Right now we’re in the middle of a national advertising campaign for ValueMyCV, a salary estimation tool that helps you make smarter decisions about your next career move by showing you the true value of your CV. As well as letting you know how much you’re worth to an employer, it’s also packed full of tips to help you improve your CV and land your dream job.
One of the most basic tips on offer is what to name your CV file.
But before we get to that, these are some CV filename mistakes we’ve seen that shouldn’t be let anywhere near a potential employer.
CV 2016 (proper one)
If you’ve revised your CV a dozen times and named each one in a way that keeps track of your progress you might end up with a filename like CV-Final Version. While such a name is handy for personal use, failing to change it to a clean, standard format before sending it to an employer may be taken as a sign of laziness or a lack of professionalism.
Why risk putting your CV in a position where it has to make up for bad first impressions? Give it a proper name.
CV for marketing jobs
This kind of filename implies you’re applying to as many different jobs as possible, rather than ones you’re genuinely excited about and think you would bring value to. It could easily suggest to an employer that you have no particular interest in working for their company, even if that isn’t the case.
Stephen Pritchard Curiculum Vitae
This one is one letter away from a great filename. However, if you choose to write out Curriculum Vitae in full instead of CV you absolutely have to spell it correctly. A minor error in the body of your CV might slip under the radar or be forgiven, but there really is no excuse for a mistake in the filename.
Please give me a job
Employers want to know that you’re interested in a role; demonstrating how your skills and experience relate to the job role rather than begging via your CV filename is a much more effective way to do this. Desperation isn’t a good look at any time during the application process, but at least if you start pleading during the interview they’ll have had a chance to get to know you.
You’re in crowded company if you choose this as your CV filename. Lots of other candidates also keep it simple, which is precisely the problem – your CV.doc gets lost in a sea of other CV.docs.
There are horror stories of initially shortlisted candidates being disregarded because their details couldn’t easily be location among another 100 similarly named CVs. Then there are the recruiters who have seen so many poor CVs named ‘CV’ that they now have an unconscious bias.
So what should your CV filename be?
The tip given when you run your CV through ValueMyCV is: “The ideal filename format is Firstname-Surname-CV.doc”. Simple, but so often overlooked.
Of course, if you’re specifically asked for something follow instructions – they might want you to include a reference number for example. Otherwise, do just two things:
- make it easy for the poor soul whose job is tough enough as it is
- don’t include anything that might colour their judgement of you before they’ve even had a chance to double-click