check the name of your resume file

This is a small thing, but if you’re sending out a resume with a date like “resume2013,” please go update it right now. Otherwise, fairly soon you’ll start looking like your job search has been a lengthy one (which, rightly or wrongly, can turn some employers off) — and like you’re not paying attention to details.

And while you’re at it, make sure your resume isn’t named something like “Resume with Jane’s edits.” That’s too much insider information, like leaving Track Changes on when you send it.

Aside from these things, though, no one will care what your resume file is called, so feel free to ignore all advice to the contrary.

{ 148 comments… read them below }

    1. Paper*

      Worst I’ve had was coveringletterfor[competitorX].doc. It talked about how perfectly suited they were for a job at companyY. We were company Z.

      They did not get called for interview.

      1. Joey*

        What’s interesting is its such a tiny detail that might not mean anything. And when you think about it its actually a good indicator of what type of jobs the person is interested in. Although such an obvious error.

        1. Mimi*

          I know, but my colleagues are so picky, it would be a dealbreaker. “Harrumph! Obviously she lacks attention to detail. Next!”

          1. Kimberlee, Esq.*

            To me, this sort of this is in the Obvious Enough To Be Egregious category. Now, if they were a referral or something, some situation where I have additional external info, it could possibly be overlooked. But most of the time, yeah, it’s a deal-breaker.

        2. Paper*

          They were applying for a role that involved a fairly substantial amount of copy editing. Attention to detail was paramount!

      2. danr*

        I know someone who did that. They still had an interview and the interviewers saved that question for the end. Her reply… “Oops”. Everyone chuckled. No, she didn’t get the job, but wasn’t upset since she did get the job where she had sent out the correctly named resume.

          1. LondonI*

            Don’t be too picky over this one. ‘Orient’ existed first and is technically ‘correct’ but the Oxford English Dictionary lists ‘orientate’ as an acceptable alternative. In British English it is quite standard to hear ‘detail-orientated’ and I remember hearing one woman in her mid-40s bemoaning the fact that ‘orient’ seemed to be taking over from ‘orientate’. In her view, ‘orient’ was incorrect.
            Anyway, please be careful if you’re viewing candidates negatively over this. There might be parts of the US where ‘orientate’ is also viewed as the correct term.

            1. Another Emily*

              I thought “detail oriented” was frowned upon because it’s a buzzword that people just throw out there, not because of any grammar nitpickiness.

    2. -X-*

      A resume with just the name of the company you’re applying to is not a good idea, especially if you’re emailing it.

      The recipient works at ACME. Files with the name acmeresume.pdf are meaningless, and will often result in the the recipient needing to rename the file. Your own name is the key thing. If you really want the company name in the file name, include that in addition to your own name, not instead of it.

      In naming files, think about what info the end user of the file needs to know what it’s about.

      1. LP*

        I never thought of it that way. And suppose 5 people apply with Acmeresume.pdf and the HR rep is getting tired of having to rename the file because that already exists in their “Receptionist Resumes” folder. Mine are always named [company][job], and I keep an excel sheet with notes for each one. D:

        1. Kimberlee, Esq.*

          Yeah, I mean, it’s probably not something that will negatively impact you enough to matter, but I’d agree that your name is the #1 thing that should be in he file name.

  1. Bryan*

    I like including my name in the file such as JohnDoeResume or JohnDoeCoverletter. I know I’ve downloaded documents and don’t know where they’ve ended up. I like thinking that putting my name in the file name helps the person search their computer for it just in case.

      1. ProcReg*

        That’s how i’ve done it for years. Tells them who it is, and I know what it is. Easy.


      2. Ruffingit*

        That’s what I always do – Resume Ruffingitlastname and the same for the cover letter as well. I also do a footnote in the resume with “ruffingitlastname” appearing on each page (it’s two pages). That way, I figure if for some reason it got printed out and the pages separated, they could easily know who the pages belonged to and that they go together. I realize that’s unlikely to happen, but I figure I should make it as easy on the employer as possible with my documents since they receive a lot of stuff generally.

    1. Jen in RO*

      Yep, that how I do it too, something like JenSmith_CV_EN. (American resume = CV here, and I have it in both English and my native language).

      1. Neeta(RO)*

        Hah, that’s exactly the way I name mine… right down to the _en part. Plus it also helps me keep track of what files I need to delete (am a terrible packrat when it comes to digital content).

        1. Jen in RO*

          All my digital stuff, including my lovely JenSmith_CV_EN and JenSmith_CV_RO, are gone thanks to my external HDD failing! I’m afraid to try to recover the data in case I mess something up, I don’t want to pay for a specialized company to do it… so I’m just in limbo now. (And I had recently created such a nice CV!)

          1. Occasional Alaskan*

            Have you emailed your resume(s) to anyone lately? If so, there may be a copy in your sent mail folder.

            1. Jen in RO*

              Yeah, at least there’s that, I have my resume in PDF form thanks to other applications and I will recreate it in Word eventually so I can update it.

          2. Anonymous*

            It’s not going to help you now, but I highly recommend backing up/syncing your data to something like Dropbox or Google Drive. You do sacrifice a bit of privacy, but for stuff like resumes (which are widely distributed anyways), the peace of mind is great!

            1. Jen in RO*

              That’s a good idea! I’m not too worried about privacy, Google knows everything about me already .

    2. Gjest*

      I was just going to post the same thing. I like it when the applicant’s name is in there in case I move the file accidentally.

    3. AdAgencyChick*

      +1. I save resumes of strong candidates that, for whatever reason, I can’t hire right then so that I know whom to call later, so I like being able to tell at a glance whose resume it is.

    4. Nusy*

      Since I have a not-all-that-common last name (not anything particularly unique, just a different spelling), I just use FirstinitalLastname_Resume and FirstinitialLastname_CL for my files.

      And as for the Track Changes left on… I would never send out my resume in .doc/.docx unless it was specifically requested. PDF all the way – there’s no chance of a different version of Word/OpenOffice/Mac-word-thing throws my formatting off, or that someone on the receiving end accidentally deletes or changes a section. (Much less if they were going to do it deliberately, which I wouldn’t even think of, with an even semi-sane company.)

      1. fposte*

        I hired somebody who’d left Track Changes on once. It was a student position, she was good, nothing racy was revealed by the Track Changes, but I did think it was funny.

        1. Poe*

          I helped a friend out by editing her resume and cover letter, and because we were good friends the comments were jokey, gave silly examples, etc. She didn’t even look at the files, just sent them directly to the job. Turns out she needed more help than a quick edit could give her.

        2. Kimberlee, Esq.*

          Track changes is the devil. I mean, I love it, and if you’re gonna use it then use it properly, but I’ve seen it trick people soooo many times. It is abysmally easy to send with Track Changes still on if you’re not super familiar with it.

    5. Felicia*

      That’s how I do it too, except for cover letters, I put the name of the company at the end. Doing that helps me keep track of the cover letters I write.

    6. Kelly O*

      I do this, and when I save it in my personal file, I use the company name.

      Also, I will sometimes use my name and the position name or position number. “KOnomatopoeia-Admin12345” – something like that.

      1. Shirley Hemple*

        I save resumes and cover letters in my own files as Company X Cover Letter.docx so I can cannibalize them for similar jobs later, and then always e-mail them as PDFs unless otherwise instructed so I have to change the file name. The PDF becomes something like ShirleyHempleResume.pdf.

  2. MoniqueC*

    I usually do:

    First Name Last Name—Job Title—Company Name—Resume
    First Name Last Name—Job Title—Company Name—Cover Letter

    I then save the MS Word document as a PDF so that there aren’t any formatting issues when the person receiving the file opens it.

    1. Joey*

      That works, but adding the title/ company would give me the impression that you’re blasting out a ton of resumes. While that’s probably true I doubt that’s the impression you want to give. Just to be clear I’m being super nitpicky – it’s really not a big deal.

      1. MoniqueC*

        No, it just helps me remember what’s what since I save all of my resumes and cover letters (but I move the older ones to an external hard drive).

      2. Laurie*

        Oh interesting… I usually include ‘FirstNameLastName – Resume – PositionNo – Title’ since I thought it’d be helpful for the HR person to sort through those on their end.

        Could that still be perceived as resume blasting..?

        1. Ruffingit*

          I wouldn’t think so if the resume has the position title of the job you’re applying for specifically as opposed to something very general like “secretary” for example. I’ve had employers ask that the position title be included in the resume so I do so. If that isn’t specifically asked for though, I just do Resume – Ruffingit Last Name and leave it at that.

        2. Joey*

          I like file names to be as short and sweet as possible. And since I’m pretty organized I already know what position you’ve applied to. But again this is perfect world type details I like that don’t matter a whole lot. I could care less what your file name is if you’re like Mike C.’s favorite term, a Sherpa.

        3. Anonymous*

          My thoughts from being on both sides of this. I recently concluded a lengthy job search because my industry *vanished* two years ago. I did a lot of hiring in previous job, and do a fair amount in new job.

          As a hiring manager, I like names only, no job titles or anything else. Primarily because I don’t like long file names in general, and I am very organized with email inboxes and folders when hiring.

          As an applicant, I limited my documents to firstnamelastnameresume and firstnamelastnamecoverletter, unless the job posting specifically requested otherwise. I used folders with company names and position titles to keep track of what I sent.

      3. LV*

        I’m a bit confused by this. There’s no way for you to know that the candidate who doesn’t add the title/company name isn’t also email-blasting but just using the same resume file/filename for everything.

        1. Joey*

          True, but seeing a file with my company name brings that front and center in my head. I don’t think about it if its not there.

      4. Confused*

        Very interesting. I never thought of it this way.
        I thought including the title would
        +show I’ve modified my resume for the position and not mindlessly applying for stuff
        +help me keep track of what I’ve applied for
        +help organize my different resumes, since I always modify my resume at least a little depending on what I’m applying for

        1. Joey*

          Not trying to be mean here, but if youre sending me a file the file name should be what works best for me, not you.

          1. Confused*

            It’s not just about what works best for me. If I included the job title I thought it would show I didn’t mass email and the person then has the job title in the file name for easy reference…I still include my name so it’s searchable both ways “Search: Jane Smith” or “Search: Teapot Maker”
            I was just explaining my thought process for doing it that way and acknowledging I had not thought of how it may have been coming across. I wasn’t advocating one way or another…..

          2. Tasha*

            Because a diligent applicant probably doesn’t know the filing preferences of individual application reviewer(s), who might be hiring for multiple positions, I don’t think including the position title should be a negative in and of itself. It could plausibly help the file recipient. (If the applicant is applying to an overly wide swath of positions in the company, it should be obvious within the computer system, right?)

            However, I agree that putting in the company name won’t help. Everyone reading that resume ought to know they work at Company X even if the filename isn’t Joe Smith_resume_ Accountant III_Company X. :)

            1. Anonymous*

              Good point, but, as we’ve discussed here, everyone has their “pet peeves”. Mine happen to be long file names. They are harder to view as I have to take extra steps to expand my viewing window to see the entire file name. I also don’t like long email subject lines for the same reason. I don’t think it’s possible to err on the short and simple side, though the long and detailed could be problematic depending on the recipient. Why take that chance?

      5. Bea W*

        It just way too long for me. Presumably they don’t need their own company name in the file name to distinguish it from all the resumes they get from applicants looking for jobs at other companies. I don’t think the position title is necesary either.

        Cover letters I customize, resumes not so much. I might have 2 versions, each I name with something short and descriptive for my reference. I change it to firstinitlastnameresume for uploading or sending.

      6. Contessa*

        I read a random article that pointed out that the company name is superfluous (the hiring manager already knows where s/he works), but the job title can be helpful if the company is hiring for more than one job at the same time. If I apply for Job X but my resume and cover letter accidentally get routed to Job Y, I want them to easily see that I belong to the other job and send my info to the right people, instead rejecting me for not being qualified for a job for which I never even applied. My file name is FirstLast_Resume_JobTitle.

    2. Judy*

      I received advice that I should not send resumes in PDF, only in Word or RTF, because some applications don’t search PDFs correctly. Anyone know anything about this?

        1. -X-*

          Perhaps if you’re submitting to an online system. Sending, such as by email, I’d never send a Word doc unless the recipient asked for it in that format. Never.

    3. kas*

      I title mine: Job Title – Firstname Lastname. I used to put my name first, maybe I should do that again.

      I don’t put everything as one word, e.g.: JobTitle-FirstnameLastname .. I put spaces.

    1. Joey*

      I prefer first name last name. If I’m being super nitpicky I would prefer joey.lastname.resume.pdf or doc. Again being super picky, but when I’m looking at files it helps to associate the file with the person. Initial lastname makes that tougher.

      1. Ornery PR*

        When I get them, I rename them all anyway, so the naming conventions don’t matter at all. I also turn them all to PDF, even if they come in as a doc or whatever. Then I can merge everything they submit into one document and do with it what I need. As someone who handles hiring, I prefer getting PDFs (since it eliminates one step for me), but I could care less what it’s named.

        1. tcookson*

          That’s what I do, too (minus the turning them all into one document). But I save them all as PDFs and name them “CV Firstname Lastname” and “Cover Letter Firstname Lastname”.

    2. Anonymous*

      I like last name first, because that’s how I end up categorizing everything. It really doesn’t impact who I hire, but that’s my preference.

  3. anon-2*

    And also a good idea – update it once – so its create date is recent.

    And yes, to have at least your last name in the file name is helpful.

  4. Vee*

    I recently received a resume with tracking changes/comments on. The candidate did not take any of the suggested changes, all of which would have helped his resume considerably. This included getting a professional email address instead of going with “

    1. Ruffingit*

      UGH. I have helped people with resumes often and I always tell them – get an appropriate email address. It’s not that hard to do, get one.

      1. lydia*

        Also having your email address being your name helps me find it later on rather than trying to guess. Email and cv matching names is even better!

    2. Ornery PR*

      Ha! I’ve received one with tracked changes too, and it was very clear that their own writing style was deeply flawed. Not bad with the changes, though.

      Also, I got a cover letter yesterday that was named, MyCoverLetterForThisPositionAtThisCompany but when opened, it was for an entirely different company from years ago in a different state and her name was different then. She still used the same letterhead/style though! I was kind enough to email her about the mistake and allow her to submit the intended one. She was mortified, but I’m sure pretty thankful I allowed her to correct it.

    3. Meganly*

      My brother once asked me to edit his resume, and I did so using tracked changes (mostly nitpicky grammar stuff). He thought hiding the comments deleted them and sent in the resume for an application… Luckily, the hiring manager in question was either extremely polite or unfamiliar with tracked changes, because he was completely confused by the “corrupted” file he received and was more than willing to have my brother send him a new one (with all changes accepted).

      1. Jill of All Trades*

        My all time favorite inappropriate email address used in job searching was thunderthighs69@. I really wish I could remember where I saw that (it was years ago and I’m decrepit).

  5. Frank*

    MS give us 233 characters for naming a file. I recommend “name of company, name of the position you applying for and you’re first initial last name”. This makes your résumé searchable in their database and findable by name. (Monsanto-adminasssitant-LAstname). This also makes your customized résumé for this position findable by you when it’s time for the interview/follow-up.

    1. CAA*

      If you’re going to all this trouble, best to put your own name first. Monsanto knows who they are, and the resumes for adminassistant are most likely already grouped together.

      1. Ornery PR*

        I agree. the name of the company you’re applying to is totally unnecessary – they know who they are. If it helps you on your end, save it in it’s own folder labeled with the company name. The only exception would be if you’re submitting it to a recruiter who works with multiple companies.

      2. Joey*

        Just to be clear on searches I may search for your résumé two ways. In my HRIS your résumé is attached to your app so the file name matters less. It matters more when I’m searching my email.

  6. Ann O'Nemity*

    I have a few versions of my resume. The files are named Last Name – Type. For example,

    ONemity – Resume.pdf
    ONemity – NSF Bio Sketch.pdf
    ONemity – Federal Resume.pdf
    ONemity – CV.pdf

    (The regular resume is one page. The NSF bio sketch is 2. The federal resume is 4. The CV is a whopper at 14.)

    1. Joey*

      The damn last name apostrophe always freaks me out in our HRIS. Do I search for you with it or without?

      1. Joey*

        Don’t feel bad though. Hyphens throw me off and people who include their middle initial as part of their first name do it too.

      2. Ann O'Nemity*

        Thankfully, O’Nemity isn’t my real last name and I don’t have to deal with the apostrophe dilemma. Also, I’ve wondered the same thing about the hyphen folks.

        1. Elysian*

          When I was a teacher, I taught a child whose first name had a period in it, and it pretty much caused our school computer system to implode. Someone should really work on computers that can figure out these things out!

      3. Lindsay*

        UGH I have an apostrophe in my last name. Some computers don’t allow it, some do. Whenever I deal with someone on the phone, I have to tell them to try it both ways in their system. HUGE pain.

        1. COT*

          Agreed. I have an apostrophe too and it’s a pain!

          When I got married, I made my birth last name (with the apostrophe) my middle name, and then made my husband’s last name my legal last name. While I use both names together both personally and professionally, it’s SO nice that my legal name is easier to spell and doesn’t have an apostrophe. It makes it easier when I call the doctor to make an appointment, etc.

      4. EE*

        I am used to company e-mail addresses being OName for me but I would never submit a CV that didn’t have my correct name in the doc. They can corrupt it after, not before, I give it to them.

  7. Liz*

    So this is one thing I’ve been doing right! I’ve always done FirstnameLastname_Resume just so it’s easy to distinguish my name in the file, and always in PDF unless otherwise requested.

    I’ve been reviewing resumes to hire an intern and the amount of Word docs with changes visible, “fun” fonts, and unprofessional email addresses is shocking.

  8. books*

    FirstInitial LastName Underscore Resume Underscore January 2014 — because I have a lot of different versions saved. (I’m afraid of deleting.)

    1. Elysian*

      I’m also afraid of deleting. I usually have one that is LastName Resume.pdf – that one is current – and then a million others with dates indicating when I used them. I try to keep the date off the current one, but once I “retire” it I’ll date it.

  9. Tara B.*

    My preference is FirstNameLastNameJobApplyingfor.pdf — pretty informative without having to open the file. I do put my cover letter and resume in one document so I only need one filename, unless someone requests different.

  10. GL*

    All of my résumés are named “Résumé – LastName, FirstName”, but I have different versions saved in folders that have different names, and that’s how I distinguish between them, (e.g. “Chocolate Teapot Company – January 2014”.)

    1. Ornery PR*

      This is exactly how I would do it if I was on the looking end rather than the hiring end. All the other info included in naming documents isn’t necessary for the hiring company (year, month, company name, job title name).

  11. Frank*

    I tend to agree about name being first except …. I use this rule mostly for the job seeker not the employer . Most employers have rules or quirks or filing solutions of documents and you can’t please them all. However job seekers on the other hand and giving the number of worst case senarios as noted in this string we need to help get organized in there job search. I don’t know how many times I’ve interviewed a client who brought a quickly printed résumé for company z not for my company. If we teach them to label their documents correctly so they can follow up correctly the companies will take care of the rest!

  12. Melina*

    I care what it’s called. When I save it to my computer it would be nice if it said SuzySmith.docx not aaaaaaaaaaaa.docx or Vet resume.doc when applying to be a kitchen helper (actual titles received).

  13. TheExchequer*

    I’ve always done FirstnameLastnameResume(Updated). The updated lets me know it’s the latest version (I save it as something else, then copy it over when saving old versions in case I want to revert) and looks like I’m freshening up my resume to the employer. I like this convention, though perhaps with one caveat – if you have an especially difficult name to spell, a very long name, or an especially unusual name (like Van Halen?), maybe just ResumeForChocolateTeapots and then initials.

  14. Kimberly Alison*

    True story- I once applied for a job at an NGO that focused on clean water/sanitation/access to toilets and after I submitted it I realized that I sent my application with the title “Poop Job Cover Letter”

    1. Kelly L.*

      LOLOLOL! Well, if I’d been the hiring manager, I’d have cracked up when I saw that, since it was literally true in this case!

  15. Cath@VWXYNot?*

    Just having a flashback to the time a trainee sent me their funding application to review and the file name was “reserach_preposla.doc”

    Editing that thing was just as much fun as was promised by the file name…

  16. NutellaNutterson*

    To be ultra-paranoid, does anyone know if one can view track changes that weren’t turned on by the sender by turning them on yourself? I’m recalling some sort of international debacle a while back where the track changes were found by the recipient.

    1. Elysian*

      If you have a special program, you can view “meta-data” which can include past changes. A law firm I once worked at had it and it was creepy how much it knew – who made the changes and what they were, etc. The law firm used it for electronic document discovery and to verify we had properly redacted information. It’s different than regular track changes, and I highly, highly doubt anyone would use it on a regular resume unless you’re applying to be an international spy or something.

    2. Jen in RO*

      Word (2013 at least) had an option that allows you to check for meta data and strip if if needed.

  17. Elysian*

    Any strongly held preferences for file format? I offered to review my mom’s resume (she had been out of the work force for a very long time) and she sent me something in .txt with the formatting all messed up and rendered improperly. I can’t figure out why she didn’t just go with the Word default, since she swore she created it in Word. I feel pretty strongly that that was holding her back (along with a bunch of typos and misspelling, among other things, her own last name).

    Especially egregious since she listed “Microsoft Word” as one of her skills.

    1. Joey*

      .docx or .pdf. Although older .doc is fine too

      A .txt résumé is weird an make me think computer illiterate.

      1. Elysian*

        Yeah… it was a typo, I presume. But it really wasn’t a good starting point. It only got worse from there.

        On one sentence she used two periods..
        Sometimes she Randomly CapitaliZed somE leTTers.

        This was all before you even got to the content itself, which was sometimes indecipherable. I basically re-wrote it for her and told her “use this instead.” It felt a little like I was lying to future employers about her computer literacy. She got a job within 2 weeks of my re-write. (Not saying I’m that awesome… just… it was would have been hard to get worse.)

    2. Sarah*

      PDF PDF PDF!!!! If you send a docx file, you run the chance of whoever looks at your resume hitting the wrong button and screwing up your formatting. PDFing it preserves it.

      1. Garrett*

        Plus some people still have old versions of Word and docx may not work well if they don’t have the converter plugin. PDF is the default for me.

  18. My 2 Cents*

    You shouldn’t accidentally leave “track changes” on in your resume because you should always send it as a PDF! PDF is universal and the formatting won’t change when the person opens it, this isn’t true for Word.

    I do hiring and I don’t disqualify for Word, but I do take special notice of those that send in PDF, it shows that they’ve thought through the potential issue for the end user.

  19. Ramona*

    Ha! Just got one yesterday called trueresume. And no his surname wasn’t True, which would have been the only allowable possibility.

  20. Sarah*

    I manage my resumes as follows:
    Desktop folder: resumes
    then subfolder named for the company applied to “Teapot Inc.”
    then in that folder, I keep a copy of the job description, a word copy of my resume, and the pdf that i used to apply for the job.

  21. Lillie Lane*

    I usually use my name in my resume, but I found out recently that I had applied for a job where another candidate had the exact same name. In fact, I know this candidate — she started grad school in the exact same (small) department that I had graduated from several years earlier. I am still associated with the university, and some of our research projects were very similar. As in a niche within a niche. People constantly misdirect their emails to the wrong “Lillie Lane”. I’ve even seen links to presentations that I’ve given, but they posted her photograph…..very frustrating.

    1. Anonymous*

      As someone who suffered from a similar situation, it’s time to break out the ol’ middle initial.

  22. JM*

    I might be in the minority, but I prefer resumes in .doc. Only because we add their info into a spreadsheet and it’s easier to copy/paste in Word. I also read somewhere that some HR tracking systems can’t read PDF, so I stopped changing mine. Is that wrong?

  23. Jessa*

    Actually I think it’d be better to have “Your Name Resume,” as the title. Attachments can get separated from their emails. It’d be a lot easier for HR/Hiring Manager to find your resume if it’s got your name for the file name.

  24. nyxalinth*

    I caught that just last week! I also rearranged my resume a bit. I had recent experience then relevant experience then a section for other experience. I realized that it would make it look like a had a huge 6 year gap, if someone were just skimming! It was all chronological, but if someone were skimming, they might see what looked like a gap and trash it before moving on to the rest of my listed positions. So I put it back in normal ordering. I figure it might account at least partially for the huge wave of indifference I’d been getting.

  25. Limon*

    I think we are all human and not robots, or perfect applicants in this imperfect world. I can see from the hiring side that yes, it would be great if everyone did things we, the hiring people would like to see. But people make mistakes, are imperfect – just like the people who are hiring.

    I had a resume for most of last year that had a date from the previous year. I had alot of interviews that I either did not accept or they did not accept me. But I would doubt it was because my resume had 2012 instead of 2013. I would like to think that a person’s professional experience would speak well of them and that in the scheme of things who we are as people counts for something.

    One of my best examples of this is a very high level bond analyst with a degree in public planning and who had worked at the different bond rating agencies as well as at several different investment firms in the area of municipal bonds. He showed me his resume one day and it was incredibly simple, with just the names and places, nothing fancy. One page. But his reputation all over Wall Street was impeccable and all you had to do was mention his name and people would say, ‘great guy.’

    I think we are more that a date difference or a simple name on a pdf file, with all respect.

  26. Mander*

    Sometimes applications specify a particular file format, but I usually go with something like Lastname_Title_CV.pdf Lastname_Title_CoverLetter.pdf. It helps that only a handful of people in the world (or at least, in google search results) have the same last name as me.

    I do have a ton of different versions of my CV in a dedicated file that get various silly names and dates, but I always save a copy with a more appropriate name and put it into a dedicated folder for that particular job. Makes for a lot of copies but at least that way I rarely send a file with a bad name.

  27. Book Lover*

    I’ve worked in the nonprofit employment sector for awhile now—and boy some of the resume file names and email addresses I’ve seen!

    popabeer@email…..bigwally@ (guys name was not Wally), icunicorns…lethalgunnerman etc….

    One fellow emailed his resume to me, not realizing the file name was “georgesnewfuc^&&^gresume” He could just not understand why he could not get a job either! Umm…..hello?

  28. TheWriter*

    I have two resumes I keep on hand: one for general jobs, one for writing-specific positions and freelance writing work. I named them FirstName_Lastname_Resume and FirstName_Lastname_Writing_Resume. It helps me keep track of them and isn’t specific enough to get me in a lot of trouble.

  29. DK*

    I always went for


    Always as a PDF. Saving things as a pdf also gives me “one final chance” to make sure the filename is correct.

    Most of the jobs I’ve applied for (construction/engineering) have mentioned the format they want the files named. Maybe they know writing and such are not their candidates strong point. lol

  30. T M White*

    Wow!! Didn’t think the name of a resume really mattered. I’ve always done First Name_Last Name ResumeCurrent Year. I always thought the current year would indicate that the resume has been updated (to reflect changes in a job and/or changes in accomplishments). I didn’t think it could indicate that my job search was going on for a long time.

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