As corporations have diversified, they have also created a slew of fancy titles. Take Coca-Cola and Marriott, for instance, who both employ “chief blogging officers.” And then there’s Southwest Airlines with its “chief Twitter officer.” It’s even been reported that Kodak once had a “chief listening officer.”
The IT sector was well known for its bizarre job titles: chief guru, chief evangelist, chief scrum master, and Steve Jobs’ self-anointed title of “chief know-it-all.” And it’s not just IT that enhances their image with fancy-sounding titles. Many companies of all sizes are adding ‘chief’ to their employees’ claims to make them seem more authoritative to their customers and business partners.
Why do some people care so much about random job titles?
So many job titles don’t describe a role accurately. They don’t mean much without knowing the context of the employer and the responsibilities and duties that go with the title. For example, the chief financial officer of a ten-person manufacturing business will require different skills than the CFF of a multinational corporation.
And then there are those ambiguous titles that have no connection to any specific duties or skills:
- Management Consultant
- Digital Overlord
- Social Media Ninja
- Solutions Manager
- Chief Happiness Officer
Not one of these job titles says much about what the holder of the title does. They are relatively useless in assessing the skills or duties that are involved. Far from being able to compare job titles on an apples–to–apples basis, many job titles reveal too little of what the role will entail.
Title Fluffing in the Recruitment and Hiring Process
Job titles help to establish the chain of command within an organization. One position is senior to another. This employee reports to that manager. In other words, the plant manager is higher in the pecking order than the department supervisor or the assistant foreman.
But this has resulted in what has been accurately described as ‘title fluffing,’ in which some roles are made to seem more valuable and attractive by merely giving them more significant-sounding titles.
Social media positions are posted with titles such as conversation manager or brand ambassador. Titles like these are sometimes used by hiring companies to make their job opening sound more impressive than it is in reality. Vague titles can be confusing for a candidate trying to decide between multiple offers since comparing titles is nearly impossible.
Conversely, resorting to title-fluffing on a resume can come across as being devious, and might hurt a jobseeker in the hiring process.
Don’t be misled by meaningless job titles.
Remember, if everyone in the prospective company holds the title of manager, officer, executive, ambassador, or chief this or that, the chain of command becomes blurred, and the titles become diminished.
If a hiring manager or recruiter offers you a fancy job title, make sure it accurately describes what you’ll be doing in your new role!
Get the straight scoop on your next job title.
Contact us at Pro Resources. We are a professional, clerical, and light industrial employment agency in Indiana. With over 30 years of experience, we can help you find an exciting position with an accurate job title.