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How you name your cover letter and resume could cause problems (bullying?).

When people send through their documents, either for us to provide a free review, or as part of the writing process, we notice things. These things we notice are really important as we take these into consideration when creating effective documents.


Have you heard of the cliché, ‘it’s the small things that count or matter?”.


Today we are talking about file names. How people name save their files to their computers or cloud could affect their chances of getting through the screening process. Besides, we do not want to be cruel parents and give our cover letter and resume babies weird names.


(P.S. Are you in holiday mode yet? Keep up the momentum, you’re almost there!)


Please note these recommendations are geared towards companies that are not using ATS, to scan and sort resumes. Unsure what ATS is and why you should care about it?



Don’t have time for reading today? Skip here and read this for the quick tip.

Save your file like this:  last name, first name document type

Example:       Peterman, Stanley Resume


Why does a file name matter? There are a few reasons below.

  1. Easy to sort and find candidates by last name. If we look at the example above, can you imagine trying to find Stanley’s resume if his file name was SPJ340_111? The key to improving your chances of a call-back, is to make the process easy and efficient for the recipient.
  2. Avoid duplicate file names and confusion. If candidates a, b and c save their resume as “resume”, then this will cause problems with identifying who is who and will slow down the process.
  3. Demonstrates good organization skills, and the ability to optimize processes (albeit small, still sends a clear and important message to prospective employers).


We really hope you learned something today, and the main takeaway is to make the recruiting process easy and painless, so the recipient will be able to locate your profile and call/email you.


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