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How to Name Your Resume?

how to name your resume

We send our resume to recruitment companies and employers when applying for a specific vacancy or when we are hoping they will peruse it when a vacancy opens up.

However, when you follow up a few weeks later, they have no idea who you are and can’t seem to find your document anywhere. We all hope that the receiver has read your resume from front to back and meticulously filed it by date or profession. But, let’s be honest, “ain’t nobody got time for that!

So, the onus is on you to name your resume in the correct way so that it covers the 5 W’s of good reporting: Who, what, when, where, and why. But, in a number of cases, the last two may be redundant, as the where and why can be answered by the what, if done correctly.

So, let’s take an in-depth look at How to Name Your Resume and get those jobs rolling in!

how to name your resume

How To NOT Name Your Resume?

Covering the 5 W’s won’t do you any good if the file name is too long. You have to keep it short enough to view without having to drag bars halfway across the computer screen.

If you have saved multiple versions without renaming them, they may save as a “Resume (1)” or “Resume (7)”. All this will do is make whoever saves it next wonder if they have any other resumes they should look for regarding the same person.

Don’t be generic…

The chances of 27 other people also applying with “Resume” files are quite high. Meaning your file could easily be overwritten in the process of the receiver saving them. There would be no way of telling which one is yours with something as generic as that.

Simply naming it after yourself will tell them nothing about you, and only naming it after your profession will not identify you either – that would be as bland as naming it “Resume.”

Be careful dating your resume name…

Even if it is perfectly named but contains the date from the previous decade, it will be ignored. You may have updated all the relevant info, but they will see “2012” and not bother to open it, as other files with current dates in the file name will be the priority.

Many recruiters or employers may end up haphazardly saving it to a desktop or somewhere inconspicuous on their computer and forget into which subfolder they dragged and dropped it. Even if they did remember about you, John Smith, the personal trainer, how are they going to find it?

Naming Your Resume With The 5 W’s

  • Who? John Smith
  • What? Personal Trainer (either your line of work or the vacancy you are applying for)
  • When? 2023
  • Where? DEFGym/Los Angeles (the name of the company you would like to apply to, or the area in which you are seeking employment)
  • Why? 5 years of experience (any reason why you would make a good choice)

Now that you have exactly what you need to include in the name, you can think about possible ways to present it:

John Smith – Personal Trainer, 2023, Los Angeles, 5 years of experience

But that seems too long, and the info seems to be placed in the wrong order. John Smith may also be too common, and you would get lost under another John’s. Thus, some tweaking is in order. Perhaps include your middle name initial.

how to name a resume

John P. Smith – Experienced Personal Trainer, LA, 2023

John P. Smith – Expert Personal Trainer, LA, 2023

When You Should Use Different Name Versions

You may be both a personal trainer and a nutritionist. Therefore, you should have one that is named as the personal trainer resume version and one as the nutritionist, to send to respective vacancies where one role or the other is the main focus.

In light of this, you may also want to feature the main role within the content of the resume first, so that the alternative can be seen as complementary skills rather than competing. The other consideration is the location.

Drop the location…

You may be willing to relocate and not want to seem like you are looking in one area only. This is where you simply drop the “LA” from the file name.

Build The Best Resume You Can!

It’s not just in a name, but the rest of your resume also has to be immaculate. So, check out my advice on how to list Job Titles On Resume, and my How To List Education On A Resume, How To List References On A Resume, and how about my Achievements To List On Your Resume, and How To Address A Cover Letter.

Next, we touch on the Most Important Skills To Put On A Resume, our Hobbies Interests To Put On Resume, or maybe you’d like to read our Motivation Letter Writing Guide, along with How To Write A Letter of Interest, and in case you’re not sure our Best Times Of Year To Apply For Jobs in 2023.

Online research brought up endless guides and handbooks such as the Land Your Dream Job: Join the 2% Who Make it Past Resumé Screening, and CVs, Resumes, and LinkedIn: A Guide to Professional English, or maybe try Marketing Yourself in the Age of Digital: CVs, Applications, Interviews, Social Media, LinkedIn which we found extremely helpful.

Final Thoughts

Once you have aptly named your resume, send it to a friend or family member. Not only will they be able to provide you with feedback, but you can also ask them if it is displayed correctly on their monitors.

The ultimate test is if they were able to find it easily with their OS search bar, should they forget where they have saved it to.

Yes, I know you are now dreading the thought of the last 50 times you sent your resume out. But, the good news is, your chances of getting feedback on the next 50 times have now increased significantly!

All the very best in Naming your Resume right!

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