards to find out what positions employers are hiring for and the qualifications they desire for those positions.
You can also read about the trends in your industry and what types of jobs are available. Depending on your field, rapid advancements in technology or communication may be influencing an evolution in job titles. By learning these industry trends, you’ll be able to read between the lines in job ads and better understand what employers want.
Take advantage of LinkedIn to research trending job titles. This is a great tactic to find out how a wide range of companies are recruiting employees. Plus, you’ll discover the most up-to-date job titles and determine whether or not you’re a good match for the organization.
2. Network with professionals who have the jobs you want
Search Twitter and LinkedIn for professionals who have the job titles you’ve encountered during your search. You can also find professionals with interesting job titles by reading company “about” pages and professional blogs. These resources will connect you with names of professionals who have experience working in your field.
After you have a list of names, begin reaching out to these people on social media and via email. Don’t hesitate to ask these professionals questions or even set up informational interviews. Connecting with these people will give you more insight about their profession and teach you more about unique job titles.
3. Determine which job titles suit your skills and experience
Once you’ve compiled a list of jobs and employers, conduct a skills comparison to see where you fall within different job postings. Hopefully, you’ll discover you’re a good fit for most of the positions regardless of how crazy or unique the job title. This comparison will give you a better idea of how to apply for jobs and market yourself for these positions.
Finally, when it comes time to apply for a job, use the right keywords in your application. Your resume and cover letter should reflect keywords that align your skills with the job description.
Deciphering job titles can be frustrating, but once you know what you’re looking for, your job search will become much easier. Whether you’re looking for a completely different job or something similar to your current one, understanding the meaning behind different job titles will give you more power during your job search.
What crazy job titles have you encountered in your job search? Do you have any tips for deconstructing job titles?
Val Matta is the vice president of business development at CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution for companies, outplacement firms, job seekers and university career centers. Connect with Val and CareerShift on LinkedIn.