Filenames for Your Resume and Cover Letter: More Important Than You Think

filenames resumes and cover lettersFor many job seekers, the filenames, titles, and URL names they provide employers are quite often more important than they think.

Let me give you an example: If I told you to go read this article, but didn’t give you any more information, you would hesitate. You may something like “Umm, I have a busy day. Tell me what it’s about and then maybe I’ll read it.”

If, on the other hand, I told you to read an article about how Facebook plans to roll out “Facebook at Work,” a way to connect with colleagues who may or may not be friends, you might say “OK, now I’m interested.”

When recruiters and employers see vague attachments to your email or applications, they feel the exact same way.

Vagueness Ruins Everything

Right now on your computer, you could have two files suffering from bland-itis: the resume and cover letter. That’s because it looks sloppy when you attach a file like:

– myresume.docx

– mycoverletter1.docx

Plus, a generic title could be problematic. What if the hiring manager receives 75 resumes called “myresume.docx”? Surely, you don’t want to be lumped in with everyone else. You’re a prime example of an authentic person. Right?

Here’s the Formula for Professional Document File Names

– [name of document] for [your first and last name]

So for a job seeker named Mark Simpson, the filenames would be:

– Resume for Mark Simpson

– Cover letter for Mark Simpson

– Portfolio for Mark Simpson

Formal Name vs. Nickname

What if your formal name is Robert but your coworkers call you “Robby”? Should you go by “Robby Ramirez” on your job applications? I say no. Stick with your formal name in professional situations like a resume, cover letter and LinkedIn.

Why? “Robby” might be a mature, responsible guy any company would love to have. Until the hiring manager or boss gets to know Robby, the name makes him seem young and inexperienced. Also, you never know who might review your application, and you need to be polished.

For example, which filename makes Mr. Ramirez seem more experienced?

– Resume for Robby Ramirez


– Resume for Robert Ramirez

That’s right. Mr. Robert Ramirez wins the interview. Every time.

Be specific with your filenames. It is far more important than you think.


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Danny_RubinAbout the Author: Danny Rubin is a communications expert and author of the new book, Wait, How Do I Write This Email?, a collection of 100+ templates for networking, the job search and LinkedIn. For more of Danny’s insights and sample chapters from the book, visit his blog, The Template, which highlights the career advice in the latest headlines. Follow him on Twitter.



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