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OK to Ask For a Better Job Title?

by Kara
(Tempe, AZ)

I was wondering if it is at all an option to request a job title change when being offered a job or in the interview process. I am interviewing for a "Marketing Coordinator" position, but the duties describe a "Marketing Manager" position. A Coordinator is seen as entry-level and I am at mid-level. Just wondering what my options are, if any. Thanks!


Mike comments:

Hello Kara-

This is a very good question and the short answer is yes. In my recruiting practice, I've seen this done successfully about 50% of the time.

It depends on the size and prestige of the company. Companies like Exxon, GM, or GE will be pretty rigid about their job titles, but medium size companies will often change your title if you ask them.

I recommend you not bring up the subject until you get to the offer stage. During the interview process you will learn a lot about the company culture and the scope of the job. Also, you are building your value to the company.

Hopefully, the employer will be so impressed with you that they'll conclude you're "The One". When their mind is made up about you, it's much easier to ask for a title change and get them to agree with it.

On a side note, I've actually seen this strategy backfire on a couple of people. Sometimes smaller companies who have a tough time attracting "A Player" candidates will soup up a job title to attract higher caliber job seekers. So the scope of the job may actually be a plant quality manager, but they'll give them the title of quality director.

The problem is this person actually believes they are a quality director. So when they're back on the job hunt again, they turn down great quality manager jobs thinking they're going backwards in their career.

I know this doesn't apply to you, but it's an interesting twist to the same question. Good luck with your job interview. Hope everything works out for you. If this all works out, please drop me a line to let me know.

Mike Petras

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