What to Do if Your Skill Set Doesn’t Match Your Job Title

What to Do if Your Skill Set Doesn’t Match Your Job Title - Style Nine to Five

Do you find yourself wearing more metaphorical hats than your job title would suggest? You are not alone. It is not uncommon in 2023 for employees to be expected to take on various tasks outside of their job title.

We live in the age of efficiency and productivity, where everything moves at lightning speed. So it’s no surprise our employers have us taking on a variety of roles that don’t fit neatly into one title. This is increasingly common for people starting out early in their careers, and even more so when you work on a smaller team, with less people to fill all roles.

For example, while large-scale corporations may have extensive marketing teams with multiple graphic designers, copywriters, social media manager etc., smaller teams may only have one person in marketing, doing it all with the title, “Social Media Coordinator.” I’ve worked on teams where the person doing HR was also the accountant, or the person on payroll was also doing ecommerce fulfillment.

Having a role where you take on various responsibilities outside of your title can actually set you up for an impressive experience on your next job application. You just need to know how to position your experience in your favour. We are here for guidance and advice to achieve that. Here are some tips you can use to take advantage of the many hats you wear:

Focus on Transferable Skills

Transferable skills can be found in any position. Identifying them and highlighting and positioning those skills in your application and interview can completely change how your experience looks to a hiring manager.

For every job you apply for, carefully read through the job description, noting the key skills and desired experience. Then, consider the responsibilities in your current role which are adjacent to those skills. Consider what tasks you do now that could be presented as a transferable skill to the role you’re applying for. Play up those desired skills in your cover letter and list them on your resumé. Make sure any desired skills go closer to the top to catch the eye of the reader and keep them interested in your application.

Say it Loud and Proud

Don’t be afraid to come right out on your cover letter and address all those fancy hats you wear. The fact that you can do so many things exhibits that you have a diverse set of skills and  shows that you are a team player, willing to take on various tasks to help see your company succeed. It also offers you the opportunity to test out a variety of career paths and carefully consider which one best suits you. So, rather than shying away from all those hats, communicate in your cover letter that you have had the opportunity to develop an eclectic skill set in your current role and are looking to pursue one of those skills further in the role you’re applying for.

An example of how you might approach this in your cover letter:

In my current position I have had the privilege of trying on many hats ranging from [insert skill], through [insert skill], [insert skill] and [insert skill]. It is rewarding for me to be in a position where I can [insert skills that align with your career direction, which are mentioned in the job description].

Discuss Opportunities with Your Current Employer

If you have found that within your current role you have progressively taken on more responsibilities outside your original title, consider having a conversation with your current boss about your designation.

For example, maybe part of your job has been managing the social media account for your company and you have had great success growing their Instagram account for them. If that’s the case and you see yourself wanting to take your career in that direction, schedule a meeting with your boss to see if you can adjust your title to reflect your new responsibilities.

You want to be strategic with this, ideally you have a healthy relationship with your superior, who is invested in seeing you succeed. You also want to be clear that you’re not currently looking to jump ship, but instead that you are interested in that direction and would love to gain more experience with your current company.

Request to have a new contract written up detailing your new responsibilities, with an impressive new job title to add to your resume. Having this in writing and discussing with your superior can help you to gain more clarity into what your role has become and how you can speak to it in future job applications and interviews.

I personally have had conversations such as these in the past and can say: you may be surprised to realize how open people are to helping you succeed, if you just ask.

Bonus tip: Since you’ve been taking on more responsibility in your role, this may also be a great opportunity to ask for a pay raise. Do some research first into what the industry standard is for your new skill set.  Knowing your worth is super important and definitely worth setting time aside to research.

If you want to be sure that your application truly demonstrates your extensive set of skills and how they can be transferred to your dream job, get some assistance from our founder Christie Lohr with a Job Application Review. Her extensive experience and thoughtful tips will put the finishing touches on your complete application.

Sheila ONeill is a creative, innovative and inspiring fashion writer and results-driven digital marketer.

Feature Image: Adobe Stock