This is What You Should Name Your Resume
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This is What You Should Name Your Resume

You've done the hard part: writing, designing, editing your resume and composing that killer cover letter. But when you click Save As, have you ever wondered what the best file name is?

We certainly have and so we asked some of the mentors from our Hire a Mentor platform for their best recommendations. While naming conventions vary, there was a clear pattern: time and time again (especially from the recruiters), we heard the same complaint. Having to spend time resaving resumes in the right format? It's obnoxious. 

While you can't guarantee exactly what format your dream company uses when saving resumes in their files, one thing's for sure: resume.doc is not the way to go. When saving all your documents: 

1. Keep the format consistent across items

2. Include (at least) your last name in the document name.

Actually, we recommend you include your first name as well: 

FirstnameLastname-Resume.pdf i.e., KitWarchol-Resume.doc

FirstnameLastname-CoverLetter.pdf i.e., KitWarchol-CoverLetter.pdf

FirstnameLastname-References.pdf

3. Did you see what we did there? Save your resume as a PDF, not a Word doc. This guarantees that any pretty fonts or formats you've used will look the same to your reader as they do to you. 

That's kind of it, but sometimes it's the simple things that make all the difference. By keeping your formatting consistent, you accomplish a couple of key things. You start drumming your name into the recruiter or interviewer's brain long before they've contacted you for an interview (some people say it takes seeing your name six times for someone to remember it, like learning a new word. Consider your resume file and cover letter #1 and #2). And by including your name on your files, you save the receiver the added step of re-saving your resume. They'll appreciate it. 

How do you format your job application documents?