Yesterday I wrote about someone who, unfortunately, made the mistake of saving their resume with the name, “copy of copy of copy of Jane Doe.” Jane Doe isn’t their name of course, and is used here just to serve as an example. Today, I wasn’t at work for very long before another resume crossed my desk with an equally improper name. This time is was, “Resume 2”.
Okay, now pause for a moment and imagine yourself as a member of the recruiting team of a company or small business owner. You click on the email and the first thing that captures your attention is the name of the attached resume file. It’s right there below the subject of the email. Do you suppose that, “Resume 2” will impress you sufficiently to be anxious to open it? Not a chance. In fact, you’ll likely feel like you have someone’s 2nd best effort and presumably, “Resume 1” is in the hands of their employer of choice.
Those are the thoughts of the business owner or recruiting team. Now, as for the job applicant themselves, let’s look at what they might be thinking when the window pops up and asks them to choose a name to save their resume.
The first assumption we can make is that job seekers apply for multiple jobs with multiple employers. I get that. Some of those job hunters are heeding the advice to change their resumes to match the jobs they are applying to, which is well and good. So we can imagine that with every, ‘save as’, they want to be able to identify the resumes as different from the others. Hence some people name their resumes, “Resume 1, Resume 2” and so on. How fantastically underwhelming is the experience of the beleaguered employer who receives, “Resume 17”! I’m sure they salivate with anticipation as they wait for the file to open so they can call immediately and invite the applicant in for a chat.
Ah, but like I said, what I am pleased to see is that the applicant wants a way to differentiate between their resumes so that they can find them when they need them most. The problem however is this: the applicant gets a call and is asked to come in. They start the process of incorrectly opening resume after resume trying to find the one they made for this particular job and employer. Anxiety rises as the wrong one is opened again and again. Did it get lost? Where is it? Oh there it is! It was the fifth attempt that finally tracked it down.
Who needs the anxiety?
So what’s the solution? For years I’ve been advocating a simple answer – and you may have a different method that works for you or those you work with. My solution is to name each resume as a combination of the job title and the employer. So a person might have:
“Server Best Burgers”,
“Server Franks Pizzeria”,
“Waiter The Seafood Emporium”.
This system has key benefits. Number one is that person receiving the resume sees what you named it, knows exactly what you’re applying to and sees you made it specifically for them. Employer’s, like anyone else, like to feel special. Naming the resume specifically impresses them. The second benefit is for the job seeker themselves. The resume you need to find is readily identified and opened the first time – every time. No more rising anxiety as you fret about having lost the resume you need.
Ah but there is another key and critical benefit to the job seeker. You can’t mistakenly send a resume to the wrong employer when it has a name on it to identify it. Whereas you could mistakenly send, “Resume 4” to an employer when you meant to send, “Resume 2”, it’s unlikely you’ll send, “Server, Franks Pizzeria” to The Fish Emporium.
Does this make sense to you? If so, take this idea and implement it now. Share it with the people you work with too.
Oh and here’s another idea while we’re at it. If you are writing a resume with a job seeker, you don’t want your effort lost when the person modifies it and clicks on, ‘Save’ instead of ‘Save As”. So after you’ve crafted this winning resume, do the job seeker a favour and copy and paste it for them; into their USB or file. Then immediately rename the copy, “RESUME START HERE”.
Now tell the job seeker to never open the original except to take it to the interview they’ll get. When they want to modify their resume for another job, always have them click on, “RESUME START HERE” and after making changes, click, ‘SAVE AS” saving the new resume using a combination of the job title and employer.
Eventually they’ll have a growing list of resumes individually named and they’ll always have, “RESUME START HERE” as the one to start with. This helpful tip prevents them from making serious errors to the original and clicking on, “Save”.
By the way, no need to include the job seekers name in the, “Save As” filename. As it came from the job seekers online application or email, they already know this information.
Hope this helps all job seekers out there! I’m here for you in this.