Resume Filename Best Practices

The filename of a resume is an often-overlooked detail by many job seekers. Palladian surveyed a selection of resumes and identified best practices and common mistakes for naming the resume file.

In the study, Palladian identified four elements that routinely appear in the filenames of resume.  The most common was an indication of the job seeker’s name.  Also common were the word “resume,” a version number of the resume and the date the resume was written.

Job Seeker’s Name

Ninety-two percent of resumes had some indication of the candidate’s name, but only fifty-eight percent contained both the first and last name. Nine percent of the resumes had no reference to the candidate, with files names like “resume,” “myresume” and “resume2009.”  The remainder had some reference to the candidate, a first name, a last name or initials, but did not contain both the first and last name.

Other Information

A large percentage of resume filenames contained information of no value to a hiring manager.  Two common items were the date the resume was written and the version number of the resume.  There were job seekers that put information in the filename that had no meaning.  In some cases, it looked like the job seeker used the resume of someone else as a template, since the filename contained a different person’s name.  Others had random words that seemed to have no meaning.

File Format

By far, the most common file format was the Microsoft Word 2003 – a .doc file.  There were also pdf, rtf, wps and docx file formats, along with one format that could not be identified.

Best Practices

  • Use your first and last name in the file name.
  • Include the word “resume”
  • Include a keyword phrase (1 to 3 words summarizing your job or industry)
  • Separate words with hyphens
  • Submit your resume in a Microsoft Word 2003 format (.doc)

Structure of a good resume filename:  FirstName-LastName-Resume-KeywordPhrase.doc

Example:  John-Doe-Resume-Logistics-Manager.doc