How much thought did you put into naming the resume file that you send out to prospective employers and recruiters? Does the file name clearly indicate who you are? Does it go a bit further and tell the recipient what you do? Or is it labeled something like "resume.doc," "myresume.doc," or another name that could apply to virtually any one of thousands of applicants?
A press release on PRWEB (www.prweb.com) highlights conclusions from a "Resume Filename Best Practices Report" recently released by Palladian International. While the report found that 92% of resume files had at least some indication of the sender's name, only 58% included both the first and last name. A large proportion of resumes contained information of no use to a hiring manager or recruiter, such as version numbers and dates.
The report advises that your first and last name always be included in the file name. It is also a good idea to include a word or short keyword phrase that describes your main skill set or industry (for example, CFO, Marketing Executive, etc.). It is important to keep the keyword phrase fairly short, so as not to create an unwieldy file name that extends beyond fields in a database or beyond the edge of the reader's window or screen (such as on a Blackberry). A further recommendation is to separate words with hyphens for readability. I have found that underscores (_) also work well for this purpose.
Following is a sample structure for an effective file name:
With regard to file format, MS Word is virtually universally accepted. However, if you have Office 2007, it is advisable to convert your file from its default ".docx" format to Word 2003/97 ".doc" format. The new ".docx" format is not readable by earlier versions of Word without installation of a conversion pack. Since there are many recruiters and companies that do not yet have Office 2007 and also do not have the conversion pack installed on their systems, sending the file in Word 2003/97 format avoids the risk that your file will be unretrievable and (horrors) possibly discarded.
Posted by Laurie Smith at Creative Keystrokes