Why the File Name of Your Resume is So Important

There are some very real practical reasons for not naming your resume file, "resume".
There are some very real practical reasons for not naming your resume file, “resume”.

When applying for a job, there are perhaps only two things most job seekers pay any attention to – the impressiveness of their CV and whether their cover letter is equally impressive, which is fine; CVs do have to be impressive, after all. In fact, if you’re looking for tips on crafting a good CV or cover letter, try reading our posts on both topics – one from the horse’s mouth, well actually that of a recruiter, who shares tips on what will get your CV noticed and another outlines the vital importance of covering letters. But the truth is, many people are still sloppy when it comes to their CVs.

Making a Good, Nay, Great First Impression

When you’re applying for a job, you’ve got to put your best foot forward. Most people know this, which is why they spend hours toiling over their resumes and then spend more hours laboriously constructing sentences that are neither ambiguous, nor too forthright, either; lest it leave the recruiter or hiring manager without any questions that could be answered in an interview.

Once we’re asked to come in for an interview, we make sure to wear our fancy interview threads and our best attitude – in short, we turn on the best version of ourselves. It’s about first impressions, after all, and everyone knows this. It’s so basic that all these things serve to do is weed out the tyre-kickers from the real contenders.

A Tougher Market

But in today’s job market the number of real contenders have increased markedly, while opportunities have remained the same, if not decreased in the years since the GFC. Standing out from your competition requires something extra – it could be something like showing a commitment to continuing professional development by taking a short course like many students of our MYOB training courses have done.

It could also be something as simple as demonstrating attention to detail – an important attribute to have if you’re applying for a job as a bookkeeper or an administration assistant, one would assume. Certainly, if I’m looking to hire a new staff member and I’ve had piles of CVs delivered to my inbox from Seek or Gumtree, finicky things like the filename of a person’s CV are things I look at.

If I receive a resume from someone simply saved as “resume” it’s generally safe to say that this person shows little attention to detail. More often than not, I open the file to find something off – poor formatting, spelling mistakes, terrible grammar, and the like. Sometimes this isn’t the case, and I certainly wouldn’t disregard a perfectly good candidate over something like this, but I’ve still made a note of it.

Think of the Interviewer

But there are practical considerations to this, too. Often, I’ll want to forward a couple of CVs onto another staff member to get their input, usually mentioning which candidate I think seems promising in my email. But emailing several CVs all saved as “resume” means the recipient will have to open each file to see if it corresponds to the applicant I was referring to – kind of annoying, particularly for the time-strapped recruiter.

It also makes saving the files on my computer difficult; plus there’s the chance that I could accidentally overwrite your CV with another candidate’s because they each have the same filename. Consequently, you’re not getting a phone call about an interview. All that time you spent on your CV was just negated in less than two seconds when I accidentally clicked ‘yes’ in response to the “‘resume.doc’ already exists. Do you want to replace it?” warning.

Saving your CV with your name and the job title you’re applying for doesn’t just show your attention to detail, it also makes it easy for recruiters and hiring managers – who are often advertising for more than one position – to identify who you are and the job you’re applying for, giving you a much great shot at being called in for an interview.

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Don’t risk your CV getting lost over something as simple as a filename – and if you’re not that attentive to detail, then start! It’s an important attribute to possess, because it means employers can trust that you’ll do your job right, which is why we’re hiring you in the first place. You might also consider getting some help writing your resume and learning how to use Microsoft Word to edit your resume if you need to. If you want to look at starting your own independent contracting business try the Small Business Management and StartUp Course.

The Skinny on Resume Writing

Basic do’s and don’t on resume writing

Resume writing to perfection
There’s an art to resume writing but it’s not rocket science.

The job market is tough; that much is true. But if you’ve been sending out your CV with very little response, the job market is only one part of the problem. It’s more than likely that your resume isn’t doing you any favours.

Keeping resume writing simple

Resume writing is about showing prospective employers why you are the best fit for a position and their organisation. It’s not about listing all the jobs you’ve ever had in the past — a café owner looking for a new barista is probably not interested in the three years you spent working in a corporate law firm.

When it comes to pointing out your experience, there are some basic do’s and don’t’s to resume writing. A resume shouldn’t be like a laboured novel; nor should it be so subtle in pointing out your experience that the reader is left to work out exactly how your experience applies to the position they need to fill — recruiters don’t have time for that.

And remember, the majority of companies today outsource the recruitment process to recruitment agencies that receive thousands of CVs and resumes on a daily basis for their large portfolio of clients. Even those companies that still  handle recruitment themselves will have extremely busy HR departments; even in large companies, often there’s only one person reviewing the abundant CVs they receive.

35 seconds to make your mark

When it comes to resume writing, you have to get them in quick! Being time poor and exceedingly busy, most recruiters only spend about 35 seconds on each CV or resume.

This means you have 35 seconds to convince a recruiter that it’s worth reading your CV further or, better still, getting you in for an interview.

You’ll achieve this if you:

  • Get to the point, but don’t be arrogant — this is a massive turn-off.
  • Don’t over-embellish: if you didn’t actually do something, don’t say you did — you will get found out.
  • Are concise: don’t cram your resume or CV full of interesting (to you) but ultimately irrelevant previous positions (like dog walker in 1982), achievements or interests (ferret racing is better kept to yourself).

But don’t see the minimalist approach as an opportunity to get fancy with the design of your CV.

Unless you actually are a designer of some sort, just use a clean template that clearly highlights why you’re the right person for the job. I once received a CV formatted like a crossword puzzle to list the person’s experience and education; clever perhaps, but the CV after that was easy to read and it was that person I called in for the interview.

To avoid the daunting task of resume writing from scratch each time you decide to change employment, you should get into the habit of updating your CV on a regular basis.

Need more help?

EzyLearn is in a great position to help you with your resume writing because we understand the employment market and the needs of employers. We also have team members with top quality resume writing skills and experience in creating quality resumes for administration and bookkeeping positions in particular. Other related blog posts: Finding a Job Using LinkedIn

If you’d like to share your job hunting experiences with us and others, please visit us our Facebook page — you can also let us know here if you need help with resume writing. We can also help you brush up your Microsoft Word skills for resume writing


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