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Ninjas, Squirrels and Warriors

Guru, Visionary, Thinker, Herder, Overlord and my personal favorite… Goddess. What do all of these have in common? These are portions of real job titles that people actually use. And why? Because they think they are witty and funny. To be exact, 6,778 other people on LinkedIn also think they are witty and funny by calling themselves a Domestic Goddess. You are neither witty nor funny. And in this case, unfortunately, not terribly unique either.

So why do people use these somewhat silly or made-up job titles in their professional social media profiles? Most likely, people are trying to stand out a bit with a unique job title or think they will show up in more search results. But here’s the gig, unless your title actually is, Purple Squirrel Hunter, and I’m guessing it’s not, you would be better off using your real job title and then some key skill words to get noticed more. Why? Because recruiters aren’t actually doing keyword searches on titles like Accounting Ninja and Brand Warrior. Recruiters do searches on skills and keywords and things that are relevant to the job they are trying to fill. While it is totally possible they are looking for someone who has some ninja-like accounting skills, it’s unlikely that descriptor will be in the resume or the search string.

What about folks who are unemployed though? Isn’t’ it better to list some sort of ‘title’ instead of just unemployed? Why yes, yes it is better to have a title. But rather than a made-up funny title, put in the title you want. Remember that fake it ‘til you make it mentality? This is a little bit of the same. If you are a Marketing Director who is unemployed at the moment, Keep your title as Marketing Director and then add in some keywords that speak to your specialties and expertise. The job title field on LinkedIn is a heavily searched area for recruiters. Utilize that space to its fullest.

Another area to maximize is the Headline section. Using that same Marketing Director example, you can put in ‘Marketing Director specializing in Social Media, Analytics and SEO.’ This is much more descriptive and will achieve higher keyword hits than simply ‘Unemployed’ or ‘Looking for New Opportunities.’

So, now you work for one of those progressive companies that really does give out titles like Chief Fun Officer… what do you do now? Well, if you’re looking for a new opportunity, try to highlight your actual skills, responsibilities and accomplishments and less on the title. Maybe this is a situation where it’s appropriate to modify the title a bit to be a bit more industry standard. So something like CFO becomes Sr. Event Coordinator – Chief Fun Officer. That way you’re being true to the title that has been bestowed upon you, but also letting others outside of the organization know what you really do on a daily basis. That my friends, is called a win-win situation.

How about you? Have you heard or seen any really good or funny job titles? Would it make you want to interview or hire the person? Or do you see them more as a gimmick? Let me know what you think!