Do Job Titles Matter?

How do recruiters/ hiring manager view an applicants job title? For instance someone who is called a data entry clerk but if you looked at her resume you will realize that job title doesn't really represent their responsibilities? And they are qualified for the position. Is it an automatic negative? Or does it not matter ?

WSO Elite Modeling Package

  • 6 courses to mastery: Excel, Financial Statement, LBO, M&A, Valuation and DCF
  • Elite instructors from top BB investment banks and private equity megafunds
  • Includes Company DB + Video Library Access (1 year)

Comments (24)

May 18, 2017 - 11:13pm

@gfour first choice.
BankerC159 yep that seems like the logical thing to do. I was just wondering if anyone has any experience where they looked at a person's resume whose job title didn't match their bullet points and what were their impressions/ how they did respond to it. For instance maybe you look at a job title and automatically ding that person lol.

@rjg93" you hire people? what position are you referring to?

Learn More

300+ video lessons across 6 modeling courses taught by elite practitioners at the top investment banks and private equity funds -- Excel Modeling -- Financial Statement Modeling -- M&A Modeling -- LBO Modeling -- DCF and Valuation Modeling -- ALL INCLUDED + 2 Huge Bonuses.

Learn more
May 24, 2017 - 8:24am

In real estate, titles often do not matter at all.

One company's analyst could have the same responsibilities as another's Vice President.

Commercial Real Estate Developer

May 24, 2017 - 8:25am

Do titles matter? (Originally Posted: 09/09/2016)

How much do titles matter in the world of investment banking? I am two years out of school and have the title of Vice President at my current firm. I work at a boutique M&A advisory firm where we focus on small, privately-held businesses on buy- and sell-side mandates. Even at such a small firm we do a quite a bit of modeling and am fairly confident on my technical ability, however I'm in the position of making a lateral move to MM/BB bank.

Due to the size of the firm and the need for business development and origination, I was promoted to VP after my first year. Looking back it was more of an optics move than anything. I understand the typical banking hierarchy but am worried now that this title will hurt my chances of making my next move.

Should I be worried?

Thank you.

May 24, 2017 - 8:26am

It will most certainly be an issue. A VP at a MM and BB drives the M&A process, is responsible for the final status of all marketing materials (obviously with MD approval), is responsible for the final state of all valuation, etc.

I started at a boutique and was given the title of associate. When I went through the lateral process, I changed my title to analyst on my resume and LinkedIn because that is what I technically was. I never had an issue with that.

May 24, 2017 - 8:27am

Titles matter more when you're a salesman. Generally, current/potential clients want to speak with someone who has at least some autonomy or decision making power to get things done. It's a common assumption that an Associate/Analyst doesn't have this power, although senior associates can definitely drive a process. If you were selling your private small business you probably wouldn't want to talk with an Associate/Analyst. Your firm is giving you the VP title for optics because it sounds better to current/potential clients.

I wouldn't worry, but I would be prepared to clearly communicate to a headhunter or banker you're looking to lateral as an Associate. You might want to state this upfront before they make any immediate wrong assumptions about your candidacy.

May 24, 2017 - 8:28am

Not speaking relative to IB but in high finance in general..

I've seen on LinkedIn guys who were Directors or even MDs that went to positions as a Senior Analyst in similar field or something. Seems odd to me.

Best Response
May 24, 2017 - 8:31am

It probably makes the most sense to put analyst

BUT it might be more fun if you change your title in the opposite direction and put MD, and when they ask for references, put yourself. give zero fucks

  • 4
May 24, 2017 - 8:34am

Op, I too am in your position. I am the VP in our firm, but our firm is very small (we do $250m in deals a year). I was offered the title of VP when I brought in a few clients, and after the previous VP left. I have had head hunters ask me about how I was promoted so quickly, and I have had to explain my title in interviews.

Like others have said, leave the title as is on your business cards, but on your resume change your title to analyst. Sure VP sounds great, but it will hinder your opportunities with firms that actually know what they are doing.

May 24, 2017 - 8:36am

I was offered the title of VP when I brought in a few clients, .

Sounds like a legit VP to me ... did they hook you up with some ridiculous comp for bringing in those clients?
Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

May 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (9) $911
  • Vice President (35) $364
  • Associates (195) $233
  • 2nd Year Analyst (110) $151
  • Intern/Summer Associate (96) $145
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (26) $145
  • 1st Year Analyst (404) $131
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (330) $82