Posted on 26 May 2010


YES! Your Resume’s File Name DOES Matter



Resumes are digital now. That’s good for everybody–easy to share, easy to search, easy to save, easy on the trees.  It’s all good. But in an attempt for job seekers to keep their resume files organized, people are forgetting that other people read not only the content, but the file name you give your sweet little piece of literary masterwork*. Be warned. Some resumes may get a bad-rap from the beginning because of a slip-up in the file name.

imageMy recommendation is a file name that actually sells you a little bit. For example, if you’re going for a project manager position and your name is Joe Cool, try out a file name like: “Resume–Joe_Cool–Talented_Project_Manager.pdf” and just see if you don’t get more bites on that little nugget of visual eye-candy of a hook!

Some real-world examples of either bad file names or pet-peeves of recruiters (ok, of me):

  • resume.doc – Really? I am a recruiter. Do you think I may, possibly, already have a file named that already somewhere on my system? I will have to rename your resume in order to save it (or rename some other file).  You may risk just getting deleted if you’re not a standout candidate.
  • 2009 resume.doc – This is worse than the previous one. Not only are you absent of creativity, you also haven’t updated your resume since last year.  Believe it or not, I have seen years in resume file-names dating back three years.
  • 2010 resume.doc – This one tells me that you look for a job at least annually.  This one is your current years’ attempt at a new gig.  I should tell facilities to not spend a lot on your office’s name-plate. You won’t be around long.
  • Micorsoft Resume.doc – If you’re applying for a job at a company (say, Microsoft), and you use that company name in the resume file name, please spell it right!
  • Apple Resume.doc — If you’re applying for a job at a company (say, Microsoft), please get the company name right!
  • anything.docx – “docx” is the new file format used in Microsoft Office 2007 or later. Some people don’t have that version of office and may not read your resume… or it may come out formatted very differently than you intended!
  • anything.doc – In fact, not every company uses Microsoft Word. You’d be much better off saving your resume as a PDF file, which is nearly universal in both availability to view and formatting fidelity.  Use something like PDFCreator (free) to “print” any document to a PDF file.
  • Joe_2010.05.0113.doc – You’re either seriously OCD organized, a librarian or an operating system. I don’t know what that says about you, but be aware.
  • Resume10_v3.doc – This doesn’t really matter to me what version your resume is, other than for some reason you keep changing it.  I don’t care, but you did lose an opportunity to share something about you in your file-name that might have made you a little more memorable.

*Please, please do not actually try and make your resume anything resembling a literary masterwork.

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