Moving up in the world
When you’re ready to apply for a new position, or enter a new career field, the most important thing you can do is have an updated, presentable resume. In the digital age, paper copies of resumes have become all but obsolete. If you have edited your resume for content and clarity, you are ready to send, right? Maybe not.
An often overlooked aspect of many resumes is the file extension. When you send your resume, often times you are also sending a cover letter, letter of intent, proposal, or other supporting documentation. When the hiring manager receives your email, they begin the task of trying to figure out which document to open first.
You may already have your files named something like “myresume.doc,” or “listofreferences.doc,” but that the ambiguity in those titles may cost you an interview. A better way to approach file extensions would be to name the same documents with your first and last name; for example: “Resume for Jane Smith.doc” and “Portfolio for Jane Smith.doc.” Immediately, this tells the person viewing your documents what they are looking at and who they are from, just from the attachments.
There’s more to consider…
Another point to consider is how you are presenting your name: are you using your nickname or your formal, given name? Using the same example, if a hiring manage receives documentation for a Robbie Smith and a Robert Smith, which name sounds more professional? Robert, of course. After you have been hired, you can always mention that you prefer to go by Robbie, but during the initial hiring process, it is better to stick with the formal version of your name. The formal version makes you seem more polished and professional; small details can make a big difference.
These small details may seem like trivial items to consider, but in a highly competitive job market: little details can make a big difference on who receives a call-back and who has to continue their job hunt.