Career Development The Resume

HOW TO: Properly Name Your Resume

How many resumes have you seen?  If you’re a recruiter, HR professional, hiring manager, or career professional, you’ve likely seen tons.  Next question – how often does someone send you a resume that is named, “resume,” “professionalresume,” or some other very similar, generic name?

Why Properly Naming your Resume Matters

Job seekers already have so many barriers to break through just to get noticed.  With all the advice one hears about using white space, listing experience in reverse chronological order, quantifying results, and all the other numerous tips that need to be incorporated into a strong personal advertisement (AKA Resume), naming the resume is an often overlooked factor that is critical.  Imagine your resume in a database or in a hiring manager’s email inbox with hundreds of other resumes and they are all called “resume” or something similar.  If you’re a hiring manager browsing the database looking for a candidate, the one document clearly labeled “Joe-Schmo-Senior-Graphic-Designer-Resume” is going to stand out to you if you’re browsing resumes to find candidates for a Sr. Graphic Designer position.  If you make it easier for an employer to understand your target and how it aligns with their needs, you increase the likelihood that you will get noticed.  Writing a resume means writing for an audience and your audience has a clear goal in mind – to seek candidates who are the best fit for open positions.  Don’t make it hard for them!

How to Properly Name Your Resume

I suggest including your brand name (whatever name you go by) and the specific title of the position for which you are applying when submitting your resume at the very least.   Here is the format:

  • BrandName-PositionTitle-Resume
  • Example: Robert-Starks-Jr-Regional-Career-Center-Director-Resume.

Think of the name of your resume like a newspaper or blog headline.  It matters to your audience and must be clearly labeled.  In the case of the resume, hiring managers get tired of seeing “resume” so you’ll also stand out because you’ll be the anomaly.  Additionally, your resume isn’t just a document; it is a representation of you.  Thus, demonstrate your attention to detail by naming your resume with purpose.  It will demonstrate that even the way you name your resume is with intention and strategy which will make you stand out amidst the database full of generic, vague, improperly named advertisements…..known as “resumes.”   It seems insignificant, but when you think about it, the name matters, so do it right!  Naming the resume this way also helps others find it if you post it online.  So, you may even want to consider adding other descriptors that you know recruiters may use such as your city.

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