Recently, I’ve come across a bunch of articles suggesting which fonts to use (or not use) on your resume. I have my own opinions, too – so I’m sharing all the information I have to help you make a better decision when preparing your resume.
If you’ve seen any talk about fonts in general, you probably noticed the words “serif” and “sans-serif” being used. “Serif” fonts, such as Times New Roman, include tiny lines on the ends of the letters, which look like little feet. Serif fonts make me think of books and newspapers. “Sans-serif” fonts don’t have these lines and often have a cleaner feel. Either type might be the right choice for your resume, depending on your needs. A Weemss infographic on the psychology of fonts associates serif fonts with traits including reliability, respect, and authority. Sans-serif fonts are considered clean, modern, and universal.
Whichever font you choose should:
- Be clear and easy to read
- Display well both in print and on a computer
- Enhance the professional look of your resume
- Capture the attention of the reader
Avoid these fonts
- Courier – This is the font that looks like a typewriter. We have computers now, and fonts have come a long way. You can do better! Plus, this font takes up a lot of space, so it will be difficult to contain your resume to an appropriate length.
- Comic Sans – This is the font we all used to use on AOL Instant Messenger (I hope I’m not dating myself too much). It’s got a childish feel and is not appropriate for a resume.
- Times New Roman – Bloomberg Business calls Times New Roman “the typeface equivalent of wearing sweatpants to an interview,” and I wholeheartedly agree. Times New Roman, once the default font of Microsoft Word and more, is, in my opinion, a lazy cop-out. Although it’s no longer the default system font, it still gives the impression that you couldn’t be bothered to change it. You can find something better with only a little effort, so avoid using Times New Roman on your resume.
Smart font choices
- Garamond – On my own resume, I use Garamond. It’s a clean and compact serif font that allows me to fit a lot of text on the page while still being readable. I like that it has a little flair, but still looks professional.
- Georgia – Business News Daily suggests Georgia as an alternative to Times New Roman, since it was designed to be read on screens. I find it a bit more relaxed than Garamond.
- Helvetica – Bloomberg Business identified Helvetica as the favorite font of experts. It has a very familiar feel, but there is something about it that makes it stand out just enough to catch your eye.
- Arial – While Arial is a little more on the boring side, it’s still a very clean sans-serif option. Similar to Times New Roman, hiring managers may be unimpressed, but it is a safe choice.
If you don’t like any of these options, Business News Daily also recommends Trebuchet MS, Calibri, Century Gothic, and Verdana, among others. Ultimately, the choice is yours. Go with your gut and always consider your audience.
Which font did you choose for your resume? Share your preferences in the comments below!