First impressions are key when submitting resumes.
When applying to jobs, it’s important to remember that employers are interested in more than just the education and work experience that you list in your resume.
Every nut and bolt of your resume is taken into consideration — the width of your margins, where you indent, what you underline and why …you get the picture.
Here are some tips you’ll want to consider when choosing which font(s) to use.
Wingdings is not the way to go.
Okay, so you (should) already know that using a font made of symbols is definitely not a way to get that internship, job or scholarship you’re after. Neither is Comic Sans.
But what about fonts that aren’t so obviously “wrong”?
Most people like to personalize anything and everything they can, particularly in this day in age when the job market is filled to the brim with perfectly qualified applicants.
So in order to stand out, you’re thinking of putting your name and contact information in a unique font at the top of the page. Maybe Gigi or Freestyle Script? Don’t do it.
Stay away from any fancy font that has the word “script” in it, as well as any font that tries to look like cursive or calligraphy. Additionally, stay away from unprofessional fonts like Cooper and Rockwell, which will overwhelm the top of the page with their weight.
Fonts such as these strain the eye — they make the reader work harder in order to discern each individual word, and their gaudiness could cause headaches for future bosses. You don’t want to be counted out from the very beginning because you chose the wrong font for your resume.
So which fonts should you use?
The following fonts are typical of successful resumes:
- Times New Roman (print)
- Garamond (print)
- Georgia (screen)
- Verdana (screen)
- Franklin Gothic
Some fonts read better on a computer screen, while others look better on paper. Depending on the preferred method of submission, you’ll want to choose one or the other.
Sans-serifs (the fonts that don’t have the little feet at the top or the bottom of each letter) are typically better for on-screen use, as well as for the headings of your resume.
Letters that are in fonts with serifs (such as Times New Roman) tend to run together the smaller they are, so be mindful of the point size you are using. Once again, causing a potential employer’s eyes to strain will definitely not put you on his or her good side.
Keep it simple.
There’s no reason why you should be using more than two fonts for a resume — and even using two fonts can be tricky.
If you do use more than one, you must select fonts that 1) won’t clash with one another, and 2) are not so similar that one can barely discern between the two. Using fonts with very subtle differences will be unsettling to the eye. Employers may even think that you used two fonts on accident.
The take-away point: Don’t try too hard. The majority of employers reading your article won’t penalize you for sticking with tried and true fonts like Arial and Times New Roman. But by the same token, branching out just a little bit with your resume’s font may make you that much more memorable.