What Does it Mean When it Says "Desired Job Name" on a Resume?

Detailed resumes are effective.
i Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

It may seem obvious which job position you're applying for, especially if your qualifications match the job description to a tee. However, it's usually a good idea to list the desired job name on your resume. Some companies hire a variety of applicants, so it helps the human resource department get your resume to the right hiring manager. You don't want your application for a receptionist position to wind up in the sales department.

Job Title

    The desired job name on a resume is the same as the desired job title. It's usually listed directly below your name and contact information, or it can be incorporated into your objective statement. Use the initial job solicitation or job description to create your desired job name. For example, if the job ad specifies "Dental hygienist needed to work in fast-paced office," list "Dental Hygienist" as your desired job title. Don't try to come up with something funny or crafty such as "Tooth Fairy" or "Tooth Decay Expert." You don't want a potential employer to think you won't take the job seriously. If the position is a government job or a highly technical job, it might also have a number associated with the title -- include it as part of your desired job title.

Previous Job Title

    The desired job name is often the same as the title you held at your last job. However, if you're changing career paths or applying for a slightly different role, make your desired title match the current job description. CareerPlanner.com states that hiring managers often have to guess what kind of job a candidate is applying for and that's a big mistake. Even if you're concerned a specific title might limit your employment options, human resources is usually smart enough to file your resume with the appropriate department. You don't want your resume to wind up in the trash can because human resources or hiring managers couldn't figure out what position you're actually applying for.

More than One Job Title

    You may need to list two desired job titles if you qualify for more than one open position, as long as the titles are closely related. For example, CareerPlanner.com suggests using "Human Resource Manager / Human Resource Generalist" or "Software & Applications Developer / Web Programmer" as your desired job titles if you're equally interested in both job openings. However, you wouldn't want to write "Tax Accountant / Front-Desk Receptionist" as your desired job titles. Those positions are quite different and require unique skill sets. It helps to list two desired job titles if you're willing to accept a lower-level position in the same field or your skills equally match both positions. It's necessary to list closely related titles or you risk appearing unfocused and unsure of your career goals, according to CareerPlanner.com.


    Don't use one resume and one desired job title for all of your job applications, unless the positions are nearly identical. Otherwise, it will look like you're taking short cuts. Craft your resume to fit each individual employment opportunity and change the desired job title for each opening. Your resume must be relevant to job responsibilities associated with a specific position, advises career coach Robin Ryan on the Job Dig website. For example, if you're applying for two jobs, one as a physical therapist and one as a fitness instructor, you may have some crossover between your skills and experience. But, the desired job title for each position is totally unique.

the nest