Job Position vs. Job Title: Definitions and Differences

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 27 September 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Understanding the terms job position and job title is important when applying for positions and negotiating your salary. Though they're both important for understanding your role and tasks, they have different functions. If you're applying for new positions or reviewing your CV, learning about the difference between job titles and job positions can be beneficial. In this article, we explain the differences between job position vs. job title, describe what a job position is, explore what a job title is and provide tips for detailing your titles and positions on your job application.

What is a job position?

Job positions refer to the functions and duties you perform within a company or organisation. It details your daily tasks, goals and projects. Each team member within a business has a job position that the company designs to assist them in reaching their goals. Staff members may learn more about their positions and understand their role within the company more as the length of their employment increases. Positions can also change over time, losing or gaining responsibilities as the needs of the organisation shift.

Job positions may not be consistent throughout an industry or business. For example, promotions and raises can affect job positions by increasing responsibility or assigning leadership roles. When you detail your job position on your CV, you list each responsibility you managed with the title you held. This allows the hiring manager or other reader to understand your abilities and what you're familiar with. Depending on your specific skills, you may define your position differently than others in the same department.

What is a job title?

Job titles are labels an organisation provides their staff members. Job titles create a business hierarchy, assign leadership and allow professionals to quickly understand your role. Titles are important because they allow clients to determine who is best to contact or speak with. Two team members with the same job title may have slightly different job positions. For example, a customer service representative may work in a department with many representatives, but some of the representatives handle client issues while others process product returns. Though they all work with customers and have the same job title, they have different responsibilities.

Recruiters often look at your job titles first when scanning your CV, so it's best to ensure your job title accurately defines your job position. Consider speaking with your manager or supervisor about changing your title if you feel your responsibilities don't match it. If you've accepted greater duties or more of a leadership role, receiving a new title can be useful for future job and salary negotiations. Hiring managers may be more interested in those with advanced job titles, depending on the position you're applying for.

Related: 12 Customer Service Skills: Definitions and Examples

Job position vs. job title

Though job titles and job positions both serve important functions for candidates and employees, they have different functions. These are some primary differences between job titles and job positions:

Purpose

A job title is the name of the role you occupy, but it doesn't always fully explain the tasks you manage. The purpose of a job title is to position your role within the company as it compares to and complements other roles. A job position is a function you serve at a company. It includes the daily tasks and projects you complete. Every employee has a job position that includes specific duties and responsibilities that help the company reach its goals. The purpose of a job position is to communicate its expectations and functions.

Specificity

Job titles are usually one to five words and allow colleagues and clients to identify your basic function within the company quickly. They aren't very specific, therefore when only using your job title, people may not gain a full understanding of what you do. While a job title is usually between one and five words, the job position can be much longer to explain all relevant responsibilities. It clearly articulates the primary functions of the position you're in and what you do each day.

Importance

Another area in which job titles and job positions differ is important to application processes and earnings. Your job position is important because it defines your role within the company, but your job title may have more impact. If your job title doesn't accurately represent your position, you may not receive fair compensation or consideration for applications.

Related: 210 Professional Job Titles for Your Resume (With Tips)

Tips for detailing your title and position on your resume

Detailing your titles and positions on your application materials can convince hiring managers to contact you and schedule interviews. Accurately representing your abilities and skills in your work experience section can improve your CV and show that you're an ideal candidate. These are some tips for explaining your job title and job position on your application materials:

Be specific

When composing your CV, it's important to be specific, so hiring managers know your exact role. Being specific also helps them determine if you have performed the tasks that the open role requires. To detail your position accurately, you can express exactly what you did each day as specifically as possible. For example, you might include values for each task that you managed. Here's an example before and after showing how to add details:

Before: Answered incoming customer calls.

After: Answered 30 customer calls daily, responding to requests and transferring to appropriate departments when necessary.

Use active verbs

Active verbs are words that portray action. They're a great way to strengthen your CV by explaining what you did rather than the tasks themselves. Active verbs position you as the focus of your CV, strengthening the document and projecting your confidence in your roles. Active verbs also form shorter statements, which can make them easier for hiring managers to scan. Here's an example showing how you can add action words:

Before: Tasked with leading a group in a multi-month project.

After: Successfully led a team of seven in a 10-month project.

Related: 139 Action Verbs to Make Your CV Stand Out

Include examples

Include examples in each of your job positions to guide the hiring manager in visualising your accomplishments. It is much easier to understand a situation when describing it to your audience in detail. To better explain your job position, make sure to include specific examples of the work you did. Think about specific projects you worked on that capture your responsibilities well. For example, you might write, Managed $500,000 budget to renovate and update office space.

Describe results

Describe the results of your work to demonstrate the difference you made in the business. Explaining results shows the hiring manager how you contributed to the company's success. If your responsibility was to manage a company's social media page, you might include how many followers you acquired for the company in a month. If you're in a sales position, you might specify the total number of sales you made. You can also describe changes or systems you introduce and how much they improve workflow or efficiency.

Present the position clearly

Clearly presenting your job position helps the hiring manager fully understand your role in the company. Sometimes, at specific jobs, you have complicated and complex work that not every recruiter can understand. By selecting the most important duties and writing about them in a straightforward manner, you can capture the hiring manager's interest. In your interview, you have more time to detail the complexities of your duties.

Related: How To Write a CV With No Work Experience (With Tips and Example)

Provide details

If your job title is vague or doesn't fully encompass all of your duties, you can add your position next to the title. Adding this clarification helps hiring managers learn more about the position while scanning your CV. You might be in a leadership position but have a title that doesn't reflect that. In this situation, you can add additional details. For example, you might write, Maintenance technician (team lead).

In this example, including team lead shows you have management and leadership experience, in addition to your basic responsibilities. Though the title a company provides you officially may not show your leadership, you can add the clarification. Describing your position and showing the specific tasks you complete can support the title.

Related: 10 Leadership Skills To Highlight In Your Resume

Elaborate in your cover letter

Elaborating on certain job positions in your cover letter helps the hiring manager better understand the responsibilities listed in your resume. Since you can only provide so much information on a CV, use your cover letter as an opportunity to expand on the job positions you're most proud of. For example, explain how your job position as a head retail manager taught you leadership skills that transfer well to a new role.

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