Why Your Job Title is Killing Your Credibility

job title

A quick scroll through LinkedIn offers a dizzying array of job titles. CEO, Editor in Chief, Social Media Guru. Funny? Yes. Entertaining? Sure. Professional? No.

As a blogger, you want to showcase your many skills. Writing, editing, marketing, social media. These are all skills that you, as a blogger, have developed on your own. Those late hours you spent working tirelessly on your blog's site design and researching articles are definitely notable. However, there is a difference between working personally on your blog for 5 hours a week and conducting a growing and sustainable business through your blog.

Inflating your job title or transforming it into something a little different is a sure way to kill any credibility aka professional klout you may have. Professional or personal, no one will take you seriously if you call yourself Social Media Guru or Blogging Ninja – trust us, we've seen and heard people do this and HR recruiters are not impressed.

Will a fancy job title get you noticed in a flood of submitted resumes? Possibly but don't forget that a a job title, like any other claim, requires proof.  You should be able to back up your title with qualifying professional experience. Simply saying you are a social media expert and not having previous job or consultant experience won't cut it. A title like “CEO”  of a blog feels forced and actually takes away from your professional credibility.

Instead of using a lofty job title, boost your resume with HR-friendly keywords that will catch the eye of hiring managers and recruiters. Search fellow colleagues profiles on LinkedIn to see how describe their job. Scour job postings and research what words are used consistently in the job's qualifications and responsibilities. Talk with any acquaintances who have HR experience and see if they can can offer tips or keywords that will help your resume get read.

resume tips for bloggers

Here are keywords for your resume that you should utilize:

Marketing – Trend analysis, brand development, website statistics, project management, measurement reports, email marketing, social media monitoring, SEO optimization

Public Relations – Placements, media monitoring, tracking, outreach, pitching, story ideas, event planning

Writing – Detail-oriented, content development, proofreading skills, research-focused, published stories

Social Media – Digital trend analysis, editorial calendar, social media monitoring,  familiar with content management systems, content creation for Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest, goal-setting, blogger outreach, cross-platform integration

Using these HR-friendly key words, adding in important skills details and listing relevant examples where you successfully executed a project will be more impressive to your future employer than a job title.

Do you have recommendations for building a better resume? Are there techniques you've used that have helped you get the job you want? Share in the comments section!
 
[Blogger image via Shutterstock]

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25 Responses

  1. Vogue & Vintage

    I’ve always wonder how to “properly” title my blogging activities. I see CEO a lot in people’s signatures and always thought that was an interesting way to tile one’s self, but your blog your titles. This was very informative and very much needed to be brought to light.

    Reply
  2. Michsi

    I always refer to myself as creator of “insert blog name” calling myself a CEO on something that isn’t really a business doesn’t sit well with me.

    Reply
  3. Anna

    Since my job is irrelevant to my blog, I don’t include it in my resume. But if in the future I decide to pursue a job that’s social media or writing related I don’t know how to shape up my resume (especially in a site like Linkedin) as I don’t want everyone to know that I have a fashion blog and post photos of myself online!!!

    Reply
  4. Jessie

    I blog & do tv and radio segs. I call myself a budget-fashion expert since that’s what I talk about on all my outlets. Sometimes I say stylist, other times I say host. my old biz card said host & fashion blogger. Any suggestions?

    Reply
  5. Justyna

    Why can’t people just say ‘blogger’? A blogger isn’t (necessariy) a stylist, social media expert, PR person… all of that depends on many factors, including professional experience (i.e. stuff people PAY you to do)… so many bloggers call themselves “stylists” but they’re not. A stylist is a person who has great relationships with buyers, designers and PR houses, sourced pieces for ad campaigns, editorials and shoots (min. 10 different designers per shoot/story, if you’re a real pro). A ‘stylist’ is not someone who pulls stuff from their own closet, or a local boutique, has no portfolio, can’t pull pre-season items… maybe they’re a hobby stylist, but I wouldn’t put “stylist” unless that’s actually what you do.

    There’s no shame in writing “Blogger” on your resume, if that’s what you are, right?

    Reply
  6. Christy Lorio

    I couldn’t agree more- it really churns my butter when I see CEO or Editor-In-Chief. I think Founder is appropriate, if more than one person is writing for the site but refrain from using big, superfluous titles otherwise you’ll come across as padding your experience.

    Reply
  7. Ana Lydia Ochoa-Monaco

    I have PREACHED this from the top of my lung for years. Thank you for finally giving validity to my stance on this subject, and something that I readily share with the llbloggers.com community!

    Reply
  8. Punky

    I love this!!! So true. I love when people have “Social media expert” on their twitter and I can point out that my dogs account has more followers then them. #FAIL

    Reply
  9. Muñeca

    I would recommend tailoring your resume based on the position you are applying for and using keywords that are posted on job posting. Your resume should not be a one size fits all.

    Reply
  10. Vyque

    As someone who heads up her company’s social media team and does the hiring, I love to see bloggers. I’m fine with editor-in-chief, blogger or founder… any guru, ninja or pirate immediately gets axed from the list.

    PS I like to call myself “resident expert”

    Reply
  11. Jessie

    I like resident. That’s what they call me on the TV shows I’m on regularly. I just made new biz cards and used – host.blogger.budget-fashion expert. I’m liking my choice.

    Reply
  12. Sara

    I really could not disagree more. If you want something you need to go and get it. There’s this idea that young women just starting out should play down their accomplishments. If your blog is run like a business or a portfolio then you are a CEO. Walk the walk even if it feels scary.

    If you’re going to give yourself a title make it a really cool one that empowers you. Whether or not that fits the needs of a job you’re applying for is an entirely different call. Don’t wait years to admit you know what you want. You won’t not get a particular job because you called yourself a CEO. If you take the time to brand yourself be proud of that! Finding success by loading up your resume with keywords is the sure sign that you’re not really being yourself. If everyone is “detail oriented,” it stops meaning anything. State your accomplishments in real terms.

    Reply
    • Jennine Jacob

      There are pro’s and con’s to calling yourself a CEO when you are a company of one. You’ve stated a pro, but I feel rather uncomfortable with a “CEO” title even though I run a company with 4 employees. Personally, I find that contrived, and yet still use it because, well, everyone else does.

      There’s an interesting article on TechCrunch that explains why it’s bad to call yourself a CEO to a startup.

      http://techcrunch.com/2012/05/06/think-you-deserve-to-be-called-a-ceo/

      Reply
  13. Catherine

    For an article that talks about writing and proof reading skill, I would have thought you would have actually done some proof reading on your own article. Ie. your grammatical error that is “see how describe their job”

    Reply
  14. Nadine Salem

    I refer to myself as a freelance fashion journalist or simply freelance journalist – to me it seems perfectly fine and right but would also love to have your thoughts on that. Thank you in advance

    Reply
  15. Erica of STYLE. SAVVY. CHIC!

    It is such a coincidence that I spotted this article because I recently (3 days ago) took the time to fully register my Linkedin account and noticed my title was not very specific. I immediately changed it and took notes from others that had very professionally developed accounts.

    Keep up the good work!

    Reply
  16. CamMi Pham

    Agree I always find people who call themselves editor in chief or ceo of a blog so tacky

    I just call myself a social writer

    Reply
  17. sahra

    thanks for posting this! For a long time last year (3 months) I was “funemployed”, but when I’d go on job interviews, people would be like “oh, you have a blog? That’s great, why didn’t you say so!?” so I realized it was time to include that. I called myself a professional blogger (true) and hinted at what you suggested, ie: brand relations, trend analysis; but now, thanks to this, I’m going to up my resume’s vocabulary! thanks!

    XO Sahra
    EffortlessCool

    Reply
  18. carlyjcais

    Love the advice in this article, and totally agree with the statement “Instead of using a lofty job title, boost your resume with HR-friendly keywords” when it comes to written resumes.

    However, on LinkedIn and various other platforms you MUST have a title. You can’t be without one in this hyper-connected world, especially when it comes to business cards that aren’t keyword-filled resumes. People need to know what box you fit into, in a quick, neat little nutshell, besides what detailed services you provide.

    So perhaps an article listing the possible titles that would be appropriate to a “company run by 1” (i.e., a monetized, professional blog) would also be helpful!
    Thanks!

    Reply
  19. Bobby

    This one is daft :

    “Strategic Alliances & Partner Sales Director, (Including Customer Success, EMEA) at Webtrends EMEA”

    uk.linkedin.com/in/bloomsimon

    Reply