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What to Name Your Cover Letter and Resume Files

It may seem trivial, but file names matter. Here, we discuss naming conventions and best practices for saving and uploading your cover letter and resume.

3 years ago   •   9 min read

You finally finished creating your cover letter and resume — and you’re excited to send it off to prospective employers.

But wait — how should you save your files? Do you send them off as word documents or as PDFs? And how should you name them? Do you include your full name? What about the date?

In this article, we’ll take a look at how to name and save cover letters and resume files. We’ll talk about naming conventions, discuss do's and don’ts, and offer other practical tips and tricks on how to upload your cover letter and resume so that your application is professional and easy to read. Let’s do this!

Naming a cover letter and resume file

Do's and don'ts for naming your resume and cover letter.

Here's what to include in your resume or cover letter file name:

  • Your full name, first and last
  • The words "resume" or "cover letter" (depending on which it is)
  • The name of the position you're applying for
  • Anything mentioned in the job ad — always follow instructions above all else

On the other hand, here's what not to include in your resume or cover letter file name:

  • Company name
  • Version number
  • Random strings of numbers of letters
  • Special characters

What to name your resume and cover letter

Here are some examples of good resume file names following the above conventions.

Resume file name examples:

JohnSmithResume.pdf JohnSmith_Resume_PositionTitle.pdf johnsmith_resume_salesmanager.pdf Resume_JohnSmith_JobID2346.pdf

Cover letter file name examples:

Jenny_Su_Cover_Letter.pdf Jenny_Su_CoverLetter_PositionTitle.pdf jennysu_accountant_coverletter.pdf UI_designer_00154_cover_letter_jenny_su.pdf

What not to name your resume and cover letter

Cover letter and resume file names like the following should be avoided:

“CompanyName_CoverLetter_v3.doc” “Resume06092021.docx” “CoverLetter_JohnSmith_CompanyName.pdf”,“John_Smith_December2019.doc”, and “John_Smith_Resume_Ver2.pdf”

How to name your resume and cover letter

Step-by-step guide to name your resume.

  • In either Word or Google Docs, click File -> Save As / Export to PDF
  • Type your full name.
  • Add the word 'Resume'.
  • Make sure you keep the '.pdf' file extension.
  • Remove all spaces, and replace them with underscores (e.g. Jane_Brooke) or sentence case (e.g. JaneBrook) if necessary.
  • Remove version numbers, dates or other irrelevant words.
  • Remove special characters.
  • Save your resume.

Step-by-step guide to name your cover letter

  • Add the word 'CoverLetter'.
  • Remove special characters, version numbers, dates or other irrelevant words that make your filename lengths unnecessarily long.
  • Save your cover letter.

How to save your cover letter and resume

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to save your cover letter and resume, in several file formats .

Microsoft Word

To save your cover letter or resume as a Word document, follow these steps:

  • Open up your cover letter or resume in Word
  • Under “File”, hit “Save As…”
  • A dialogue box will appear. Next to “Save As:” at the top, name your file.
  • Next to “File Format:”, located near the bottom of the screen, check to see that your file is saved as a Word document (this should be selected by default).
  • Once you have confirmed this, hit “Save”.

The dialogue box for saving your Word Document

Google Docs

Google Docs is convenient because it auto-saves your files. However, you’ll need to do a bit of work in order to share it with your recruiter or hiring manager. Here’s how:

  • Open your Google Doc. The filename is displayed in the top left-hand corner of the screen, next to the blue docs icon. Double click to edit.
  • Go to “File”, then click “Share”.
  • A dialogue box will appear. You can either:
  • Share with people directly, under “Share with people and groups”, if you know their email
  • Under “Get link”, hit “Copy link” for a sharing link, which you can send via your application

A screenshot of the dialogue box that appears when you click “Share” in Google Docs

Export as a PDF in Word

Here’s how to save your Word Document as a PDF:

  • Open up your cover letter or resume in Word.
  • Go to “File”, and hit “Save As…”
  • A dialogue box will appear. Name your cover letter or resume file in the field next to “Save As:” at the top.
  • Click on the field next to “File Format:”, located near the bottom of the screen, and choose “PDF”.
  • Once that has been selected, click “Export”.

Select “PDF” next to “File Format:” in the dialogue box that appears when you hit “Save As…”

Once you’ve chosen your resume file format and appropriate names for your cover letter and resume files, upload to the tool below — it’s a good way to check if your resume is readable by Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). It’ll also scan your resume and let you know if it checks all the boxes from a hiring manager’s perspective.

Other considerations

Here are some of the whys (and why nots) of resume file naming conventions.

Avoid generic resume file names

Avoid cover letters and resume files that aren’t clearly named — like those that are titled with a long string of numbers, or others that are just called “CoverLetter” or “Resume” with no other identifying information.

Poorly-named cover letters and resume files make it harder to tell at a glance what a file contains and who it belongs to, which means that you run the risk of having your cover letter and resume accidentally discarded and your application ignored for being incomplete.

Keep file names short

Long file names are difficult to read and hard to identify at a glance. Plus, file names (on both Mac and Windows) have a character limit of around 255 characters or so. Exceed that number, and you won’t even be able to save your file.

Leave out the date and version number

Generally, there’s no need to date your cover letter and resume — especially if you haven’t updated them for years. You don’t want an employer to know that you’re using the same old, basic cover letter specimen or resume template you’ve used since 2010.

The same principle applies to version numbers. You want your cover letter and resume to stand out on their own as final, definitive products, so leave out the “v3”. Remember, this is a job application, not a perpetually unfinished piece of software.

Don't use special characters

Use A-Z, 0-9, dashes, and underscores only. Ditch any special characters, symbols, or slashes. This includes accents. There's no need to get fancy with your file name — call it a “resume,” not a “résumé.”

Don’t touch the spacebar

Unfortunately, cover letter and resume file names with spaces in them will convert to “%20” symbols upon uploading to certain Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) — so a seemingly well-titled “John Smith Resume.pdf” will become "John%20Smith%20Resume.pdf," which is awkward and hard to read. If you need to space out words, dashes and underscores are your friends.

Don't worry about capitalization

You can write your file names in either title case, sentence case, or in all lowercase. Most employers don’t care either way, so it’s not a big deal — though title case (capitalizing the first letter of words) is arguably easier to read and looks more polished than the other two options.

Order doesn't matter

When combining your name, job title, ID, "resume," or anything else into a file name, it doesn't matter which order you list them in. For example, “JohnSmith_Resume.pdf” or “CoverLetter_JohnSmith.pdf” would both be fine.

Follow instructions on the job posting

Any specific instructions on the job listing override any tips in this article. If the job ad specifies a specific file type (e.g., .docx over .pdf) or a particular naming convention (e.g., include your middle initial), then always name and upload your cover letter and resume in line with those directions instead.

You should also try to add skills and keywords included in the job posting on your resume. Use the skills search tool below to find some more hard skills and keywords relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Resume file formats

So far, we’ve covered how to name a cover letter and resume file, but what file type should you save it as?

Use PDFs generated in Word or Google Docs

While you may be tempted to save it as a Word document for the sake of convenience and simplicity, you should try to avoid this when possible. Different versions of Word may mess with your cover letter and resume’s formatting options, like margin widths , fonts , or headers . This means that your nicely-formatted document may not look as neat on your recruiter’s screen — or, in the worst case scenario, may not even be readable at all.

To make sure your recruiter sees what you see, you should export both your cover letter and resume as PDFs instead. Saving your finished files as PDFs ensures that all text formatting will be preserved, no matter what application a recruiter or hiring manager uses to open your cover letter or resume files. If you need to make any changes to your cover letter or resume, just edit it in your word processor, export it as a PDF again, and write over the existing PDF.

Don't use PDFs generated in Photoshop or Canva

That said, make sure you generate your PDF of either your resume or cover letter in a word processor like Microsoft Word or Google Docs. Do not use an image editing software like Photoshop or Canva which will result in your resume not being readable by Applicant Tracking Systems .

Don't use other file formats

If you use a different word processing software — like Open Office, LibreOffice, or a plain text editor — that's fine, but you should convert your file to a more standard format before sending it in. Emailing your resume as a .txt, .odt, or .odf file risks a recruiter not being able to open it.

Frequently asked questions

Why do file names matter.

The short answer: It helps recruiters identify your resume more quickly. While the way you title your cover letter and resume’s file names won’t make or break your application, it’s still important to name them in a way that’s professional and informative.

In reality, it’s good practice simply because it makes recruiters’ lives easier. After all, yours is not the only application a hiring manager will read — they likely have hundreds more to sort through — and clear cover letter and resume file names will help them find and identify your application more quickly.

Should I put my first name or last name first?

Use the format First Name Last Name — for example, "JohnSmith_Resume.pdf" instead of "SmithJohn_Resume.pdf." Why? Mostly, it's just more intuitive. If you have a surname that could also be a given name — or vice versa — it also helps clarify which is which.

Should I use my middle name?

Not unless you're instructed to, or unless you usually go by that name. If you prefer to be called Kelly Sue, then by all means, use that name on your resume file (and in your resume itself). Otherwise, stick to your first name and last name.

Why shouldn't I include the company name?

The hiring manager already works at the company you’re applying to, so it doesn't add anything useful. Instead, it makes your file name unnecessarily long and difficult to read. Some people think that this is a good way to 'personalize' your application, but it isn't — it's the content of the documents that matter, not the file name.

Does it matter if I send my resume as a Word .doc file instead of a .pdf format?

Not really, no. If you’re not comfortable saving your file as a PDF, you can elect to send in your cover letter and resume as a Word document (or a Google Doc). Just be aware that you run the risk of formatting issues if you do so.

Do I combine my resume and cover letter or send them separately?

Unless specified, do not combine your resume and cover letter into one document. Upload them separately.

Get your resume right

Apart from getting your cover letter and resume’s file names and file types down, you’ll also need to make sure that the content within those documents — especially your resume — is well-written.

Resume Worded’s Score My Resume is an instant, AI-enabled resume scoring platform that audits your resume line by line, and gives you feedback on how to improve — helping you maximize your chances of landing a dream job.

Score My Resume analyzes your resume, looking for ways to optimize it even further

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what to name cover letter file

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what to name cover letter file

what to name cover letter file

How to Name a Resume File and Cover Letter (+Examples)

Discover essential tips on 'how to name a resume file' to make a strong first impression. simplify your approach for maximum impact and stand out professionally in your job application process..

what to name cover letter file

Does the filename of your resume and cover letter really matter when it comes to a potential employer's first impression, or is it just a non-factor?And if it does matter, what should you name your resume file?

In this newsletter issue, we'll dive into the do's and don'ts of naming your resume and cover letter, emphasizing the importance of creating a good impression even before your resume is opened.

Let's discuss first whether the proper naming of your resume and cover letter files actually matters and when it is most significant.

This week, I came across three LinkedIn posts recommending how people should name their resume files to create a lasting impression.

These were their recommendations:

[Name][Position You Applied For].pdf

[Name][Role/Position][Date]_[Keywords].pdf

[Surname]-[Company Name].pdf

Even though these three posts made many points about what you need to do and why you need to do that, none of them provided any studies or surveys to back up their statement.

I get their intention to help job seekers, but tips without any data or real experience are as useful as tips that tell job seekers they need to use an ATS resume template to avoid being rejected by ATS.

Most recruiters (I would even say 99.9%!) don’t care about the resumes' filenames. That’s because the resumes they receive via career pages, job portals, or LinkedIn are accessible via ATS systems, and they don’t actually download them from there; they simply click on the preview to access the resume.

The file name of your resume might only have an impact on the recipient if they receive your resume via email, LinkedIn, or if recruiters add it to an interview invitation with the interviewer.

How to Name a Resume File

The significance of a resume file name goes beyond just a title; it reflects your professionalism and overall approach to your job search.

A well-named file can easily stand out in a sea of "Resume_V1.pdf", "Job_Application.pdf" or "Profile.pdf."

The Misconception of Adding a Role or Date to Your Resume Name:

While adding position, date or your current role might seem like a good idea, trust me, it's NOT.

Here's why:

Bias and Role: Adding your desired role might unintentionally introduce bias. This might not only pigeonhole you into a specific category but also restrict potential employers from considering you for roles you might be apt for but haven't specifically mentioned.

Redundancy of Dates: What about adding the date? Big mistake! A date can quickly make your application seem outdated. Imagine you've been job hunting for a while, and your resume still says "April 1st" in September. It gives the impression that you're still on the market or you were looking for a job in April and now you are searching again. This could have the same effect on people as those career gaps in your resume.

The Misconception of Adding Keywords: It might be tempting to stuff your resume file name with industry-specific keywords, thinking it might give you an edge. But ask yourself: How would something like this "jan-tegze-sourcing.recruitment.ATS.pdf" be beneficial? It's cluttered, confusing, and detracts from the main content. It adds zero value to anyone, especially when most recruiters and hiring managers are looking for clarity and simplicity.

Including keywords in the filename won't give you any extra points, because ATS doesn't really care about it at all. It's more interested in the content and keywords inside your resume.

Why Keeping it Simple is Key

Simplicity often speaks volumes, especially when it comes to naming files. The aim is to ensure the recipient can easily identify the document, know its content, and, more importantly, recognize whose document it is.

There's no need to overcomplicate things. Stick to a simple format like "First-Last.pdf" or just "FirstLast.pdf". Remember, your resume's content is where you should be showcasing your skills, experiences, and fit for the role, not in the file name.

In a nutshell, your resume file name should be a beacon of clarity amidst the chaos. It's a representation of your organizational skills and your respect for the recipient's time and effort.

How to Name a Cover Letter File

Much like your resume, your cover letter holds immense value in your job application process. Its naming convention should be equally straightforward.

Consistency is Crucial: If you've named your resume "JanTegze_Resume.pdf", then a cover letter can simply be "JanTegze_CoverLetter.pdf". This consistency ensures that when a hiring manager downloads both files, they appear consecutively in their folder or download bar.

Avoid Repetition: There's no need to reiterate the role or the date in the cover letter file name if you've avoided them in your resume name. Remember, simplicity and clarity are key.

Differentiating from Resume: Ensure there’s a clear distinction between your resume and cover letter. Using terms like "CoverLetter" or "CL" can help in easy identification. The last thing you want is for a hiring manager to open your cover letter expecting your resume or vice versa.

The takeaway here is straightforward: naming your documents appropriately is not just a formality but an opportunity to make a strong, organized first impression. Stick to simplicity, consistency, and clarity.

Examples: Right vs. Wrong

A practical understanding often stems from seeing what works and what doesn't. Here are some comparative examples of how to name a resume file and cover letter files:

Example 1: Resume

Right: JanTegze.pdf or JanTegze-Resume.pdf (JanTegze_Resume.pdf)

Wrong: JanTegze-Sourcing.Recruitment.ATS.pdf

Sure, you can use different variations of your name like: JanTegze, jantegze, Jan.Tegze, or Jan-Tegze for your resume. Just keep it simple!

Example 2: Cover Letter

Right: JanTegze_CoverLetter.pdf

Wrong: JanTegze-Marketing-Director-April-01.pdf

These examples illustrate the principle of keeping things simple and straightforward. Over-complicating file names not only makes them harder to read but can also detract from the document's content.

How to Name a Resume File

As you can see in the image, the first line is quite generic . Moreover, if more people are using Resume.pdf, with each download that recruiter does, your resume will end up being named Resume(4).pdf or Resume(6).pdf, and so on. This won't create a good impression when recruiters add those resumes to calendar invitations.

Last Thoughts

Your resume and cover letter are primary tools that showcase your skills, experience, and fit for a role. Understand that the first impression starts even before these documents are opened - it begins with the filename.

A unique resume name is not about standing out with a flashy title, but about clear, concise, and professional presentation.

Remember, when contemplating how to name a resume file , think about the individual at the other end. You want to make their task easy, clear, and free of any presumptions. Let your content shine and be the hero of your application, not an overly complicated file name.

In the realm of job applications, simplicity is sophistication. Your file name is a reflection of this principle. So, the next time you're about to send out that job resume file , pause for a moment and ensure it's named to impress, simply.

If you found this newsletter issue helpful, don't hesitate to share it with your own network.

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💡Extra Tips for Perfecting Your File Names

You already know how to properly name your resume and cover letter files, but there’s more to consider:

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How to Name a Resume & Cover Letter File?

How to Name a Resume & Cover Letter File?

William Shakespeare famously wrote the line “What’s in a name?” in his play, Romeo and Juliet. Everything, it seems, when it comes to naming your resume and cover letter files. How you name your resume and cover letter speaks volumes to a potential recruiter.

Picture this : you are a recruiter yourself and have just received an application from someone who couldn’t seem to care enough to pay attention to details. Would you consider the application? Probably not. It’s just how the human mind works. Presentation is key when it comes to forming impressions. When you are applying for a job you want to make the best impression possible.

When it comes to your resume file name, think of it as your digital handshake.

In this guide, we’ll cover :

  • Importance of a Resume File Name
  • How to choose a Resume name and Cover Letter Name with Examples

Tips on Choosing the Perfect Resume File Name

How to save your resume & cover letter files, 10 common resume file name mistakes to avoid, the importance of a resume file name.

There are a few reasons why it is important to give your resume a specific file name.

  • It can help you stand out from the competition – If all of the resumes for a job are named “resume.doc” or “resume.pdf,” yours will stand out if you name it something different. Imagine just how many people make this common mistake leaving recruiters with the painful task of opening each file to figure out which resume belongs to whom. According to surveys, at least a third of the people name their files just resume.doc. Don’t fall in that category.
  • It makes it easier for employers to find your resume – If you have a specific file name for your resume, employers will be able to easily find it when they are conducting a job search. How you name your resume file will also affect how a recruiter will store and contact you about potential job opportunities.
  • It helps you keep track of your resumes – If you have multiple versions of your resume, it can be helpful to keep track of them by giving each one a specific file name. This will help you avoid accidentally sending the wrong resume to a potential employer. By naming your resume files something different, like “resume_johnsmith.doc” and “resume_johnsmith_nov2022.doc,” you’ll be able to easily keep track of which one is the most recent.

What to Name your Resume and Cover Letter File?

If you want your file to stay in the records, it is recommended you name your resume using your name. It is the best way to distinguish your document amidst the scores of applications that recruiters receive on a daily basis. Saving your document with your name allows a hiring manager to identify it at a glance.

What should I name my resume file?

1. YourName-Document

  • For example if your name is Robert Smith and resume can be named as – Robert-Smith-Resume.docx
  • For example if your name is Robert Smith and Cover letter can be named as – Robert-Smith-Cover-Letter.docx

Resume & Cover Letter File Name Example

2. YourName-JobTitle-Document

For example if your name is James Campbell and if you are applying for a Accounting Analyst position then you resume can be named as – James-Campbell-Accounting-Analyst-Resume.docx

Resume & Cover Letter File Name

It is recommended that you name your cover letter document the same way as well.

When you’re choosing a resume file name, you want to make sure that it’s professional and easy to remember. You also want to make sure that it’s different from the file names of other resumes that are being submitted for the same job.

Here are a few tips for choosing a resume file name:

1. Use your Full Name – One of the best ways to choose a resume file name is to use your full name. This will help the hiring manager remember your name and it will also show that you’re a professional.

2. Use your email address – Another way to choose a resume file name is to use your email address. This will also help the hiring manager remember your name and it will show that you’re a professional.

3. Use your job title – If you’re not sure what to name your resume file, you can use your job title. This will help the hiring manager know what position you’re applying for.

4. Use the company’s name – If you’re applying for a job at a specific company, you can use the company’s name in your resume file name. This will show the hiring manager that you’re interested in the company and that you’ve done your research.

5. Use the date – If you’re applying for a job that you’ve applied for before, you can use the date in your resume file name. This will help you keep track of which version of your resume you submitted to which company.

6. Use a file extension –  If you want to use something other than your name or your email address, you can use a file extension. A file extension is the three letters at the end of a file name, like “.doc” or “.pdf.” This will help the hiring manager know what type of file they’re looking at.

7. Separating Words in a Cover Letter and Resume File Name – Seperate the words in your file name using hyphens or underscores. Separate first letter of last word in cover letter and resume title with hyphen or underscore (_).

8. Capitalize First Letters vs. Using Lowercase : Do not capitalize the complete file name of your resume. When naming your cover letters and resumes, use title case file names ( capitalizing only the first letter of each word) to keep your formatting consistent across documents.

9. Avoid Special Characters in Resume & Cover Letter Names – Avoid using special characters and stick to English Alphabet letters (A-Z) and Numbers as they don’t work very well with most applicant tracking systems and desktops.

10. Avoid dates in a file name – Simply use your full name and specify whether it is a resume or cover letter when saving your document. It is the most clutter-free and professional approach.

Atlast, When you are proofreading your resume or cover letter don’t forget to also proofread your file name. You don’t want basic errors slipping in to ruin all the hard work you’ve put in to create the most compelling candidate profile for yourself. It pays to pay attention to detail.

A Word document or a PDF is the most widely accepted format when submitting a resume . Unless a recruiter or hiring manager specifies otherwise and requests for a different file format you need not worry.

Often an employer will tell you how they want your resume to be submitted. Try and stick to stipulations for a better shot at being considered for the position.

It is also a good idea to save your resume in both PDF and Word document formats so you have them ready to go depending on what is required at the time of applying.

For Word Document : Use Microsoft Word to create a new document and click on Save As to get a .doc version of your resume.

For PDF : Depending on the software you are using, you should be able to Print to Adobe PDF to save your resume as a PDF. In case your software does not support that, you could use one of the free PDF converter programs available online.

  • Don’t send in a resume file name that is simply called Resume.doc.
  • Recruiters and hiring managers receive several resumes each day. They simply do not have the time or patience to sift through 50 of them titled Resume.doc trying to figure which belongs to whom.
  • Name your resume file using your full name. There are bound to be several Rachels, Michaels, Divyas out there. You don’t want to leave your recruiter frustrated trying to figure out which resume file belongs to whom.
  • While you are at it, don’t forget to specify what the document actually is. For instance, simply naming it Rachel-Green.doc does not tell recruiters what the document is. And honestly, nobody has the patience to figure it out for themselves either. Instead, write Rachel Green-Resume.doc to lend clarity.
  • Avoid file names such as Rachel-Resume-Updated.doc. Recruiters sure hope you are sending them an updated version; there is no need to spell it out.
  • File names such as Rachel-Resume-Last.doc or Rachel-Resume-2020.doc are even worse than those that state they have been updated or revised. When you are sending in a resume file ensure you are sending the final version. Don’t send revised or last versions. Similarly, it is best if you leave out the year or month in a file name. Including it only makes it look dated.
  • Resumes that are named SRK-Resume.doc aren’t of much help to recruiters and hiring managers either. They really do not have the time to try and figure out who those initials belong to. Keep it simple and just write out your full name.
  • Do provide spacing or hyphens between words when creating a resume file name. Crunching it all together (RachelGreenResume.doc) makes it hard to read.
  • While naming your file AVOID all caps. For instance, a file name that says ARCH-Resume.doc could leave the recruiter wondering if ARCH is an acronym for something. Stick to Title Case or Sentence Case as is applicable to dispel all doubts.
  • Coming up with quirky file names is a big NO when you are on a job hunt. You don’t want to begin your job search on the wrong foot and you definitely want potential recruiters, hiring managers and employers to take you seriously.

Everyone wants to craft the ideal resume to maximize their chances of landing the perfect job. Since great attention is paid to the details in the content of a resume and cover letter, it is only imperative that the same amount of attention be paid when naming your resume and cover letter files. You don’t want to have a great resume that is let down by a badly named document. Your aim at every step of the way should be to maximize the chances of your job application being picked up so that you can turn on the charm and intelligence in the next step… the interview.

What should I save my resume as?

The ideal way to title your resume would be to use your full name (not just first or last name), followed by the document type (whether it is a resume or cover letter). Alternately, you could also name it using your full name, followed by job description, and then the document type.

Does resume file format matter? What format is best?

Yes, the resume file format does matter. It might often be the last thing we think of when crafting a resume and applying for a job. However, the format you choose does matter. Word documents and PDFs are the most widely accepted formats. These are the more commonly used formats by most people. You don’t want to be in a situation where your recruiter or hiring manager cannot access your resume due to an incorrect file format.

How do I organize resume files?

If this is for your personal reference then it is best to name your resume file using dates. This will help you identify the latest version of your resume. You could also organize your resume files using company names in the file name to help you figure out which job posting you had used that resume version for.

Just remember to omit the date and company name when sending the resume to a recruiter or hiring manager.

Should I put my resume in a folder?

When you arrive for an interview be sure to carry your resume in a folder to keep it crisp and in order. You don’t want to hand out a resume that has folds, tears or stains. It’s just not professional. Ideally, your folder should also have slots to house other important documents such as diplomas, mark sheets, and certificates, should a prospective employer want to see them during the course of the interview.

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How To Name Your Resume File & Cover Letter

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When applying for jobs, it's important to name your resume file and cover letter files professionally. This will ensure that your documents are easily found by employers and recruiters, and make a good first impression .

Why It's Important To Name Your Resume File

When applying for jobs, it is important to name your resume and cover letter files in a way that will make them easily found by employers and recruiters. This first step in the job application process is often overlooked, but it's important to take the time to do it right.

In this post, we'll cover everything you need to know including:

  • 6 tips for naming your resume and cover letter files
  • 6 mistakes you should avoid when naming your resume
  • Example resume and cover letter names

6 Tips For Naming Your Resume And Cover Letter

Some tips for naming your resume and cover letter files:

Tip #1: Use your name as the file name

  • JohnSmithResume.doc
  • JohnPSmithResume.doc

This might seem obvious, but it's important to name your resume file in a way that can easily be found by recruiters. If your name is common, consider using your middle initial as well.

Tip #2: Use a consistent name for both your resume and cover letter files

  • JohnSmithCoverLetter.doc

This will help recruiters and hiring managers to locate your files quickly, rather than have to search through a sea of documents.

Tip #3: If you have multiple versions of your resume or cover letter, include the date or the version of your resume

  • JohnSmithResume2.doc
  • JohnSmithResume_051822.doc

This will help you keep track of your documents, and make it easier for employers to find the most recent version.

Tip #4: Use keywords in your file name

  • JohnSmithResume_MarketingManager.doc

When employers are searching for resumes, they will often use keywords related to the position they are hiring for. By including keywords in your file name, you will make it easier for employers to find your resume.

Tip #5: Use a simple and professional file name, and avoid using special characters or spaces

  • JohnSmithResume.doc instead of John$mith1995.doc

Tip #6: Make sure the file name indicates what document it is

  • JohnSmithResume.doc not just Resume.doc

Following these tips will ensure that your documents are easily found and make a good first impression on potential employers.

6 Mistakes You Should Avoid When You Name Your Resume File

When applying for jobs, it's important to name your resume and cover letter files professionally. This will ensure that your documents are easily found by employers and recruiters, and make a good first impression. Here are some mistakes you should avoid when naming your resume file:

#1: Don't use your name as the file name.

If you have a common name, there may be many other files with similar names, making it difficult to locate your documents. One of the most common mistakes people make is using just their name as the file name. This may seem like a good idea, but it can actually make your documents harder to find.

#2: Don't use a different name for your resume and cover letter files.

Here's another example where it can become confusing for employers and recruiters, and may make it difficult for them to find your documents. It's important to use the same name for both files, so they can easily be found together.

Good Example: JohnSmithResume.doc JohnSmithCoverLetter.doc Bad Example: JohnSmithResume.doc SmithJohnCoverLetter.doc

#3: If you have multiple versions of your resume or cover letter, don't forget to include a version number in the file name.

If you have multiple versions of your resume or cover letter, it's also important to include a version number in the file name. This will help employers and recruiters to easily find the most recent version of your document. This will help employers and recruiters to easily find the most recent version of your document.

#4: Avoid using special characters or spaces in the file name.

This can make it more difficult to find your documents. Make sure the file name clearly indicates what document it is, so there is no confusion.

#5: Don't name your files something generic like “Resume.doc”

This may seem like a good idea, but it's actually one of the worst things you can do. Employers and recruiters receive hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes, so you want to make sure your document stands out. Naming your file something generic like “Resume.doc” is a sure way to blend in with the rest of the applicant pool.

#6: Don't name your files something too creative or unusual

While you want your file name to be unique, you don't want it to be too creative or unusual. This can make it more difficult for employers and recruiters to find your document, and may give them the impression that you're not professional. Stick to a simple and professional file name, and avoid using special characters or spaces.

If you utilize the following methods, you'll be able to quickly locate and make a favorable first impression on prospective employers.

Example Resume And Cover Letter File Names

Here are some examples of professional resume file names:

  • JohnSmithCoverLetter2.doc
  • Resume_JohnSmith.doc
  • CoverLetter_JohnSmith.doc

As you can see, these file names are simple and professional, and make it easy for employers to find the document they're looking for.

When it comes to your resume and cover letter, first impressions are everything. Use our resume builder to create a resume that will help you get noticed by employers, and name your files in a way that will make it easy for them to find.

Creating a professional resume and cover letter can be a challenge, but with our tips, you'll be able to create documents that will help you get noticed by employers.

Final Thoughts

When applying for jobs, it's important to name your resume and cover letter files in a way that will make them easily found by employers and recruiters.

Interested in how you can stand out from other candidates? Check out our guide on How To Create A Value Validation Project ! It's packed with examples of projects that you can create to blow the recruiter and hiring manager away!

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Austin Belcak

Austin is the founder of Cultivated Culture where he helps people land jobs without connections, without traditional experience, and without applying online. His strategies have been featured in Forbes, Business Insider, & Fast Company and has helped people just like you land jobs at Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter, & more.

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What Should You Name Your Cover Letter File

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In This Guide:

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It is recommended to name your cover letter file using the following format: "Your Name - Cover Letter for [Job Title] at [Company Name]" This makes it clear, professional, and easy for the employer to find and identify.

Example: "John Doe - Cover Letter for Marketing Manager at XYZ Company."

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How to Select a Resume File Name

what to name cover letter file

Why Your Document File Name is Important

Options for saving your resume, tips for choosing a resume name.

What's the best file name to use for your resume or CV document when you save it to apply for jobs? When you're saving your resume, it's important to select a file name for your resume that includes your own name.

When you apply for jobs, hiring managers will know whose resume it is, and it will be easier for them to track your job application and share it with colleagues involved in the hiring process .

If you email your resume to an employer, the document name will be the first thing he or she will see. Once the employer opens the document, the first thing he or she looks at is the heading. Thus, the title and document name are critical to getting your resume a second glance.

Don't name your resume resume.doc . There will be no way to distinguish it from all the other resumes with the same file name.

Instead, include your name in the file name. The employer will know whose resume it is at a glance:  johndoeresume .doc or  JohnDoeResume.docx , for example. Name your cover letter the same way, i.e.,  johndoecoverletter.doc  or  JohnDoeCoverLetter.docx .

Unless an employer specifies otherwise, it's important to send or upload your resume as a PDF or a Word document . This way, the receiver will get a copy of your resume and cover letter in the original format.

In many cases, the employer will tell you how they want to receive your resume, so be sure to follow the instructions and provide what is requested.

If you don't follow the instructions in the job posting, you may not be considered for the job.

Before you save your resume, you may want to create a new file folder so all your job application materials are in one place. This will help you keep track of different versions of your resume, your cover letter, and when you have used them to apply for jobs.

To save your resume as a Word document, click on File, Save As, and type in the file name you are giving your resume, i.e., JohnDoeResume.doc or JohnDoeResume.docx. Select the folder you've chosen to save it in.

To save a Google Doc resume as a Word document or PDF , click on File, Download, Microsoft Word (.docx) or File, Download, PDF Document (.pdf). Select a folder to save your document in.

To save your Word documents as a PDF , depending on your word processing software program, you may be able to File, Print Microsoft Print to PDF, or Print to Adobe PDF. If not, there are free programs you can use to convert a file to a PDF. Select a folder to save the PDF version of your resume in.

If you're applying by email, follow these directions for attaching your documents to an email message .

Remember or jot down the location where you saved the document so it's easy to find it and attach it to an email message or upload. It's a good idea to create a new folder for all your job search correspondence. Another option is to email a copy to yourself, so you always have the latest version in your inbox.

Don Fornes, former CEO of Software Advice, shares his advice on how to name your resume, how to save your resume, and other resume tips.

Don't Name Your Resume "Resume." About a third of applicants name their resume documents, "resume.doc." "Resume" may make sense on your computer, where you know it's your resume. However, on my computer, it's one of many, many resumes with the same name. By using such a generic file name, the applicant misses a great opportunity to brand him or herself (e.g. "John Doe - Quota Crusher"). If you're qualified enough to sell or market for us, you won't miss the opportunity to at least use your name in the file name.

You Don't Have to Use All Lower Case: I'm not sure where this trend originated. Is it some text messaging thing? It's so easy to capitalize properly on a keyboard and it's appropriate to do so.

Proofread Your Resume:  It's unbelievable the number of spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes I see in resumes. Again, this is a glaring clue telling the hiring manager that you don't check your work and you don't pay attention to detail. Here's a​  checklist to use to proofread your resume .

Save Your Resume as a PDF: Not everyone uses the same operating system and word processor that you do. I use a Mac. I don't have Word—and I don't want it. My ATS can't handle .docx files. A lot of the resumes I see come through horribly garbled. PDF, or portable document format, is a simple solution if the company doesn't specify a format. Here's how to select a file format for your resume .

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From ‘Bachelor’ to father: Colton Underwood is expecting a baby with his husband

Neck up of Colton Underwood smiling in front of a light blue background

Former “Bachelor”  Colton Underwood  has been pursuing “daddyhood” (which also happens to be the name of his podcast) for more than two years, and he and his husband,  Jordan C. Brown , announced on Instagram that they will be welcoming a baby boy in the fall.

“Our little boy is coming this fall 💙” the ex-NFL player captioned  a photo carousel  featuring an ultrasound image. He also posted  a video  to share his joy about the good news.

Becoming a father “has always been a goal of mine,” Underwood said in a backstage interview when he visited TODAY earlier this year. “It’s been something that I’ve always wanted to accomplish and I never thought it was possible as a gay man.”

His path to parenthood wasn’t an easy one.

Underwood was told early on that his active sperm count was low, so he worked with doctors to determine a “plan of action” that included changes to his lifestyle, diet and workout regimens. Though his husband didn’t have the same issue, Brown made the same lifestyle changes to support Underwood.

Once Underwood’s sperm count “bounced back,” he and Brown began looking for a surrogate. They weren’t looking for any specific physical attributes, he said: They were in search of personality traits.

Underwood told  Men’s Health , “We want somebody deep and cool. I believe in nature versus nurture. So give us the basics and we can show this kid love.”

In the couple’s first conversation with an egg donor, they met virtually, and Brown and Underwood didn’t use video or their real names. Fatefully, Underwood shared an elevator with his egg donor: He was heading to a routine physical and she was there for testing prior to her egg retrieval.

“So for me to share an elevator ride, as silly as it sounds, was such a bonding thing and also just such reassurance that we were on the right path,” Underwood told Men’s Health.

Underwood and Brown divided their sperm between the surrogate’s 22 eggs. They ended up fertilizing three embryos and transferred the one doctors deemed the “healthiest.” The couple doesn’t know whose sperm was used, but whoever is  not  the biological father of this child will go through the process again for their second child.

Their son is expected to arrive this October.

Until then, the couple will likely continue practicing parenting skills on their two dogs, a German Shepherd and an Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mix.

“I’m more the cool and casual and calm dad,” Underwood told TODAY.com in February 2024. “He very much has to be the disciplinarian. He’s pulled me aside multiple times to let me know that I have to start disciplining the dogs because they will hate him if not.”

This story first appeared on TODAY.com.

Rosie Colosi is a reporter for TODAY Parents.

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Former Florida signee Jaden Rashada sues coach Billy Napier and others over failed $14M NIL deal

FILE -Arizona State quarterback Jaden Rashada warms up prior to an NCAA college football game against Oklahoma State Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, in Tempe, Ariz. Former Florida recruit and current Georgia quarterback Jaden Rashada is suing Gators coach Billy Napier and the program’s top booster over a failed name, image and likeness deal worth nearly $14 million. The lawsuit filed Tuesday, May 21, 2024 in U.S. District Court in Pensacola, Fla. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

FILE -Arizona State quarterback Jaden Rashada warms up prior to an NCAA college football game against Oklahoma State Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, in Tempe, Ariz. Former Florida recruit and current Georgia quarterback Jaden Rashada is suing Gators coach Billy Napier and the program’s top booster over a failed name, image and likeness deal worth nearly $14 million. The lawsuit filed Tuesday, May 21, 2024 in U.S. District Court in Pensacola, Fla. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

FILE -Florida head coach Billy Napier watches players warm up an NCAA college football game against Tennessee, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, in Gainesville, Fla. Former Florida recruit and current Georgia quarterback Jaden Rashada is suing Gators coach Billy Napier and the program’s top booster over a failed name, image and likeness deal worth nearly $14 million. The lawsuit filed Tuesday, May 21, 2024 in U.S. District Court in Pensacola, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

FILE - Arizona State quarterback Jaden Rashada throws a pass against Oklahoma State during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, in Tempe, Ariz. Rashada has committed to Georgia and is back in the Southeastern Conference after the one-time Florida commit’s NIL deal fell apart. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Former Florida recruit and current Georgia quarterback Jaden Rashada is suing Gators coach Billy Napier and the program’s top booster over a failed name, image and likeness deal worth nearly $14 million.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Pensacola accuses Napier and booster and automotive technology businessman Hugh Hathcock of fraudulent misrepresentation and inducement, aiding and abetting fraud, civil conspiracy to commit fraud, negligent misrepresentations, tortious inference with a business relationship or contract, aiding and abetting tortious interference and vicarious liability. The complaint seeks a jury trial and damages of at least $10 million.

“Sadly, this type of fraud is becoming more commonplace in the Wild West that is today’s college NIL landscape,” said attorney Rusty Hardin, who is representing Rashada. “Wealthy alumni, consumed by their schools’ athletic programs, are taking advantage of young people by offering them life-changing sums of money, only to renege on their commitments.

“As the first scholar-athlete to take a stand against this egregious behavior, Jaden seeks to hold these defendants accountable for their actions and to expose their as-yet unchecked abuse of power.”

FILE - Pittsburg quarterback Jaden Rashada warms up before the start of their game against McClymonds at Pittsburg High School in Pittsburg, Calif., Sept. 30, 2022. Using name, image and likeness (NIL) compensation to recruit college athletes is still very much against NCAA rules. The recent de-commitment from Florida by blue chip quarterback Rashada shows that NIL is definitely a factor in decisions. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group via AP, File)

The lawsuit does not allege breach of contract, a notable omission that likely means the NIL deal could have been terminated by either party at any point and without penalty.

“We do not comment on ongoing litigation, and neither the University Athletic Association nor the University (of Florida) are named in the complaint,” UAA spokesman Steve McClain said. “The UAA will provide for Coach Napier’s personal counsel, and we will direct all questions to those representatives.”

Florida had been under NCAA investigation since last June regarding Rashada’s recruitment. The NCAA asked the school not to conduct its own investigation and said it would notify the institution “soon regarding the projected timeline of the investigation.”

But the NCAA in March halted investigations into booster-backed collectives or other third parties making NIL compensation deals with Division I athletes following lawsuits. The decision came after a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit brought by the attorneys general of Tennessee and Virginia. The antitrust suit challenged NCAA rules against recruiting inducements, saying they inhibit athletes’ ability to cash in on their celebrity and fame.

The Gators may have thought they were off the hook. But Rashada’s lawsuit, at the very least, puts them back in the spotlight.

Rashada, who threw for 5,275 yards and 59 touchdowns at Pittsburg (California) High School, initially agreed to play for Miami in the fall of 2022. According to the lawsuit, the Hurricanes promised Rashada a $9.5 million NIL deal.

Napier and Hathcock lured Rashada away from Miami with a $13.85 million NIL deal that violated NCAA bylaws, the suit said. The lawsuit says Napier vouched for the collective and said Rashada would receive $1 million on signing day.

“But before Rashada could arrive on Florida’s campus, the ... contract was terminated — suddenly and without warning,” according to the suit.

The 37-page complaint says Rashada “tolerated” several delays in getting paid before ultimately being left with “no faith in the UF football team’s leadership and the individuals who had constantly lied to him.”

Rashada was granted his release a month after his NIL deal fell through . He later signed with his father’s alma mater , Arizona State. He spent one season in Tempe before landing at Florida’s biggest rival, Georgia.

Rashada’s deal was with the Gator Collective, an independent fundraising group that was loosely tied to the university and paid student-athletes for use of their NIL. The Gator Collective has since been disbanded.

Other defendants include Marcus Castro-Walker, the school’s former director of player engagement and NIL who now works for the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders, and Velocity Automotive Solutions LLC, which is owned by Hathcock and was slated to provide most of the funding for Rashada’s deal.

The complaint quotes several text messages between Rashada’s agents and Gator Collectives representatives. But it provides none from Napier.

AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll

what to name cover letter file

2 federal investigations into Mesa police use of force closed in 2021. Here's what to know

what to name cover letter file

As Phoenix officials await the findings from a sweeping federal probe of its Police Department, Mesa has quietly resolved two narrower U.S. Justice Department investigations into excessive use of force.

Another high-profile case, involving the death of a man at the hands of Mesa police, remains under review.

The FBI took the unusual step of sending Mesa letters to declare the cases closed, which came to light now after a formal Arizona Republic public records request.

The federal investigations and lawsuits into Mesa police officer use-of-force cases marked a tumultuous time for the department.

Several cases involving Mesa police officers from 2016 to 2018 prompted national scrutiny, including the beating of a man and a hotel shooting that led to the death of a Texas man.

Those cases prompted the FBI to open at least three civil-rights investigations in 2018.

Mesa Chief Ken Cost received two joint letters from the Justice Department and FBI on April 30, 2021, informing him two criminal civil rights investigations into three separate officers had been closed.

“This letter is to inform the Mesa Police Department of the conclusion of our criminal civil rights investigation involving a Mesa Police Department officer,” the letter states.

The two letters name Officer Johnte Jones and Officers Daniel Glover and John Santiago, separately.

Conclusion letters delivered to local police departments from the FBI or DOJ are not a common practice, Mesa police spokesperson Brandi Myers said.

Former police Chief Ramon Batista requested the department receive some follow-up from the two federal agencies. Three years later, the departments obliged.

Batista’s tenure with Mesa was marked by numerous use-of-force cases. He resigned in 2019.

Mesa police did not receive any additional guidance, recommendation or a formal report to the conclusion of those civil rights investigations, Myers confirmed.

The investigations were closed when Attorney General Bill Barr ran the DOJ.

Barr was appointed by President Donald Trump and confirmed by the Senate in 2019. He cut back on the department's ability to oversee local police departments.

Myers said the only pending investigation the department is aware of is the DOJ’s investigation into former Mesa police officer Philip Brailsford ’s shooting of an unarmed man begging for his life at a Mesa hotel in 2016.

Mesa isn’t the only Arizona law enforcement agency investigated by the DOJ.

The Justice Department continues to investigate the Phoenix Police Department into claims of excessive force, discriminatory practices, retaliation against protesters, unlawful seizure of belongings, and mistreatment of people with mental health issues. That probe was launched in August 2021.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office also has pending court orders that mandate changes to the agency to resolve a backlog of internal investigations into employee misconduct. The American Civil Liberties Union filed the racial profiling class-action lawsuit more than 15 years ago. That legal case has cost the county more than $250 million. The Sheriff's Office remains under review by court monitors.

The FBI did not respond to requests for comment about the Mesa Police Department.

Robert Johnson case

Jones was one of multiple Mesa police officers who punched and kneed 35-year-old Robert Johnson as he stood in the hallway of an apartment complex.

On May 23, 2018, police responded to reports that Johnson and a friend were trying to force their way into the apartment of Johnson's ex-girlfriend. A surveillance video shows five officers punch or knee Johnson after he didn't immediately follow orders to sit down. He was unarmed at the time.

Jones said in a police report that he kneed Johnson twice in the stomach and punched him six times in the face because Johnson leaned against a wall and extended his feet, instead of sitting on the floor as police had ordered.

Jones was one of four officers who were disciplined for the excessive use-of-force in 2019 and was placed on administrative duties following the outcome of an appeal to the recommended discipline.

He remains employed by the department, Myers confirmed.  

Johnson filed a civil-rights lawsuit against the city in the U.S. District Court of Arizona in 2019 demanding a jury trial and compensation for economic loss, medical expenses and attorney fees.

Jones, along with Officers Ernesto Calderon and Rudy Monarrez, were named in the lawsuit.

The city settled with Johnson in June 2022 for $350,000.

The letter from the FBI to Chief Cost did not name any other officers involved in the civil rights investigation.

Gabriel Ramirez case

On May 16, 2018, a video showed Officers Glover and Santiago appearing to rough up armed robbery suspect Gabriel Ramirez, then 15, after he was handcuffed.

The video also showed Ramirez repeatedly calling officers a derogatory term and arguing with them. The bodycam footage showed Santiago placing his foot on top of Ramirez as Ramirez lies face-first on the ground. Santiago put pressure on or near Ramirez's neck after the teen was handcuffed.

Glover also put pressure on the boy's neck, the video shows.

Santiago and Glover were put on leave during the investigation into their actions and later moved to administrative duties.

The two have retired from the Mesa Police Department, Myers said.  

Reporter Maritza Dominguez covers Mesa, Gilbert and Queen Creek and can be reached at   [email protected]  or 480-271-0646. Follow her on X, formerly Twitter:   @maritzacdom .

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