How to Select a Resume File Name

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What's the best name to use for your resume or CV document when you save it to apply for jobs?  When you're saving your resume, it's important to select a file name for your resume that includes your own name. When you apply for jobs, hiring managers will know whose resume it is and it will be easier for them to track your job application.

If you email your resume to an employer, the document name will be the first thing he or she will see.

Once the employer opens the document, the first thing he or she looks at is the title. Thus, the title and document name are critical to getting your resume a second glance.

How to Select a Resume File Name

Don't name your resume resume.doc. There will be no way to distinguish it from all the other resumes with the same file name. Instead, use your name as the file name. The employer will know whose resume it is at a glance i.e. johndoeresume.doc. Name your cover letter the same way i.e. johndoecoverletter.doc.

Options for Saving Your Resume

Unless an employer specifies otherwise, it's important to send or upload your resume as a PDF or a Word document. This way, the receiver will get a copy of your resume and cover letter in the original format. In many cases, the employer will tell you how they want to receive your resume so be sure to follow the instructions and provide what is requested.

To save your resume as a Word document click on File, Save As, and type in the file name you are giving your resume i.e. johndoeresume.doc.

To save your documents as a PDF, depending on your word processing software you may be able to File, Print to Adobe PDF. If not, there are free programs you can use to convert a file to a PDF.

Tips for Choosing a Resume Name

Don Fornes, CEO of Software Advice, shares his advice on how to name your resume, how to save your resume, and other resume tips.

Don't name your resume "resume." About a third of applicants name their resume documents, "resume.doc." "Resume" may make sense on your computer, where you know it's your resume. However, on my computer, it's one of many, many resumes with the same name. By using such a generic file name, the applicant misses a great opportunity to brand him or herself (e.g. "John Doe - Quota Crusher"). If you're qualified enough to sell or market for us, you won't miss the opportunity to at least use your name in the file name.

Don't use all lowercase. I'm not sure where this trend originated. Is it some text messaging thing? It's so easy to capitalize properly on a keyboard. How much time is this really saving you? To me, it screams out, "Hi. 'Im lazy. My pinkies are really heavy and I'd rather not move them to shift. When I start working for you, I'll look for other ways to be lazy. I'll also rebel against authority figures like you, just like I'm rebelling against the English teachers that dedicated their lives to helping me become literate."

Proofread your resume. It's unbelievable the number of spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes I see in resumes. Again, this is a blaring clue telling the hiring manager that you don't check your work and you don't pay attention to detail. Here's a​ checklist to use to proofread your resume.

PDF your resume. Not everyone uses the same operating system and word processor that you do. I use a Mac. I don't have Word - don't want it. My ATS can't handle .docx files. A lot of the resumes I see come through horribly garbled. So much for that nice formatting you did (Did you?). PDF, or portable document format, is a simple solution.

Quick Tip: Remember or jot down the location where you saved the document so it's easy to find it and attach it to an email message or upload. It's a good idea to create a new folder for all your job search correspondence.

Another option is to email a copy to yourself, so you always have the latest version in your inbox.

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