Traditionally, documents (and thus, resumes) have stuck to the standard when it comes to fonts: Arial, Times New Roman. Today, that can lead to a flood of Arial and Times New Roman resumes landing on a Hiring Managers desk or in their inbox, and it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd.
As much as your accomplishments and experience are what make you a great fit for the role, the reality is that hiring managers take a quick scan of documents (the rule of thumb is that they take six seconds to consider a resume) — and you need to catch their eye.
A clean, easy-to-read design is important, and something as small as a different font can make your resume the one that hiring managers do a double-take for.
Here are a few things to bear in mind when you’re first diving in to fonts for your resume design.
FONT SIZE & CONSISTENCY
As a general suggestions, consider using fonts between size 11 and 13. Any smaller than that, and you risk illegibility – particularly if the recruiter decides to print your document. Any bigger than that, and you risk seeming like you are shouting and it can be overwhelming to the reader.
That said, you can play around with font sizing to create variation between our headers, subheaders and general body text in your resume.
This can provide some visual hierarchy to your resume, which in turn makes your resume easier to follow and less cluttered — just ensure you keep your formatting consistent through the resume.
*Another tool for visual hierarchy is to use the variety of style options within your chosen font. Think about using bold or narrower versions of the font, or even the underlining function.
It may sound silly, but fonts say a lot about you and also the field you intend to work in. And though there is no hard and fast rule on what fonts to use, there are a few things you can take into consideration:
Sans Serif fonts: Sans Serif fonts tend to have a cleaner, more graphic, impactful look. They can also seem a little more relaxed and modern. They can be a great tool particularly for those in more creative fields, or in younger, vibrant companies.
Serif: Serif fonts are more traditional, and can be beneficial when applying to more traditional workplaces and fields.
The following are some of the more commonly used fonts in resume design. They are a good place to start if you are looking to update your document:
How many fonts to use
You can use a variety different fonts to differentiate between headings, subheading and body text. The key here, though, is to do so intentionally and minimally. Is the addition of a font really adding to your resume? Is it making it easier to follow and making your headers stand out? Or is it overwhelming your design?
One idea to play around with would be to have one font for the headings and one for the body text — so a maximum of two fonts across the whole document.
*If you’re feeling particularly daring, you could even try out having both a sans serif and serif font on your resume, with a serif font for your headers/subheaders and a sans serif font for your body text.
~ written by Lucy Fox
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