The Template

Every week, I maintain THE TEMPLATE, an award-winningWinner of the 2015 Plank Center Award (public relations org.) for commitment to mentorship. blog that's been viewed more than 1.5 million times by people all over the world. In every column, I provide step-by-step instruction to help you become a stronger communicator. Like I always say, "Write well, open doors!"

The File Names for Your Resume and Cover Letter are All Wrong

If I told you to go read this article, you would be like “Umm, tell me what it’s about and then I’ll read it — maybe. I have a busy day.”

If I told you to read an article about how Facebook plans to roll out “Facebook at Work,” a way to connect with colleagues who may or may not be friends, you might say “OK, now I’m interested.”

Vagueness ruins everything. That’s why I beat up on this, that, these and those — four words we need to remove immediately.

Right now on your computer, you could have two files suffering from bland-itis: the resume and cover letter.

That’s because it looks sloppy when you attach a file like:

– myresume.docx

– mycoverletter1.docx

Plus, a generic title could be problematic. What if the hiring manager receives 75 resumes called “myresume.docx”?

Surely, you don’t want to be lumped in with everyone else. You’re a prime example of an authentic person. Right?

Here’s the formula for professional documents

[name of document] for [your first and last name]

So it would be:

– Resume for Mark Simpson

– Cover letter for Mark Simpson

– Portfolio for Mark Simpson

Formal name vs nickname

What if your formal name is Robert but your coworkers call you “Robby”? Should you go by “Robby Ramirez” on your job applications?

I say no. Stick with your formal name in professional situations like a resume, cover letter and LinkedIn.

Why? “Robby” might be a mature, responsible guy any company would love to have. Until the hiring manager or boss gets to know Robby, the name makes him seem young and inexperienced. Also, you never know who might review your application, and you need to be polished.

– Resume for Robby Ramirez


– Resume for Robert Ramirez

Which person looks more experienced?

Right this way, Robert.

cheat sheet

 Featured photo: Eugene Zemlyanskiy (Flickr)


comments powered by Disqus