Are Job Titles Capitalized? Tips for Correct Capitalization

Do you ever find yourself unsure of when to capitalize those fancy job titles on your business card? Well, you’re not alone! Many people struggle with this small but crucial detail when it comes to writing about their profession. But fear not, my friend, as I am here to help you sort out this confusion once and for all! So, let’s dive right in and tackle the question at hand: are job titles capitalized?

Whether you’re an executive director, a marketing coordinator, or a customer service representative, you might be wondering if it’s appropriate to capitalize your job title when you’re writing about it. The answer is not a simple one, as it depends on the context and the guidelines you’re following. In some cases, job titles are capitalized as a sign of respect, while in other situations they might be not. It can be a matter of style and preference, so it’s important to know what’s expected of you.

For instance, if you’re writing a formal business document, such as a resume or a cover letter, it’s a good idea to capitalize your job title so that it stands out and shows your expertise. On the other hand, if you’re writing an email to your colleagues or drafting a memo for your team, you may not need to capitalize your job title unless it’s part of a proper noun (e.g., “President of the United States”). Ultimately, it all comes down to knowing your audience and making an informed decision about which style to follow.

Common Capitalization Rules for Job Titles

Job titles are an essential part of any professional communication. Getting the capitalization of job titles right can be tricky, but it’s an important aspect of good writing, as it directly reflects on the level of respect that we assign to the person holding the position. Here are some common capitalization rules for job titles that can help you avoid confusion and errors:

  • Capitalization of job titles should be consistent, whether you are writing job titles in your resume, email or business letters.
  • Capitalize the job titles when they come before a name, but not after. For example: President Tom Smith.
  • In general, lowercase job titles when they stand alone or come after a name. Examples: The president spoke at the conference. Tom Smith, the president, spoke at the conference.
  • Capitalize job titles that come after the name in formal correspondence, such as a cover letter. Example: Tom Smith, President of XYZ Corporation.
  • If the job title is a proper noun, it should be capitalized. For example, The Queen of England, The Prime Minister of Japan.

It’s important to note that different companies and industries may have their own specific capitalization rules for job titles. It’s always a good practice to follow the capitalization guidelines of the organization or industry you are writing for.

Exceptions to the Rules

There are a few common job titles that do not follow the standard capitalization rules. These include:

  • pope
  • president (when not referring to a specific person)
  • queen or king (when used generically, such as “the queen of diamonds”)


Capitalization of job titles can be tricky, but following the above-mentioned rules can ensure consistency and accuracy. Remember to check the specific capitalization guidelines of the organization or industry you are writing for, and watch out for exceptions to the standard rules which exist in some cases.

Correct Use of Capitalization Incorrect Use of Capitalization
Tom Smith, CEO of XYZ Corporation Tom Smith, CEO Of XYZ Corporation
The President spoke at the conference The president spoke at the conference

The above table illustrates examples of correct and incorrect capitalization for job titles. Always aim for consistency and accuracy when it comes to capitalization.

Proper nouns and job titles

One of the most confusing aspects of capitalization is determining whether job titles should be capitalized. In general, job titles are capitalized when they come before the person’s name and are used as part of their official title. This applies to both proper nouns (names of specific people, places, or things) and common nouns (general names for a type of person or thing).

Here are some examples:

  • President Joe Biden
  • Chief Executive Officer Mary Smith
  • English teacher Mrs. Johnson

On the other hand, if the job title is used as a common noun, it is not capitalized. For example:

  • The company hired a new chief executive officer.
  • My neighbor is a math teacher.

When it comes to proper nouns, the rules for capitalization are more straightforward. The names of specific people, places, or things are capitalized, regardless of whether they are part of a job title. For example:

Proper Nouns:

  • Microsoft
  • New York City
  • John Doe

However, there are some exceptions to the rule. Some job titles that are considered generic or common are not capitalized, even when they come before the person’s name. These include words like doctor, lawyer, engineer, and accountant. For example:

Capitalized Not Capitalized
Dr. Jane Smith The doctor prescribed medication.
Attorney General John Doe My uncle is a lawyer.
Engineer Mary Johnson The engineer designed the bridge.

It’s important to remember that capitalization rules can vary depending on the specific style guide being used. Always consult the appropriate style guide when in doubt.

How to format job titles in an email

When it comes to writing emails, it’s important to use proper formatting to make sure your message is clear and professional. This includes formatting job titles correctly. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Capitalize job titles when they come before a name. For example: “Chief Executive Officer Jane Smith”
  • Don’t capitalize job titles when they come after a name. For example: “Jane Smith, chief executive officer”
  • When using a job title as a stand-alone title, capitalize it. For example: “Please contact the Director of Human Resources.”

Additionally, it’s important to be consistent in your formatting throughout your email. For example, if you capitalize a job title in one place, make sure you do it throughout the entire email. This helps maintain a professional and organized appearance.

Here’s an example of how to properly format job titles within an email:

Incorrect Formatting: Correct Formatting:
Hi Susan, Hi Susan,
I would like to speak with the marketing manager, John Smith. I would like to speak with the Marketing Manager, John Smith.
Thanks, Thanks,
Jane Jane

Following these formatting guidelines will help you communicate your message more effectively and professionally within your emails, especially when writing to potential employers or clients.

Writing job titles in resumes and cover letters

When it comes to writing job titles in resumes and cover letters, there are a few key things to keep in mind. Here are some tips to help you effectively communicate your job titles:

  • Capitalize job titles: In both resumes and cover letters, job titles should be capitalized. This helps them stand out and gives them the importance they deserve.
  • Match the job title to the job description: When applying for a job, make sure that the job title you use on your resume and cover letter matches the job description. This will show that you have read the job listing carefully and are a good fit for the position.
  • Be consistent: If you have held multiple job titles at the same company, make sure you are consistent in how you list them on your resume. For example, if you list one job title as “Marketing Manager” and another as “Manager of Marketing,” it can be confusing for the hiring manager. Stick to one format throughout.

In addition to these tips, it’s important to keep in mind the overall tone and style of your resume and cover letter. Make sure that your job titles fit in with the rest of your writing and add to the overall professionalism of your application.

Here is an example table that shows the correct way to write job titles in resumes and cover letters:

Incorrect Correct
marketing manager Marketing Manager
manager of marketing Marketing Manager
lead software developer Lead Software Developer

By following these tips and using the correct formatting for job titles, you can make sure that your resume and cover letter present you in the best possible light to prospective employers.

Understanding job title hierarchy

Job titles are used to define an individual’s role in an organization or company. They help to establish the responsibilities, level of expertise, and position of an employee within the organizational structure. However, the question often arises about how capitalization plays a role in job titles and how it is affected by job title hierarchy. Understanding job title hierarchy is important in order to communicate effectively with colleagues and superiors about their positions.

  • In general, job titles should be capitalized when used before a person’s name, such as “Chief Executive Officer John Doe.”
  • However, when job titles are used generically or descriptively, they should not be capitalized, such as “The chief executive officer of the company.”
  • When it comes to job title hierarchy, titles can vary greatly depending on the organization, but generally follow a structure that includes entry-level positions, mid-level management positions, and executive-level positions.
  • Entry-level job titles may include positions such as intern, assistant, or associate.
  • Mid-level management positions may include positions such as supervisor, manager, or director.
  • Executive-level positions may include positions such as vice president, president, or chief executive officer.

It’s important to recognize the hierarchy of job titles within a company because it can affect communication and job responsibilities. For example, an entry-level employee may have different responsibilities and expectations than a mid-level manager or an executive. Understanding the nuances of job title hierarchy can help employees better understand their own roles and the roles of their colleagues.

Job Title Responsibilities
Intern Assisting with day-to-day tasks, learning job skills
Assistant Supporting mid-level management, managing administrative tasks
Manager Supervising employees, managing projects and budgets
Vice President Leading departments or teams, making strategic decisions
Chief Executive Officer Overseeing overall business strategy and decision-making

Job title hierarchy can also affect promotions and career advancement opportunities. It’s important to be aware of the hierarchy and to strive for advancement within it in order to achieve career goals. Overall, understanding job title hierarchy is crucial for effective communication, job performance, and career advancement.

Job titles and legal documentation

When it comes to legal documentation such as contracts, job titles can play a crucial role in defining the scope of responsibility and authority of an employee. Incorrectly capitalized job titles can lead to disputes, misunderstandings, and even legal issues. Therefore, it is essential to know the proper capitalization rules for job titles in legal documentation.

Capitalization Rules for Job Titles in Legal Documentation

  • Capitalize job titles if they come before a name, e.g., Chief Executive Officer John Doe.
  • Capitalize job titles if they imply a high level of responsibility or authority, e.g., Vice President of Operations.
  • Do not capitalize job titles if they come after a name or are used as generic descriptions, e.g., John Doe, chief financial officer of the company.
  • If a job title is used in a plural form, lowercase it, e.g., software engineers.
  • Capitalize job titles that are specific to an organization or industry, e.g., Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
  • Do not capitalize job titles that are used as general terms, e.g., the janitor, the manager, the director.

Examples of Job Titles in Legal Documentation

Here are some examples of correctly capitalized job titles in legal documentation:

Correct Incorrect
Chief Information Officer Chief information officer
General Manager General manager
Director of Marketing Director of marketing
Senior Account Executive Senior account executive

By following these capitalization rules, job titles can be used effectively in legal documentation to accurately convey an employee’s position and responsibilities within an organization.

Job Titles in Academic Writing

Academic writing requires strict adherence to formatting and style guidelines, and the rules on capitalization of job titles are no exception. In general, job titles should be capitalized when they appear before or after a person’s name, but not when they are simply used as a generic description of a person’s occupation. However, there are some specific considerations to keep in mind when it comes to job titles in academic writing.

Capitalization of Job Titles in Academic Writing

  • In academic writing, job titles should generally be capitalized when they are used before or after a person’s name. For example, “Professor Smith” or “Smith, Professor of History.”
  • When job titles are used generically to describe a type of occupation, they are not capitalized. For example, “The professor gave a lecture on history.”
  • When referring to a specific role within an organization, such as president or vice president, the title should be capitalized. For example, “The Vice President of Finance.”
  • In some cases, academic disciplines have specific conventions for capitalizing job titles. For example, in the field of law, “Professor” is typically capitalized, while in the field of medicine, “Professor” is not capitalized.

Job Titles in References

In academic writing, job titles are often included in references to identify the author’s qualifications and expertise. When including a job title in a reference, the title should be capitalized when it is used in the person’s name, and lowercase when the title is used generically. For example:

Capitalized Lowercase
John Smith, PhD, Professor of Psychology Dr. John Smith, professor of psychology

It is important to be consistent in the use of capitalization for job titles throughout an academic document, as inconsistent capitalization can be interpreted as a lack of attention to detail.

Are Job Titles Capitalized

Q: Do I capitalize my job title in a sentence?
A: It depends on the context. If the job title comes before the name, it is capitalized (e.g. “Marketing Manager Jane Doe”). If it is used generically, it is not capitalized (e.g. “Marketing manager Jane Doe”).

Q: Should I capitalize job titles in my resume?
A: Yes, it is proper to capitalize job titles in your resume. It helps emphasize your job title to potential employers.

Q: Is it necessary to capitalize job titles in email signatures?
A: It is not necessary to capitalize job titles in email signatures, but it is a matter of personal preference. However, consistency is key. If you choose to capitalize in your signature, make sure you do it every time.

Q: What about when referring to someone else’s title?
A: If you are addressing someone by their job title (e.g. “Hello, Doctor”), capitalize it. If you are simply referring to their job title (e.g. “The doctor said…”), do not capitalize it.

Q: Do I capitalize “job title” when writing about job titles?
A: No, “job title” is a generic term and should not be capitalized, unless it is at the beginning of a sentence.

Q: Should acronyms of job titles be capitalized?
A: Yes, acronym job titles should be capitalized (e.g. CEO, CFO, COO).

Q: What if my job title is not a formal one?
A: If your job title is not a formal one, it is up to you whether to capitalize it or not. You can choose to capitalize it if you believe it provides clarity.

Closing Thoughts

Thanks for reading our article on capitalizing job titles! Remember, it’s important to be consistent and follow proper guidelines when using job titles in written communication. Whether it’s in a resume, email, or casual conversation, using correct job title capitalization shows professionalism and attention to detail. Be sure to come back and visit us for more helpful writing tips!