You might undersell yourself by giving yourself the wrong title

You might undersell yourself by giving yourself the wrong title

Why details often matter

Did you know that calling yourself something like "Junior JavaScript Developer" on your CV and socials is one of the worst things you can do for your career?

It immediately strips away a lot of your credibility and can often even close some doors.

What is wrong with this title?

It might seem perfectly fine to call yourself what you think you actually are, but it is not. It describes yourself too specifically, and it shuts some doors for you.

This title is one of the first things a recruiter or an interviewer sees on your CV, and it already tells them a lot about you. This is your description. It is a short, concise statement about who you are and what you do. It should state: "This is who I really am."

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Your current job title might indeed be "Junior JavaScript Developer," but is this everything you are capable of?
  2. Are you really a junior skill-wise, or is it simply because you only do this job for a year now?
  3. Is professional experience everything? Is there nothing else that defines your skills and capabilities?
  4. Is JavaScript really the only programming language you know and can work with?
  5. Do you only apply for JavaScript developer roles?

I hope you see where this is going. I guess that you are way more than only your job title. Recruiters and interviewers will ask themselves the same questions. You might be applying for a broader web development role, but you don't really sell yourself right.

How to create a better title for you

You should form a descriptive title for you that tells everything about your overall experience without pushing you too much in one direction. A web developer could also switch to embedded programming and vice versa, for example.

Your title should state:

  • I am a developer/engineer
  • I have this much experience
  • I specialize in XY

This is everything you need to describe yourself in one line. And it is enough to spark more interest in recruiters and interviewers.

First, get rid of the junior title. The only thing it does is implying that you are still inexperienced. A better description:

"JavaScript Developer with 2 years of experience."

But this still pushes you too much in the JavaScript direction. You actually are a developer or an engineer. What you want to call yourself of these two is up to you. You probably know a thing or two about computer science fundamentals, as all developers should. Those fundamentals are widely applicable. Not only to one certain language.

Programming languages are only tools to apply the real core of your job: Solving problems with software engineering principles. A better description would be:

"Software Developer/Engineer with 2 years of experience."

What you now have is a pretty generic description of yourself. There is one selling point missing: Every developer specializes in something. A web developer specializes in web development, a backend developer in the backend, and so on. Add this to the title to give yourself more credibility, which leads to a better description like this one:

"Software Developer with 2 years of experience, specializing in web development."

This is a pretty great description. It checks all points previously mentioned. And it does one important thing: It doesn't lock you into one specific field. You specialize in something, but it doesn't state that this is everything you can do. Apply this to your LinkedIn, your CV, your personal page, and you might see interest in you rise for more positions than only what you currently state you are capable of.

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