How to Name Your Resume and Cover Letter

What's the best file name to choose for your resume or job applying document when you save it to apply for jobs? When you save your resume after all the hard work, it's important to name your file name that includes your own name. With this, hiring managers will know whose resume it is when you apply for jobs, and it will be much easier for them to track your job application from a pile of applications and share it with colleagues involved in the hiring process.

When you mail your resume to an employer, the document name will be the first thing that they will notice. Once the document is opened, the first thing he or she will see is the heading. Thus, the file name and heading/title play a critical to getting your resume a second glance.

How to Select a Resume File Name
Don't just name your resume "resume.doc". There will be no way for the employer to identify it from all the other resumes with the same document name. Rather, keep your name as the file name. The employer will be able to identify whose resume it is at a single glance; for example, maryjones.doc or davidwarner.docx. Also, Name your cover letter the same way i.e. MaryJonescoverletter.doc or DavidWarnerCoverLetter.doc.

Options for Saving Your Resume
Unless an employer demands a specific format, it's important to send or upload your resume in a PDF format or a Word document. In this way, the receiver will receive a copy of your resume and cover letter in the original format without any funky formatting.

In most of the cases, the employer will let you know how they want you to send your resume so be sure to follow the instructions and share what is requested. If you don't follow the instructions given in the job posting, you might not be considered for the job.

Before you save your resume, make sure to create a new specific folder so all your job application materials are in one place. This will assist you to keep the record of different resumes, cover letters, with what and when you have used them to apply for jobs.

To save your resume as a Word document in MS Word   click on File, Save As, and type in the file name you want to give your resume i.e. “MaryJones.doc”. Select the folder you've created to save it in.

To save your documents as a PDF,   To save your documents as a PDF, click the Microsoft Office Button, point to the arrow next to Save As, and then click PDF. Give the file name you want and select a folder where you want to save your resume in. Or, there are free programs you can use to convert a file to a PDF.

Tips for Choosing a Resume Name
Don't name your resume "resume."  More than the half of applicants name their resume documents, "resume.doc." "Resume" word may make sense on your computer, where you know that it's your resume but on recruiter's computer, it's one of the many resumes with the same name. By using such a general file name, the applicant misses a great opportunity to create a brand of themselves (e.g. "Mary Jones - Quota Crusher"). If you're qualified enough and have skills, you won't miss the opportunity to at least use your name in the file name.

Proofread your resume.  Almost all applicants make spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes which is totally unbelievable. This very much indicates and let the hiring managers know that you don't check your work and you don't pay attention to details.

Save your resume as a PDF.  It’s not necessary that everyone uses the same operating system and word processor as of yours. Some uses Mac some uses Windows, some have MS Word some don’t. A lot of the resumes get upside down when they are opened by recruiting managers if they aren’t sent as pdf. All the formatting done by you gets bamboozled. PDF, or portable document format, is a simple solution for this.

Use Your Name
Always choose a file name that includes your name. In this way, hiring managers or the recruiters will know whose resume it is, and it will be much easier for them to keep the track of that. It’s also less possible that they’ll lose it somewhere, or get your documents confused or mixed with someone else’s.

If you name your resume maryjones.doc, Mary Jones Resume.doc, or Mary-Jones-Resume.pdf, the employer will know whose resume it is at a single glance and will be able to allocate it with the rest of your docs and materials and application.

If you can, try to keep both your first name and last name. That way your resume won't get confused with someone with the same first name.

Go Beyond Just Your Name (Maybe)
You might also provide a bit more detail in the title rather than your name only. The title of the position in your document name for your resume and cover letter can also be included over there. You can use margins, spaces or dashes between words for better readability as well.

Go Beyond Just Your Name (Maybe)
You might also provide a bit more detail in the title rather than your name only. The title of the position in your document name for your resume and cover letter can also be included over there. You can use margins, spaces or dashes between words for better readability as well.

Be Professional
Always remember that the hiring managers or the other people who will interview you are pretty likely to go through your cover letter and resume file names, so try to make sure that those titles are professional and appropriate. As this is not the time to pull out your AIM screen names from middle school so keep these file names professional and simple.

Be Consistent
Consistency is very much important when you are naming your resume, cover letter, and other application documents, so always use the same format for each one. For example, if you only use your last name and a description of the document for one title (“Mary Jones”), use the same format for all your other documents as well (“Mary Jones Letter”). Always make sure any capitalization, spacing, use of dashes, and other style choices are kept consistent between documents.

Avoid Version Numbers
If you are applying for jobs very much frequently, it's possible that you have many variants of your resume saved on your computer. Try avoiding version numbers (e.g., Mary-Jones-Resume-5.doc) in your file name or any special characters.

Get rid of those numbers and special characters when you are sending your resume. By doing this, a recruiting manager might get the impression that the job is partly down a long list of potential opportunities. A hiring manager who will see “resume-5” written as part of your doc name, he/she will wonder what resumes 3 through 7 looked like and whether you’re just applying for every job in town.

Create a new folder on your computer to keep track of the different versions of your resume, rather than using the file name for that purpose, and make sure that perfect, ready-to-go resumes are stored in a separate folder as of others.

Edit, Edit, Edit
Proofread the document title before sending your resume or cover letter. It might sound silly, but a typo or any mistake in the title might make an employer feel that you do not pay attention on the details and that you are totally unprofessional.

Options for Saving Your Resume
Sending or uploading your resume as a PDF or a Word document is always an important task. This way the copy of your resume and cover letter will be received by the receiver in the original format.

To save or convert your documents as a PDF in MS Word, click the Microsoft Office Button, point to the arrow next to Save As, and then click PDF. Give the file name you want and select a folder where you want to save your resume in. Or, here are free programs you can use to convert a file to a PDF. free programs you can use to convert a file to a PDF.

Saving your resume and cover letter as a PDF will ensure that the formatting stays the same, even if the employer uses a different word processing program or operating system.

However, if the job listing demands a specific file format to submit your documents, make sure to do so. As not following the instructions could surely cost you the interview.