How to title your resume in 2020 by Joe Mayer

May 11, 2020 JPMayer81

I have been in the recruiting industry now since 2006, and I have been trained to notice the little things that can make the difference between whether or not a candidate is seriously considered or not for a position. What I noticed recently is that most people are not aware of these little “tells.” I often spend time educating candidates to help increase their odds of standing out with the hiring manager, HR representative, or recruiter. The first “tell” is something very simple that we all do, and that is how you title your resume.

Subconsciencely we all want to work with team players who think of others’ needs before themselves and put what is good for the overall team first. As long as the team works well together & likes each other, everything else should fall into place…in theory. One way that I notice whether or not someone thinks of others is how they title their resume. If a candidate titles their resume in a way that makes it easy for others to identify their resume, helps make it clear what position they are applying to and does so in a professional manner…they will have passed the first test and will likely have a good shot at being considered for the position. Keep in mind. Most recruiters are juggling multiple positions at once, so simplicity and professionalism do go a long way. For example, I will present to you a couple of resume titles that I have received in the past week and see for yourself who stands out based on the title alone.

– Joe Mayer – Recruiter – Resume
– resume.pdf
– Joe Mayer – Resume v4
– Jm.resume.Nov2019

Most resumes today from candidates come to me titled “resume.pdf” or “resume.docx.” It is not the end of the world & I would never rule a qualified candidate out for a position because simply because of the way a candidate titles their resume, but if you are looking at 200 or more applicants with several equally qualified candidates, little things do stand out and can make a difference in the initial first impression. First impressions really do matter, and when a hiring manager, HR representative, or recruiter has a strong first impression, they usually pick that candidate or will consider them far into the interview process. So if I don’t have to rename a resume when I save it, it shows me that the candidate is thinking of other people and will likely continue to think of other people when they are working for my company or my client’s company.

Resumes should not include dates as to when the file was last updated. If most managers see a resume with a date in the past, the first thing everyone thinks about is why they have been looking for so long and what is wrong with them that they are still available? That is the first impression you are essentially providing, so save yourself this misstep and eliminate dates from your resume title. The same goes for what version of the resume you are sharing. Why does anyone need to know that this was the fourth version of the resume? Keep it simple: your name, the position title you are applying to, and what kind of document you are providing (resume, cover letter, references, etc.).

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.

Albert Einstein

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