Finding a job is tough these days. Employers and recruiters are dealing with a higher volume of resumes than ever before. With such high volume, it’s more important than ever before to stand out. An impressive resume font is a great way to stand out! It will grab the recruiter’s eyes and help give you a great first impression.
You’re probably thinking, “Can’t I just use Times New Roman at 10 point font size and call it a day?” Well, you can but you won’t be maximizing your resume’s potential.
Why is your resume font so important? It’s essential to job hunting success for several reasons.
Most importantly, using an unprofessional font and questionable font size will disqualify you from consideration for nearly every job. On the contrary, using the perfect font and size will make your resume look professional while still helping it stand out from the crowd.
In this blog post, we’ll look at popular resume fonts and common resume font blunders. We’ll also discuss the process you should use to evaluate and choose the best font and font size for your resume.
Best Fonts to Use on a Resume
Calibri takes number one on our list and has really gained popularity lately. It’s professional and more modern looking than some of other fonts making it a great font to use on a resume.
Lucas de Groot, the creator of the Calibri font, described it as having “a warm and soft character”. Microsoft has also Times New Roman with Calibri as the standard font for Word and other applications.
Arial is another great font to use on your resume and it’s part of the popular sans-serif font family. Many have said that Arial is clean and easy to read. It also has a more modern look to it than other fonts.
Here is a good description from Wikipedia:
“Arial contains more humanist characteristics than many of its predecessors and as such is more in tune with the mood of the last decades of the twentieth century.”
Helvetica is another good sans-serif font you can use for your resume. It’s very similar to Arial and requires close inspection to really tell the difference. It too offers a clean and modern look that’s easy on the eye.
Also a sans-serif font, Tahoma has a more modern look than the rest of the fonts listed. It was used by Microsoft for many years for a variety of different programs.
Trebuchet is another san-serif font created by Vincent Connare. His goal with Trebuchet was to create a font that appeared well on a screen and also provided a contrast in texture to Verdana, which is next on our list.
Verdana is another sans-serif which is a good font for a resume. It was designed in 1996 by Mathew Carter who worked for Microsoft. Verdana was created to appear well on a small screen as well as screens with low resolution.
Garamond is a collection of old-style serif fonts created by 16th century French engravers. Although it is a good choice, it may seem a bit stale and outdated to some. If you have a lot of experience, it may be a good choice.
This is probably the most debated font when it comes to resume writing. Times New Roman is a classic serif typeface that may be a bit too classic for a resume. Although no hiring manager will dismiss your resume because you used Times New Roman, it may not stand out as well as the other fonts on our list.
NO!!!! We hope it goes without saying but absolutely DO NOT use comic sans or any similar font on your resume. It will make you stand out, but not in a good way. It’s so childish that it will convey to the employer that you’re out of touch with the professional world.
Just in case you’re not sure what font-type we’re talking about, here are a few examples:
Do Not Use These Fonts Please!!!
Let’s go over some basic principles to keep in mind when choosing a resume font.
Readability is, far and away, the most important thing to consider when choosing a font for your resume. It sounds obvious but you’d be surprised at how many people completely screw up on this one.
If readability is your only concern, any basic serif or sans serif font will do the trick. Also extremely important, avoid those comic-looking childish fonts at all costs.
At the most basic level, you should be able to use your own judgment to determine readability. As we get deeper into the font universe, we’re going to want to think more specifically about the most effective fonts. We’ll get into more specific examples later in this post.
We’ve been so intrigued with font styles that we almost forgot to talk about the size! Generally, you will be fine using a font size somewhere in between size 10 to size 14.
However, it is very important to realize that some font styles run bigger and some run smaller. For that reason, it’s important to make a judgment on the font size AFTER you’ve already decided on a style.
Your goal is to maximize the ease of reading your resume without making the text look overly bloated. Of course, you’ll have to use your best judgment when deciding if it looks bloated. But, if you stick to font smaller than 14, you will be fine in nearly every scenario.
Another important thing to keep in mind is the font size effect on resume length. Obviously, the size of the font can dramatically change the length of your resume.
Use this to your advantage!
Let’s say your resume is just a line or two over a single page or just a few lines away from filling a full page. Adjusting the font just one-tenth of a point can make the text fill out the rest of a page or prevent it from spilling over into the next one. These slight adjustments can work wonders in making your resume more aesthetically pleasing.
The font changes the entire “feeling” of a resume. Remember the message you want to convey with your resume. When you take a quick glance at it, does it convey the purpose you want it to?
Does it look like the resume of an old, seasoned veteran? Or, does it look like it is representing a young professional or recent college grad?
Just like a piece of art can induce certain feelings, so can a good resume. A great font selection will pop out immediately. It should give the hiring manager an idea of who you are and what your purpose was for writing the resume they see before them.
Here is a short video overview:
The font you choose for your resume is extremely important. You want to strike the perfect balance of uniqueness, class, and professionalism. Keeping these things in mind when choosing a font can be the difference between a call-back and radio silence.
When drafting your resume, keep in mind all the things we mentioned here. You’ll be on your way to the next interview in no time!