Things to know about resume font style

A well-done resume is your slingshot into a pool of candidates. Without attention to every detail of your presentation, you don’t even make it over that first wall. Drafting out experience and other content of your resume is where you start in crafting it, but once the word is on the page you have to pay special attention to resume font size and style to make sure those words hit home. Resumes crafted with easy reading in mind pack more power, making an immediate impression and placing you in the line of vision of the company looking to hire. Parsing through hundreds of resumes, hiring managers save time by ruling applicants out as efficiently as possible; if the high points of your resume aren’t self-evident, or if your resume is a job in itself to read, your choice of resume font style might be the culprit rendering your slingshot soft. After writing your resume, if you craft it into the most attractive and easily-read document you can, you’ll find that content jumps right off the page and lands resoundingly in the hiring manager’s court.

Resume font and size are co-dependent

Choice of font depends on size, while size depends on content. Fonts with serifs were traditionally considered the easier-to-read fonts in denser content, however resumes have trended toward serif-free fonts for a cleaner look. Although, the smaller a serif-free font becomes, the more the conventional fonts with serifs begin to show their worth in pointing a reader from word to word. If your resume is sized down to fit content on the page, serifs separate individual characters and make spaces easier to see. For resumes with less content, serif-free fonts can be used to keep in line with the cleaner looks of fonts popular today. If your resume is chocked-full of lists and bullet points, you can size font down even more than you otherwise could, so that the length doesn’t look longer than a hiring manager is willing to read. For each resume font you try, and at every size, stand up and take a step back to look at the document from a distance. If words are clearly identified without spaces disappearing, you have a good balance.

The final phase of building your resume

Remember that editing the font, size and style of your resume is the final phase in crafting the document. There are so many fonts available that you can easily lose yourself in selecting one after the other, and after a while, you may start to wonder how different some of them really look. To decide between the last few favorites and make sure your choice sticks, try these tips:

• Don’t finalize resume font size until you’re 100% finished with content

• Some data can be sized up or down from text around it (e.g., dates of employment)

• Don’t mix fonts—this rarely works out

• Print versions of your resume with different fonts to see which reads most easily

• Once finalized, save your resume in PDF and only send that when applying

Finally, if your resume will be read on computer and never (or rarely) printed, that gives you a little more license. Fiddling with fonts and styles is the final stage of resume building, and one of the easiest if you know what to keep in mind.

Like a slingshot, your resume has to be elastic

Keeping your resume up-to-date is one thing, but you might struggle to accept the idea of changing it several times in the same bout of job hunting. Not only is it important to update the content for different employers and industries, but ultimately you might have to change the layout or font styles, too. If you’re applying for a job at a start-up that’s notorious for hiring creative types, you can clean up your resume and make more space on the page for larger and more contemporary fonts. If you’re applying to a century-old insurance company, keep all your impressive experience intact with the font and sizing to reflect it. Keep several copies of your resume on file, each one of them saved as a PDF as well. And keep your eyes on Resumes Land for more slingshot-worthy tips.

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