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Manager Job Hunt Help: Other Names for Executive Director Jobs

Updated on October 30, 2012

One of the things that can be useful to you if you are trying to find a job is to know about alternative names for the position that you’re trying to find. For example, you may be trying to find executive director jobs. If you search only for jobs under that title then you are severely limiting the number of open jobs that you’re going to come across. That’s because there are many other titles that this same job may go by. An employer may post the job under any of these different titles. If you’re not looking for those titles then you may miss out on seeing a great job. This is especially true if you’re doing the majority of your job hunting online where keyword searches are the means by which you find the jobs to which you apply.

For this reason, you should brainstorm a list of all of the names and titles that may be used as an alternative for the job that you’re seeking. Then you should include all of those names in your online job search to maximize the number of different open positions that you discover online.

If you have been looking for executive director jobs then you may also want to look for jobs under the following titles which are for the same or similar positions to those that an executive director would do:

 CEO. The role of the executive director in most companies is the same role as the position that we often call CEO. Traditionally, non-profit organizations would avoid the term CEO because of its corporate, for-profit connotations and would therefore use the term “executive director” for this same position. People who are looking for executive director jobs today, either inside or outside of the non-profit sector, should consider also looking into jobs advertised for CEOs. They will often find that this opens up the realm of job opportunities significantly and that they do indeed qualify for a lot of the new opportunities that they come across.

• Executive Officer. CEO stands for Chief Executive Officer but sometimes the people who advertise for this position actually advertise it as simply an “executive officer” job instead of advertising for a CEO. This is due to the fact that a CEO is often confused with being the owner of a company (which is not necessarily the case) so a company trying to hire a new non-owner CEO may advertise instead for the less-confusing position of “executive officer”. People who are looking for executive director jobs would also quality for the executive officer position.

• Managing Director. People who are seeking executive director jobs are typically looking for high-ranking positions where they can earn a six figure income. They may look at job titles like “managing director” and think that this refers to a middle management position that is beneath them. However, it is often the case that the managing director has the same role as the executive director. They can be the same position in some companies, particularly smaller companies. As a result, people seeking a job in this field should at least take a look at ads for managing directors to see what the positions are really for.

• Lead Director/ Senior Director/ Senior Manager. These are alternative names that all mean essentially the same thing as the aforementioned “managing director”. As you go through your job search, you will want to make sure that you’re checking out all advertisements under these different names. You’ll have to read the job descriptions to see whether or not they truly are hiring for executive director positions but in many cases you will find out that they are indeed hiring for a job that you would like to do.

 Director. Notably, there are some employers who don’t bother with the word “executive” and simply say that they are hiring for a director. This is particularly true if you start looking for executive director jobs overseas (in the UK, Wales, etc.) People here often think of this as a film industry position only and so will overlook the jobs that advertise for only a director but these jobs should not be overlooked.

• Executive Secretary. Finally, another term for “executive director” is actually executive secretary. This is common in very small businesses. A lot of executive directors will not know this because the term is misleading; it sounds like a receptionist position although it is not. For this reason, you will have a leg up on the competition for an executive director job if you expand your search to include this search term.

• Administration Leader. Another job that sounds like a secretarial job but may actually be an executive director job is that of an administrative leadership position. Any jobs that advertise for high-level managers in administration may actually be jobs that are equivalent to executive director jobs for their industries. This is not always the case but is something to consider as you continue your job search for executive-level positions.

• Board of Directors Positions. In most cases, the position of the board of directors is actually a non-executive director job. However, in rare cases, the board of directors is directly involved in the management of the company. In this case, a job with the board of directors may be an executive director job.

As you can see, there are many different job titles that essentially all lead to executive director jobs. This is true for many of the different jobs that people are trying to find today. If you get creative in broadening your job search to include positions that you might not have been looking at before then you could find that it’s easier to get a job than it has been so far. Best of luck!!



Submit a Comment
  • profile image


    7 years ago

    I need a job and i cant get on any were i ant got a job a car a lessens and the TANF is going to be gone next year and with out having a job we will be living on the streest me my feansay and my two kid 1 and 3 year olds if i don't get a job soon u got any comments or can help me e-mail me

  • TheLadders profile image


    9 years ago from New York

    Considering the welter of keywords and phrases an online search requires, you provide great alternatives to entering 'Executive Director jobs' in the search engines. Thanks for mentioning job titles that may be misperceived as lower-level administrative positions, but in fact are alternate names for the same high-level positions.

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    Very interesting! When I see "administrative" in a job title, I usually don't think it's an executive position. Will have to take a second glance from now on.


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