Talent At Work: Recruitment and Career Blog

Weird Job Titles Make Us Smile, But They’re Not The Keywords Employers Search For

Posted on March 19th, by Henry Goldbeck in Career, Henry Goldbeck, Job Search, Resume Writing. Comments Off on Weird Job Titles Make Us Smile, But They’re Not The Keywords Employers Search For

Let’s talk about weird ‘n wonderful job titles and how they can work for you (and against you).

weird job titles like "office ninja"

Office Ninja!

Maybe you really are an Accounting Ninja or Programming Wizard…

…But should you say so on LinkedIn or in your resume?

Accounting Ninja, Web Overlord, Editrix, Creatrix, Reception Rockstar, Wizards, Warriors, Genies, Sherpas, Badasses and Vixens: these are actual weird and wonderful job titles we see on resumes and LinkedIn profiles.

And if it gets you attention and makes a positive impression, great.

If it tells your story, even better.

Creative job titles are a trend especially prevalent among freelancers, start-ups and bootstrapping entrepreneurs — and in these arenas, can be an effective component of their brand differentiation strategy.



But will a weird and wacky job title work for you in your job search?

In our candidate database, for example, we have seven ninjas.

Here’s how many we’ve interviewed: 0.

Here’s how many we’ve hired or placed: 0.

“Would you hire someone who described herself as a ‘new product ninja’ or a ‘ninja programmer’?” I asked Henry Goldbeck, the president of our company and a recruiter with more than 27 years of experience.

“Maybe,” he said. “I don’t care what people call themselves. If they have the skills for the position, I’ll call them. The question is, would I see their resume in the first place?

And THAT is the issue. When searching resumes in a candidate database or profiles on LinkedIn, no recruiters or potential employers – or only a quirky few – are searching for unusual job titles like ninjas and badasses.

“Nobody reads resumes,” Henry continues, “so no one’s impressed by cool stuff [like witty job titles]. We’re looking for skills and quantifiable results.”

And keywords.

Think about it: if you were hiring a marketing manager, and decided to cruise LinkedIn for potential candidates, what keywords will you use to search for potential candidates?

Probably not ‘Marcomm Vixen’, right?

We’re not telling you not to use clever or witty turns of phrase in your resume…

(Full confession: I used the job description “Mama/Household CEO” to explain a gap in my own work experience – and it was remarked upon, positively, by a few potential employers – but only because I had the specific, prosaic terms they were looking for that let them find my resume in the first place.)

…But if you are going to use weird job titles and descriptions on your LinkedIn profile or on the resume you submit to a candidate database, MAKE SURE you’re ALSO using the more standard terms a recruiter or future employer will use to find candidates.

So yes, you absolutely can be an accounting ninja on your resume or in your profile.

Just make sure you’re also a CPA and you’ve included other relevant keywords — because that is what we’re searching for.

Otherwise you’ll get screened out rather than screened in. And that’s not a ninja move at all.


image credit: Pete Jellife / Petroleum Jelliffe on Flickr. You can see more of his photos here.

My Name
Kelly Diels-Rostant
Job Title
Online Marketing Manager
I work for
Goldbeck Recruiting
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Henry E. Goldbeck, President and founder of Goldbeck Recruiting Inc, is a Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC) with over 24 years recruiting experience. In his 13 years at the helm of Goldbeck Recruiting, Henry has built the company's reputation as a leading headhunter and recruitment agency in sales, marketing, operations, engineering, and executive level positions across a variety of industries.

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