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Alison Doyle

How to Name a Resume

By January 7, 2014

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null Sometimes, it's the little things that can send your resume into the reject pile, without it even getting a close look. Naming your resume "resume" can send it to the trash faster than you can blink. So can forgetting to write in proper sentences.

At Software Advice, the company sorts through about 150 candidates for each hire they make. Only about twelve of those 150 candidates get to a first-round phone interview. Many of them are rejected for little, and sometimes silly, things like how you name or save your resume, that are still enough to knock the resume out of contention.

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

Don't name your resume, "resume." About a third of applicants name their resume document, "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 themselves (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. i'm 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.

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.

Here's how to get your resume into the hands of the hiring manager, plus more tips on what not to do when you're applying for jobs from Don Fornes.

Related Articles: How to Send a Resume and Cover Letter | How to Name Your Resume | Resume Examples

Image Copyright Pali Rao

Comments
November 25, 2013 at 11:08 pm
(1) Professional Programmer says:

I think you read too much into lowercase file names.

I hope you’ve never applied that heuristic to applicants for technical positions. Professional programmers can spend a not insignificant amount of time typing file names and locations into their code or command lines. When you spend all day typing file names, you WILL wear your pinky out if you’re Constantly Using It To Capitalize Every Word In Every File Name. In addition, Windows file and folder names are case sensitive. Defaulting to lower case as often as possible means never losing time thinking about whether to include capitals or not.

There are many perfectly good reasons somebody may not use capital letters in their file names, and there’s no single correct way to name them. It boils down to personal taste and preference. I find it incredibly unprofessional that you would read so much into a matter of such small significance. If not pressing the shift key is lazy, is it not lazier still to decide a resume’s writer has problems with authority before talking to them or even reading their resume?

December 29, 2013 at 11:18 am
(2) Mike says:

Your comments definitely make sense. I believe in the use of capitals to show a potential employer that you can communicate properly on paper (or computer). It’s one of the most important files of your life, don’t fight it, use the capitals. It may be the only file on your computer that has capitals and that way you wont lose it…

January 7, 2014 at 10:30 pm
(3) Jay Gast says:

As Mike said, you’re better safe than sorry. But, there is something excessive about being so persnickety that a lower case file name bothers you.

Also, not using caps in sentences is awesome… in its own place and time. If you have a good relationship with someone at work, using capital letters in your sentences just becomes excessively formal. Kind of like how you don’t call your best friends Mr. X and Ms./Mrs. Y.

you see, by not using caps, suddenly the conversation becomes much less formal and also i can convey a much different tone by also dropping punctuation. please dont be mad about the evolution of the english language online, rather u should go with the flow or else open yourself to accusations of being old + out of touch

lmao

January 7, 2014 at 10:32 pm
(4) Mork says:

Hiring managers should also not be so insanely persnickety about something small like that. But, if you’re desperate for a job, you’d best play the game.

January 10, 2014 at 5:55 pm
(5) Jax says:

Most of the agents I deal with specifically ask for Word docs because they can’t deal with a PDF when it comes to re-badging for their clients. I agree that DOCX is just not on.

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