Does my new title matter? Should I decline the offer because the company won’t budge on it? How much should I actually be worried about this?
In short, you shouldn’t be too worried about it. You can 100% ask if there is any flexibility for a different title, but if they won’t budge on it, you should.
For a few reasons.
Let me start with an example;
Someone with a CEO title in a 3-person company is different than a CEO in a 10,000-person company…. or a million-person company. Responsibilities are vastly different; think management, dealing with a board, scale of budget, levels of leadership, levels of established and working processes… I could go on, but I think you get the point.
If you’re coming from a smaller company, your title might be senior, or have a C in it… but when you scale your experience, scope, salary, and responsibilities to a much larger organization, you may just be a team lead, or you may need to start out at an intermediate level.
Or maybe you’re coming from a larger company, and you would have more responsibilities at a smaller organization. You expect your title to reflect that, but maybe their job titles don’t and their structures aren’t fully built out yet.
It’s easy to get caught up in a title war when negotiating with your new potential employer. You worked hard to get where you are. You don’t want your new title to look like you took a step back on your resume; and you definitely don’t want recruiters overlooking at your resume and not reaching out to you because of it.
The beauty of your resume, however, is that you’re able to articulate exactly what you did and what you were responsible for; regardless of your title. Recruiters know that titles are completely arbitrary. Yes, when looking for potential candidates, recruiters may do a title search… but it’s not the only search they do- if it were, they’d never find the candidates they’re looking for. Recruiters also search for certain verbs, technologies, responsibilities. all of which can clearly be conveyed in a resume. Recruiters read what you have under job responsibilities, which is the meat and potatoes of how they determine if you’re a fit or not; even if the title isn’t a match.
Does the new company offer you exactly what you were looking for? Does is seem like a good culture fit? Are the benefits good? Does the money fit?
If the answer is yes to those questions, the answer to if your new potential title is a mountain you should die on is no.
That’s stands as long as you want to advance in your career.
Take it from a recruiters perspective- and focus on the what is that you’re doing. That’s the real value.
Keep your ego in check, and don’t give up a job opportunity because a company has an arbitrary way of defining what you do.
They all do that.