Friday, May 1, 2015

Does your resume font really matter? Is Times New Roman all that bad?

Hi there Blogosphere!  This week there was an article in Bloomberg discussing the best and worst font for your resume.  The article went on and on about how using Times New Roman is the equivalent of wearing sweatpants to an interview.  You can read the article here:

Obviously font trumps experience in every situation...

I've read this article a couple of times and I've got to tell you.  I think that the article is really wrong.   Full disclosure here, I read resumes for a living.  As a recruiter I look at probably 30 a day and I can tell you that I have never looked at a resume with a reasonable font and thought ill of them for using Times New Roman.  Instead, I can tell you that I have seen fonts that border on the ridiculous.  For instance, you should never use:

Comic Sans
Freestyle Script
Hurry UP
Old English Text

All of these make you look silly.  Instead of focusing on Times New Roman vs. Helvetica, you need to focus on content and presentation.  Below are some thoughts I’ve put together over the years that will help your resume way more than switching away from Times New Roman.  In my opinion a good resume consists of three parts:

Be action oriented
Your resume needs to show more than your duties.  Use verbs to start your bullet and describe how you did it, not what you did.  Facts and figures are really helpful!  Use strong words like developed, created, and achieved. 

Here is a bad example:

Justice League                                                                                                             Metropolis, USA
Superhero                                                                                                                     1938 – Present
  • Leaps tall buildings in single bound
  • More powerful than a locomotive
  • Faster than a speeding bullet 

Here is a good example:

Justice League                                                                                                             Metropolis, USA
Superhero                                                                                                                    1938 – Present

  • Saved city seventeen times in 2015
  • Recognized as 2012 Metropolis Citizen of the year
  • Apprehended Lex Luthor four times in 2011
  • Successfully reduced supervillain attacks by 17% in 2014 

Make your resume easy to read and scan
A successful resume is formatted in an eye-pleasing, regular manner.  You want to follow typical formatting by using similar fonts and bold facing similar things.  Essentially, if you bold face one thing then you should bold face everything else that is similar.  Formatting should be eye catching but should not take away from the actual meat of the resume – your accomplishments.

Be relevant and concise
The goal of your resume is create interest with the potential employer so that they want to ask additional questions about.   In short it’s a one page advertisement for how awesome you are.   I don’t prescribe to the belief that a resume must be a certain length (that said – you need a ton of relevant information to go over one page) instead I follow these rules.  A resume is as long as it needs to be.  A resume should only contain relevant information.

So there you go!  What are your thoughts?  As always please leave comments below or feel free to email me at .  

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