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If you thought that font choice was a minor detail on your resume that doesn’t much matter, guess again. While content is critical, don’t overlook the importance of style as well. Consider one of the first things you notice when you look at text – what the font looks like. Whether it’s fancy or simple, large or small, easy to read or scrunched together. It sets the tone for what you’re about to read. The same is true for your resume. The font is the first impression that a recruiter or hiring manager gets.

Choosing the right font does make a difference, so make your selection carefully and consider what it says about you:

5 of the Worst Fonts to Use:

  1. Arial
  2. Times New Roman
  3. Comic Sans
  4. Courier
  5. Impact

When it comes to overused, Arial and Times New Roman top the list. These tend to be the most standard and basic fonts. There’s nothing wrong with using them, per se, but your resume will have a tendency to blend in with all of the rest.

Comic Sans can give your resume a less professional feel because of the laidback and almost childish nature of the font. On the other hand, Courier replicates the font of a typewriter and can make your resume look outdated and old fashioned. Technology has come a long way, so why would you want to take your resume back a few decades?

And while Impact does indeed make an impact, its bold and upfront appearance can be overwhelming and difficult to read when made smaller. The blocky text is better off used sparingly for headlines instead of for full body text.

5 of the Best Fonts to Use:

  1. Calibri
  2. Cambria
  3. Garamond
  4. Helvetica
  5. Constantia

Calibri is Microsoft Word’s default font and provides a professional, easy-to-read text. It is more well received than Ariel or Times New Roman. Cambria and Constantia are part of the ClearType Font Collection which, as the name indicates, translate clearly on screen or in print. They are easier to read in larger and smaller sizes.

Garamond will give your resume a more classic look while saving space without sacrificing readability. It is naturally more condensed which allows you to fit more text on the page without having to make the text smaller.

Helvetica is a clear font with clean lines. However, if you use Windows, you’ll have to download it, while it comes automatically installed on Macs. Helvetica should look fairly familiar as it is the font of choice for brand logos such as Microsoft and American Airlines.

Give your resume a good once-over to decide if your font of choice is conveying the message you want to portray and is both visually appealing and clearly readable.