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Blog
3 minute read

What do Different Job Titles Actually Mean?

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Connie Evans

Getting your head around job titles can be tricky as there are so many different titles, as well as variations of the same title (just to make things even more confusing!).

It can be useful to have an understanding of what different job titles actually mean, partially so you can make sure that you’re looking for appropriate roles over the course of your own job hunt but also so you can understand the hierarchy and division of responsibility in any company that you work in. We’re going to try our hardest to decode the key job titles that you are likely to come across over the course of your career, so you’ll soon be an expert in separating your COOs from your CFOs and your Managers from your Coordinators!

We’ll start at the top, with the titles for the highest positions and work our way down to the entry-level positions:

  • CEO (Chief Executive Officer) – the CEO is the highest ranking position in a company. In smaller companies, it is often the case that the founder of the company will hold the title of CEO. In larger companies, the CEO may also be referred to as the MD (Managing Director). Regardless of the size of the company, the CEO will have the last say on implementing strategy and oversee the making of all major decisions.
  • COO (Chief Operating Officer) – the COO is just below the CEO and oversees the daily operations of a company. Smaller business do not often have COOs as the Director/CEO may take on the responsibilities a COO in a large company would have.
  • CFO (Chief Financial Officer) – the CFO is on the same level as the COO, however, they oversee all the financial affairs of a company as opposed to the operations. Once again, smaller companies don’t often have CFOs, as the financial responsibilities tend to be overseen by a director/CEO.
  • Director – a director holds one of the highest managerial roles within a company as they tend to lead an entire department of staff. Smaller companies may have a single director as they do not have such a large amount of employees. However, larger companies often have a number of directors, each of which heads up a different department.
  • Senior Manager – a senior managerial role tends to only be necessary in larger businesses where an additional level of management is required on top of the general manager.
  • Manager – managers are a step above an executive. They tend to have a relatively similar role to those that they manage, with the added responsibility of leading a team.
  • Coordinator – a coordinator is a slightly less senior position than a manager but with very similar responsibilities. They assist the manager by coordinating the various elements required to complete the overall task that the manager is in charge of.
  • Executive – generally an entry-level position, individuals in executive roles tend to be those that carry out the day to day tasks in a company.

It is important to bear in mind that there are always exceptions to the job titles listed above, as each company assigns titles as they see fit. Therefore, a manager at one company may have a slightly different set of responsibilities to a manager at a different company, even if they are in the same sector. This is often the case in smaller companies as there are fewer staff, meaning that certain job titles may cover a wider range of responsibilities than in larger companies. There are also many job titles that are only applicable to specific businesses within certain sectors. For example, the title ‘Content Writer’ is often only present in marketing sectors, as content writers perform a specific role which is not generally required within other sectors such as finance.

To contextualise the key job titles, take a look at a few examples of titles relevant to the sectors that TalentPool specialise in:

Marketing:

  • Marketing Executive
  • Influencer Manager
  • Digital Communications Manager

Sales:

  • Sponsorship Executive
  • Account Manager
  • Regional/National Sales Manager

Operations:

  • Conference and Events Coordinator
  • Operations Manager
  • Education Product Manager

You’re bound to come across unfamiliar job titles no matter what sector you end up in, but now you’ve got an understanding of the basics it should be a lot easier to decipher the rest!