It might have intrigued you that sometimes job titles are capitalized while sometimes they aren’t. Then, you might have wondered what the rule of job title capitalization is. Let’s know ‘Are Job Titles Capitalized?’
One has to consider capitalization not only in general written grammar, but also when mentioning certain important documents or while addressing someone. So, it becomes important for a professional person to keep the rules of capitalization in mind. Let’s jump into the article and see all the rules.
Should you capitalize on the job titles?
Some basic rules should be followed for the capitalization of job titles. Sometimes it’s necessary to capitalize the job title, while sometimes there’s no need to capitalize the job title. The rules of capitalization are the same for every job title, including the president, doctor, engineer, and so on. Every major style guide accepts and follows these basic rules.
Occurrence of the job title (before or after the name)
If the title comes before the name, then you should always capitalize the job title. For example, President Joe Biden, Doctor Mary, etc.
When the job title comes after the name of a person, then it won’t be capitalized. Like the case of William, governor of California or Anthony, head clerk, etc.
While there are some exceptions to this rule:
• The job title is capitalized when someone directly addresses the person. For instance, what is wrong with this, Professor?
• We capitalize on the high-ranking title when it replaces the name (out of courtesy).
• The job title at the end of the signature line can be capitalized, such as, truly, Olivia Brown, Vice President.
When we abbreviate the job titles, these are capitalized. Like ‘general manager’, will become Gen. Man. And the same way ‘account manager’ will become Acc. Man.
However, we can’t abbreviate the title after somebody’s name, the title there will be lowercase and unabbreviated.
Understand with examples:
Examples help us understand better, so read the examples given below carefully.
1. Dr. Sophie will come after 2:00 pm.
2. Colonial Wilson got martyred in the last bomb blast.
3. Inspector Smith came to the rescue when we called for help.
4. Do you personally know the U.S. President?
5. Mrs. Anderson, the head of internal development, handles all these things.
6. Isabella is a big fan of Dr. Seuss’s novels.
7. The sales associate got promoted yesterday.
8. Do we have any chance to win, Lawyer?
9. Do you know about the Indian Prime Minister?
10. The Dean of the student is Lee.
11. Henry Twain, our finance director, delivered our yearly projections.
12. She became a sales associate last year.
13. The president is the head of state.
14. Students enjoy Professor Jane’s classes.
15. In my 15 years as an employee, I worked as a teacher, principal, professor, and department head.
16. Did you send the email to the team leader, Emilie Griffin?
17. She works as a chef at a Thai restaurant.
18. This case is being investigated by Detective Georgia.
19. Report to the team head, Robert.
20. I am a manager of the content head at Glassdoor.
When it comes to mentioning in resume and cover letters.
We have discussed the general use of job titles in documents and other parts, but job searches, resumes, and cover letters are the important things where job titles are used majorly. So, it becomes necessary to solve this puzzle.
The above-mentioned rules also apply for resumes and cover letters, and there are some specific rules too.
When you use a job title as a heading, then it’ll be capitalized. For example, if you make a heading of sales associate and include the name of the company where you worked as a sales associate.
There’s no need to capitalize a title within the text part of your resume. You can go like “… Promoted to content manager within 3 months of working as a content writer”.
The job title is capitalized when it is used as a reference to a person. See the example for clarity: “I reported to the Director of Sales, Robert Miller after my promotion”.
Whereas, if you mention the tile after the name of the person in that position, the title won’t be capitalized. Ex. After my promotion, I reported to Robert Miller, director of sales.
In the case of cover letters, it is optional to capitalize the job title, but from these points, you might be able to decide on your own whether you should capitalize or not. Follow along with the writing, and you will manage to write grammatically correct cover letters.
Read your writing once or twice so that the mistakes can be pointed out, and then you can eliminate them.
While applying for any job, you can try to follow the capitalization used by the employer in the job description.
While mentioning in an email or signature line.
When people mention their job title in the email signature line or business letter, signature line, then the title is capitalized.
Its example is Joseph Davis, Chartered Accountant.
Charles Rodriguez, Regional Director.
Mark Wilson, Head of the Psychology Department.
Should you capitalize the job title in the job description, resume and cover letters?
The answer is, it depends… How?
When you use the job title as a heading, then it is capitalized. While in the further paragraph if the job is referred to, then there’s no need to capitalize the title.
Let’s say, if you are posting a job for a content writer, then the heading can be anything as duties of the Content Writer includes:
However, while describing the duties, the title will not be capitalized. Like here, the content writer is expected to write 3000 words daily.
In the case of official titles.
The rule for writing titles, including civil, religious, military, and royal titles is similar to other titles. Capitalize the title to address someone or if it’s the beginning of the name, otherwise it’ll be lowercase.
For instance, his writings included guns and politics because he was a general.
How should you capitalize on your academic degrees?
There are many instances when we have to write about certain degrees or departments, so it becomes important to discuss it here so that everything gets covered.
We capitalize the degrees while mentioning their formal names, otherwise, they aren’t capitalized. Such as Bachelor of Science, while the bachelor’s degree is not capitalized.
The same rule goes for the name of departments. If the department name is formal, then it is capitalized, such as the Department of Psychology and otherwise, it can be a psychology department.
You can’t use acronyms as the first reference for universities, or names of organizations, or committees, etc. But you can capitalize and use acronyms of the organizations which are nationally renowned. Such as FIFA, NASA, etc.
In the case of periods
There’s a rule of capitalization for historical designations. Such as the Stone Age, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance.
Why do we even follow the rules for title capitalization?
This question might also have bumped in your head that why is it even needed to capitalize a job title? And why can’t you just write what you feel?
As we follow certain grammatical rules to convey our intentions through writing, in the same way, we follow the proper rules of capitalization to convey our professionalism and respect to the people.
Also, the proper capitalization of the job title impresses the recruiter and shows the interest of the applicant in that position.
Capitalization is important to look professional and respectful in the writing. Also, proper capitalization in resumes and cover letters can attract the employer’s attention towards the candidate. Since we understand these necessities, we have written this article mentioning all the important rules in this article. We hope it helps you in your professional journey.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Q.1: Which use is correct: “sincerely, Joe Writes, Director of Marketing” or “Sincerely, Joe Writes, director of marketing”?
The first one, “Sincerely, Joe Writes, Director of Marketing” is correct. Because while mentioning the job title in the signature line, you should capitalize the title.
Q. 2: Should you always capitalize ‘President’?
It depends on the use, whether it comes before the name of the president or after the name, and other rules also have to be followed. To understand it better, you should read the above article.
Q.3: When should you capitalize the job title?
There are some specific rules for capitalization of job titles such as if it comes before the name, then the job title is capitalized while if the job title comes before the name of a person, it is not capitalized.
Q.4 Is this the right way to write Kim Addison, Sec. Gen. of the Navy?
No, the correct way to write it is, Kim Addison, Secretary-General of the Navy. Job titles are not abbreviated after someone’s name.
Q.5: Which is the correct bachelor’s degree or Bachelor of Arts?
Both are correct. Both the examples are capitalized according to the rules.