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It’s All in the Name: How to Ask for a Better Job Title

By | Angela Smith, MBA |

When accepting a new position, most people think to ask for a higher salary. But there’s something else you can negotiate—something that’s arguably just as important. Your job title.

Think about it: The title on your resume today can have a major impact on your employment prospects in the future. People use your job title to quickly understand how you fit into an organization, what you do, and your level of expertise or authority.

This is especially true when it comes to impressing recruiters and hiring managers, who spend “no more than a couple minutes reviewing each resume they see,” according to Mike, a recruiter for a national digital company based in Seattle. Not having the right title can undercut how you’re viewed when you’re applying for your next job, not to mention as you’re working with your colleagues and clients in the meantime.

So, as you’re preparing for negotiations, don’t just think numbers, think names. Here’s what you need to know.

Consider the Existing Structure

Before proposing a new title, you’ll want to consider the reporting and organizational structure that’s already in place. If you’re applying for a standard position within a large organization, with several other employees who have the same job, a different title may not be viable. However, it “depends on the HR philosophy of the company, and how nimble the organization is,” says Mike. “For unique roles where the job is new, the job isn’t widespread, and the candidate brings unique skills, I’ve always been open to negotiating the title.”

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