Resume Font Choice: Does It Matter?

By Hillary Morgan | Digital Media Intern

Where you went to school. Past career experience. Volunteer work. These are all extremely important aspects of any good resume, but is font type just as important?

According to CreativeBloq, “a resume is a reflection of your disposition and persona, and the recipient will be scanning it, consciously or not, for elements that distinguish your resume from the other hundreds they have to wade through.” They suggest that font choice can be used to help define and express that sense of personality in a resume.

Brian Hoff, of Brian Hoff Design, in an article featured in Bloomberg Business, states that Times New Roman, a very popular resume font choice, is now old hat. “It’s telegraphing that you didn’t put any thought into the typeface that you selected,” Hoff said. “It’s like putting on sweatpants.” Not to mention that with it being so popular, the resume reviewer can feel overwhelmed by all of the Times New Roman. Kevin Cardell, an art director and letterer, says, “In a sea of resumes, it definitely suffocates.”

So, what should you use instead? Many business professionals suggest Helvetica. Hoff describes the font as “professional, lighthearted, honest” and “safe.” Maddie Crum of the Huffington Post agrees, citing Helvetica as “the top choice for a resume.”

However, some disagree. Joe Patrice, of AbovetheLaw.com, agreed with, and cited, an article by satire website, The Onion, which stated, “Nothing says ‘I’m currently unemployed’ like a painstakingly selected font.” He goes on to say that while some view Times New Roman as lazy, others view it as a safe option.

Is resume font choice really that important? The jury still seems to be out. However, it’s important to consider a few different things when deciding for yourself:

  • First, the point of a resume is to be read, so make sure that your resume font is easily scanned.
  • Second, think about the industry you are applying to. Are you a designer, or an artist? Maybe you should branch out a little bit. However, if you are a writer or a lawyer, you should probably stick to the classics.
  • Finally, don’t stress too much. Your Times New Roman resume is not going to deter employers if you have excellent credentials. The content of your resume is far more important to the employer than your typeface. Just don’t use Comic Sans.

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