Resumes & Cover Letters

Why Your Resume’s File Name Matters

Written by Peter Jones

So a recruiter has asked you to submit a resume. Yes! This is a solid win. That’s almost a guarantee that she’ll actually read the file you submit. Does this come as a bit of a surprise? Wait—you’re thinking—don’t recruiters read all the resumes they receive?

The answer is no. Recruiters receive so many resumes in any given day that they very often weed out dozens upon dozens simply based on format and method.

Here are a few things you should never ever do when naming your resume file… unless you want it to end up in the trash.

Not including “Resume” or “C.V.”

You may know that “YOUR NAME” or “YOUR NAME_DATE” or “Name, Your – Mktg” is your resume for a marketing position, but how do you possibly expect a recruiter to? Always always include the word.

Calling it “Updated” or “Version X”

You updated your resume. What, do you want a cookie? You’re supposed to keep it updated. And while saving files with version numbers can be helpful for you in figuring out which document to send, it sends useless—and potentially harmful information—to the recruiter. “She needed to revise this 4 times??”

Re-save your file without these tags before sending to any application or recruiter or job site.


There is no reason to skimp on space. So YRNME_CV or NAME-RES-15 just makes for unnecessary confusion. Save the shorthand for your notes and use your full last name at the very least.

Add a Date

This is the same as numbering the version or calling your file “updated.” YOUR NAME DEC 2014. They do not need to know the month and year in which you last added something new to this resume. In fact, it’s much better that they don’t.

Leave Out Your Name

This may sound like the most obvious thing in the world, but people do forget. MARKETING RESUME or RESUME FOR ADMIN POSITION get sent around and downloaded and then recruiters have no idea who they describe. Bottom line: that file isn’t getting opened without your name on it.

When in doubt, keep it simple: YOUR NAME RESUME. And bonus points if you send the correct file format specified by your application or recruiter, usually .doc, .pdf, or .rtf.

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About the author

Peter Jones

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