What’s the Best Font to Use for Resumes?

Over at Bloomberg, there’s a very interesting discussion among a group of “typography wonks” about the best (and worst) fonts for a resume.

The consensus? Helvetica, considered the most professional and “safe” by those polled. Other good options include Garamond, Proxima Nova (which you’d need to purchase), and, if you want to give the impression that you’re a fancy individual, Didot.

While most people (re: those who aren’t typography wonks) don’t mind Times New Roman, one designer told Bloomberg that the font, by virtue of being easily selectable in pretty much every word processor, is the typographic equivalent of “putting on sweatpants.” Chances are pretty good, though, that your local recruiter or HR manager won’t read too much into that particular choice.

There are, of course, typefaces to avoid. Courier is a big no-no, because nobody apparently wants to read a document that looks like it was typed out on an old-school typewriter; typefaces that imitate cursive, such as Zapfino, should likewise be avoided.

And Comic Sans? Nobody dares use Comic Sans on a resume. Seriously, don’t even think about it, unless your resume is supposed to double as an invite to a pool party.

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One Response to “What’s the Best Font to Use for Resumes?”

  1. UncaAlby

    You should mention that “Arial” is the closest thing to “Helvetica” that comes natively on most popular systems, Windows in particular. For most people with Windows, you’d have to go somewhere to acquire “Helvetica”, as it does not come with the system.

    But let’s be frank. In this electronic age, it’s very likely hiring managers will only see the text of the content via whatever is the native font of their email application. Stressing over the font today is like stressing over the paper, back in the day when hiring managers were likely to only see the resume via Fax.

    Further, given how many recruiters will take your resume, apply their own logos and contact information, then rewrite it and re-style it according to their company policies, it makes even less sense to worry over trivialities like fonts.

    Essentially, you can stress over fonts, presentation, and the kind of paper if you’re going to hand your resume to the decision maker personally. Otherwise, forget it.