How to select a resume file name may seem like a minor consideration when writing your resume.
However, imagine you’re an employer with a mountain of resumes to go through, you will be quick to judge and quick to dismiss.
Most recruiters only spend a few seconds scanning resumes so first impressions are all important. The file name for your resume is one of the very first things a prospective employer will see.
The resume file name is especially important when you send multiple attachments in an email, such as your resume, a cover letter, and a portfolio.
It is important to give your resume a name which makes it clear what it is, and that is yours. Keeping the resume file name clear and simple is just one advantage of using a resume templates.
Resume file name tips
Before sending your resume to prospective employers it is important to be aware of the following resume file name best practices…
- Don’t just name it ‘Resume’.
Every detail of your resume, including the resume file name, should help it to stand out from the rest. A generic title like ‘resume.doc’ does the opposite of this. How will a potential employer be able to differentiate your resume if it has same resume file name as the others?
- Include your name
This will ensure that the prospective employer knows the resume is yours. Each time they open, close, minimize or maximize it, the resume file name will make it clear whose resume it is. If you leave out your name, your resume may be lost in the first shuffle. Choose a resume file name which includes your name.
- Use the word resume
Just as it’s important for the employer to know that it is yours, it is also important for them to know what it is. Use the word resume as well as your name. It is typical to send multiple files in a job application, make sure it is clear which file is which. If this is confusing it will be off-putting, and your resume will be dismissed.
- Keep it professional
Avoid nicknames or joke names. This will give the wrong first impression. You want the hirer to think that you’re a professional and that you’re serious about the job. There should be nothing inappropriate or silly on your resume, the attached resume file name shouldn’t be any different. If you’ve spent time constructing a professional resume, don’t let the name let you down.
- Don’t include version numbers
Employers do not need to know which version of your resume it is. It may help you to organize yourself but it will look a little sloppy from the recruiter’s perspective. As far as they are concerned, this is the definitive version of your resume. Yes, you should tailor your resume for each position, but recruiters don’t need to know this. Using a resume builder is an effective way of keeping a resume up-to-date and organized.
- Keep it short
Avoid long sentences when naming a resume. It should be clear and concise. A long resume file name looks chaotic and disorganized. The recipient needs to know that it is a resume and that it’s yours. Any more information than this is irrelevant. Also, keep in mind that some computers only show the first 24 characters of a file name, so keep it under this limit.
- Use capitals where necessary
There is no unwritten rule stating that you can’t use capitals in a resume file name. Don’t write the whole thing in capitals but use them as you would normally, there’s no harm in capitalizing the first letter of each of your names.
Saving your resume in the correct format
After you have chosen the best file name for your resume, make sure the final few letters show the correct format of the file. You should send it as a PDF file (.pdf) or as a Word document (.doc).
If not the recipient may not be able to open your resume and you would have fallen at the first hurdle. The same rule applies when you upload a resume to an application.
Often the employer specifically states which format you should send your resume in. It’s important that you follow their instructions to the letter, if not your resume may not even be glanced at.Lastly, make sure you proofread your entire resume multiple times before you send it. Check it for meaning, spelling, grammar, typos and consistency. Then pass it to at least two people to look at. Use a resume writing guide to make sure your resume is as good as it can be.
When you email a resume to an employer, make sure you actually attach the file! It is incredible how many people send job applications but forget to actually attach their resume.
This gives the impression that the applicant has poor attention to detail. Do not make this mistake! Using an email template to send a resume can help you avoid this.