What to Name Your Resume File?

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What to Name Your Resume File?
Sep 8, 2022 6 min read

Choosing a file name for your resume may seem like an insignificant task.

But sometimes such small details can be crucially important.

When submitting your resume, you would want every part of your resume to look professional and present you in the best possible light.

And that means paying attention to every little detail, including the resume’s name.

In order to do it right, we are going to go through some important topics, like:

  • Why is Your Resume’s Name Important?
  • What to Name Your Resume File?
  • What Not to Name Your Resume File?

And we are going to leave you off with some great tips and tricks.

If you think there is still some room for improvement in your resume, check out How to Make Your Resume Stand Out.

But if you are ready to name your resume correctly and send it out, stick around.

Why is Your Resume’s Name Important?

First off, we need to find out why is your resume’s name so significant.

Your resume’s file name is the first thing your potential employer sees.

It is what distinguishes you from the pile of resumes they receive for each open position.

Chances are, if your resume’s file name looks professional, your potential employer is more likely to open it.

Making your resume’s file name brief and easy-to-read works greatly in your favor.

With hiring managers’ busy schedule, it may be a matter of seconds if you get called in for an interview or not.

Furthermore, using a good resume file name can make your resume easier to find in email inboxes.

So if someone is looking for your resume, they will be more likely to find it.

Keeping your resume’s file name short and to the point really helps you make a good impression and improve your chances among all candidates.

What to Name Your Resume File?

Now that you understand the importance of your resume’s file name, it’s time to do it right.

There are just a couple of things you need to keep in mind, and you should be good to go.

Use Your Name

This one may seem obvious to you, but often it is not.

Including your name in your resume’s file name is really important.

That way, hiring managers would always know whose resume are they opening.

Make sure you put your name in the beginning of your resume’s file name and include at least your surname.

Use the Word “Resume”

The next essential thing you need to take care of is describe what the file is.

In this case, it is a resume, and you need to specify that in the file’s name.

That helps the hiring manager understand what kind of file they are going to open.

Doing that can also help you distinguish your own file, if you have more files to send, like cover letter or references.

Include the Position You Are Applying For

This one is optional, but it is worth the consideration.

It has more of an advantage for you personally, rather than for your potential employer.

If you are applying for multiple positions, you have probably designed different resumes to match the job position’s requirements.

Adding the position you are applying for, and even the company’s name, can help you keep track of your files and not send the wrong one by accident.

And as for your potential employer, it can show them that you have taken the time to tailor your documents.

Follow the Instructions in the Job Description

Last but not least, you need to follow any instructions in the job description.

Sometimes it is required to include the position title, or an identification number in the resume’s file name.

You might also be required to use a certain format.

Make sure you take the time to scan the job posting for any requirements.

If you don’t follow the instructions, your resume will most probably be ignored, or you will be considered unfit, as you didn’t match the requirements.

What Not to Name Your Resume File?

Okay, we have gone through all the dos.

But there are some really important don’ts that we need to take into consideration as well.

Don’t Name It Just “Resume”

It is essential to include the word “Resume” in the title of the document, but don’t ever forget to also write your name.

Your resume’s file name should help it stand out from other applications.

And naming it just “Resume” does exactly the opposite.

So make sure you don’t forget adding your name in the file name.

Don’t Include Version Numbers

Even if it helps you organize your files better, numbers have no place in your resume’s file name.

Employers don’t need to know which version of your resume you have sent them.

As long as they are concerned, it’s a single, cohesive document of your work history.

So don’t clutter your resume’s file name with unnecessary information.

Don’t Use “Bad” Symbols

You already know that you need to include your name and the word “Resume” in your resume’s file name.

But you can’t write all that with no spaces, because it would be unreadable.

To escape from that problem, you can do one of the following:

  • Capitalize the first letter of every word
  • Use spaces
  • Use special symbols like _ or – between words

What you shouldn’t do is use symbols like these four:

  • /
  • \
  • <
  • >

These symbols can mess with different computer systems and programs.

You will probably not be able to save a file with these characters in the title, but it is still worth a mention.

Tips and Tricks

We are almost done with that topic, but we wouldn’t let you leave without giving you some last tips to perfect your resume’s file name.

So let’s finish what we started and get you absolutely ready to nail it.

Use a Unified Look For All Your Application Documents

Branding is important not only to companies, it should also be important to you.

By creating a unified look for all your application documents, you can easily attract the hiring manager’s attention.

And that can only get you closer to your next interview.

Proofread Your Resume

Before sending out your resume, you should absolutely take the time to proofread it all.

Any grammar, spelling, or punctuation mistakes can significantly lower your chances.

It is especially critical to check your resume’s file name for mistakes.

If there are any, it may never get opened.

Choose the Right File Format

There are quite many word processing software products out there, and you can never be sure where will your resume end up.

You might have the perfect resume, but the hiring manager may not be able to open the doc file you sent it in.

Or maybe they can open it, but your design is all over the place.

There is a simple solution to that problem.

To ensure that everything would be okay with your file, you should use the PDF format.

Just to be sure, you should first check out the job listing, as some companies require a different type of format.

And in that case, you should follow the instructions of your potential employer.

Takeaways: What to Name Resume File

We are all done.

Now you know what to name your resume file.

You are now ready to stick out in front of the crowd of candidates with a professional looking file name.

Don’t forget – include both your name and the word “Resume” in the document’s name.

Check out our tips once again and get one step closer to getting your next interview.

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Kal Dimitrov
Kaloyan Dimitrov is a resume expert and content manager at Enhancv. He frequently publishes blog posts around resume writing, cover letters & job applications, and authors more than 500 publications on the site. Kaloyan also runs a Career Accelerator Bootcamp for young graduates where he applies his practical knowledge of job applications and writing resumes and educates people on how to present their best selves in front of business representatives. His opinions on resume writing and career development have been featured in Chron., as well as cited by top universities such as Simon Fraser University and UCL.
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