This generic label is holding you back from getting noticed by employers

Have you ever been in Wal-Mart, Target or the maybe the airport... and you hear some small voice say, "Mommy" (or in my case "Daddy" ) and everyone who is a possible parent turns around to look to see if it is their child?  

Of course because when you have kids you no longer own a first name and like most adults with offspring you are are henceforth forever known only as Daddy or Mommy.

Though descriptive and accurate that generic moniker causes mass confusion amidst a sea of parents in a public setting.

This is not a parenting piece so stick with me. It actually is about your job and how you are perceived and get lost in the crowd.

As a long time headhunter, who daily receives resumes and profiles I can tell you that this type of similar generic labeling is killing many of you.

Do you give any serious thought to naming your documents? You know, when you are working on a word document and need to save it... do you really give any real thought about what to call it... specifically your resume? Of course not, you call it resume or better yet "My resume" and move on. 

I realize that this scintillating topic ranks just behind flossing and lawn maintenance and is probably not on the Top 80 of things you give a #@& about.... BUT let me tell you why this casual and seemingly innocent thing can inadvertently impact your first impression, how you're perceived by a recruiter or employer and label you a lazy sack right from the start.

Here are a few examples of how I have received resumes as attachments in the past month.

  • Resume or Myresume
  • Resume 2.0
  • Resume 2015
  • e2645c6i68vvv
  • jessicafinal
  • Marketing Resume

If you're thinking, "Hey Bradley, what am I supposed to call it... it's a resume" Well, yeah it is a resume, but remember the daddy example where everyone turns around? Same thing.

Here a couple of reasons why these are a problem.

Unless you are dealing with a large company or a recruiter that has some sort of elaborate applicant tracking system, more often than not the person you are sending it to may likely pull the attachment off from the origianal email. 

If I have 40 resumes or candidates who have sent me resumes (it is usually more) how will I easily find or remember this. Or if a hiring manager forwards your resume and email directly to someone, and says did you see Joe Blows resume? How are they to search for it or easily find it. 

How you are perceived begins with how you communicate and this is often the first thing someone sees. 

Your job, at least when attempting to get a job… is to make things easy, memorable, descriptive and along the path of least resistance for the person reviewing it or determining whether to hire you. 

  • Resume - Joe Blow - CFO 
  • Joe Blow Resume 
  • Joe Blow - Marketing Professional 
  • James Bond - Secret Agent - Resume

There is a lot that can screw you up and get you knocked out of the running… why make it easy for someone to eliminate you, forget you or worse not be able to find you. 

There is a lot that you can’t control…. so you better have a grip on the little things you can control.


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