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What would you say is the best font for a resume? I normally use Times New Roman but I have seen real good resumes in Calibri, and I was thinking about changing mine also. Which theme do you suggest I go with?

Content Editor Note: Below are five helpful posts on resume fonts, overall resume improvement, and also make sure to check out our Professional Resume Review Service

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For college students: WSO Investment Banking Resume Template for College Students Released to the Public!

For experienced IB professionals: WSO Investment Banking Resume Template for Professionals with Deal Experience is Released!

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  1. Great tips on overall improvement of your resume
  2. Good forum discussion on resume fonts
  3. forum discussion on resume font size
  4. Discussion on whether your resume and cover letter should have the same font
  5. "Take Your Resume to the Next Level"
  6. Advice from one of our Professional Resume Reviewers:

    Font selection certainly won't make or break your resume (unless you use something silly like Comic Sans), but a nice font can certainly help your resume look clean and professional.

    First and foremost, you've got to make sure that your resume has a clean overall format with enough spacing between sections so the reviewer doesn't have to strain to read each line. Your resume should look like a professional document, not simply a piece of paper that has been stuffed with as much content as humanly possible. Form, in some sense, serves a true function here. Especially in the world of banking, where you'll be relentlessly pumping out highly word-smithed, highly formatted documents and PowerPoints.

    Now, in terms of choosing your font, there is some level of leeway here. As I said earlier, unless you choose a silly font (i.e. Comic Sans), you'll never be dinged for font selection. However, if you choose a handsome font, you might get lucky and have a design-nerd reviewing your resume. Assuming everything else checks out in terms of your background, education, and experience, a nice font certainly can't hurt.

    Personally, I use Book Antiqua. Its a clean font with understated serifs that's easy on the eyes. And, frankly, I haven't come across a ton of resumes that use it, so I feel it does add a bit of a personal touch.

    Other fonts that work nicely include Helvetica (a personal fave, and a much more important font than most realize), Arial (Microsoft's Helvetica knockoff), Calibri, and Cambria. There's also nothing wrong with Times New Roman, in my opinion, though it's not a personal favorite of mine.

    Lastly, regardless of which font you use, make sure you size it appropriately. The smallest font I use in the body of my resume is 9-point. I'd be hard-pressed to go smaller than that, and I only feel confident doing so because I've spaced each section appropriately without making the resume feel over-stuffed.

    For any aspiring bankers who think they need some help with their resume, WSO's resume review service is pretty solid. It'll help you get your format down pat and work with you to ensure that your experience is presented in the strongest way possible (i.e. rewording of bullets, reworking of sections, etc.)

    As an aside, for anyone that's interested in fonts and design in general, I recommend the movie "Helvetica" (http://www.helveticafilm.com/.) It's pretty interesting and definitely eye-opening.

    Get a Pro to Review Your Resume

    From our writer Thomas Ausart, who is also one of our Professional Resume Reviewers:

    I have three points (most of them are included above, but I'll be shorter):
  • If you have any doubts, use Times New Roman everywhere
  • If you feel going to the next level, use sans serif font for the headlines/titles (Arial, century gothic, verdana) and serif font for the text (times new roman, garamond...)
  • You are probably worried about the wrong thing...I'll bet anything that anyone on the WSO Resume Review Team can take your resume and find 10 things that are more important to adjust than the font you are using

our writer Vontropnats who wrote a two part series on resume improvement: (see part 1, and part 2.):

I've personally always been conservative and use 12pt Times New Roman or Arial, but I think also Sans Serif and Helvetica are pretty attractive fonts. Some suggest Garamond -- I've been told this is the "banker" font by some people -- but I think it's distractingly "too" professional looking for a resume. Hope that helps!

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2

Comments (68)

  • timergooff's picture

    I would use ariel 11.

  • she_monkey's picture

    times new roman, if spaced correctly, should not be too hard to read.

    if most of the resumes are still in times, and you're using arial.. might not necessarily stick out for a good reason.

  • Banker88's picture

    I think any standard fonts (times, arial, calibri) are fine as long as they look clean and legible. I personally believe sans-serif fonts look better and are easier on the eyes.

  • 4u2bnvs's picture

    I spend a bit of time looking at resumes, and you're not making or breaking your chance at an interview because of your font. Seriously. I get that it's one of the small moving parts that remains in your control, but your efforts could be better spent elsewhere. Do whatever works (fits all your credentials) and looks dece. Word.

  • ibdhopeful's picture

    What about Garamond? Just wondering. I find a lot of people seem to like it but it's definitely pretty small. What do you guys think? Personally, I hate Arial.

  • Ruby Rhod's picture

    What about Eggshell with Romalian type and raised letters and a watermark?

    ______________________________
    Freeze those knees, my chickadees!

  • In reply to Ruby Rhod
    MurdersNExecutions's picture

    porto121:
    What about Eggshell with Romalian type and raised letters and a watermark?

    as long as you use rainbow colors.

  • In reply to ibdhopeful
    Ray Allen's picture

    God:
    What about Garamond? Just wondering. I find a lot of people seem to like it but it's definitely pretty small. What do you guys think? Personally, I hate Arial.

    I guess Arial is out of the question since God apparently hates it.

  • maximus307's picture

    I personally like Cambria. It almost looks like a cross between Times New Roman and Calibri. Looks professional and neat. Anyone else use this font?

  • MoneyKingdom's picture

    Bankonbanking is giving bad advice. You should use Times New Roman. Google Serif v. Sans-Serif Fonts....

  • In reply to maximus307
    Kassad's picture

    maximus307:
    I personally like Cambria. It almost looks like a cross between Times New Roman and Calibri. Looks professional and neat. Anyone else use this font?

    I do - when I interviewed at a BB, my resume was in that format. I interviewed at a boutique as well, and the copy they saw had that font too.

    Now that I think of it, every good interview I've had was using that font. Times never got me shit.

    Equities are for chumps.

  • TonyPerkis's picture

    wingdings at size 34 or webdings 3 at size 7

    I eat success for breakfast...with skim milk

  • Gratisfaction's picture

    Comic Sans

    "I'm not a businessman, I'm a business, man."

  • whitecollarandsuspenders's picture

    I tinkered around with a ton of fonts, and I thought Garamond looked the best.

    "The problem with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other peoples money"

    - Margaret Thatcher

  • SlikRick's picture

    I would recommend Times New Roman Size 12. If you have proper formatting, it should be more than legible. Impress the interviewer with the content of your resume, not necessarily your asethetic appeal. If you insist on other fonts, I recommend Arial Narrow Size 12, or Garamond Size 12/12.5. Garamond is the prettiest font on Word, but not necessarily the most professional.

  • dacasale's picture
  • eriginal's picture

    Why has no one quoted Patrick Bateman yet?!

    "One man with courage makes a majority." -- Andrew Jackson

  • Walkers's picture

    I use Myriad Pro, size 12. It looks clean and nice

  • Singapore Sling's picture

    Any Sans Serif font is fine - my advice is use the width of the page effectively

    The number of day traders on the Forbes Rich List is...zero

  • In reply to turtles
    TonyPerkis's picture

    turtles:
    eriginal:
    Why has no one quoted Patrick Bateman yet?!

    open your eyes, brah. there may not be a quote in the thread but there's certainly a crystal clear reference... brah

    also, because i'll empty my WSO credit account and my whole bank account on credits on said person who quotes patrick bateman.

    I eat success for breakfast...with skim milk

  • BTbanker's picture

    Who are we kidding? All the interviewer glances at is school, major, and GPA. The rest is just noise.

  • In reply to turtles
    eriginal's picture

    turtles:
    eriginal:
    Why has no one quoted Patrick Bateman yet?!

    open your eyes, brah. there may not be a quote in the thread but there's certainly a crystal clear reference... brah

    Almost had a panic attack when their wasn't one on here.

    "One man with courage makes a majority." -- Andrew Jackson

  • In reply to eriginal
    turtles's picture

    eriginal:
    turtles:
    eriginal:
    Why has no one quoted Patrick Bateman yet?!

    open your eyes, brah. there may not be a quote in the thread but there's certainly a crystal clear reference... brah

    Almost had a panic attack when their wasn't one on here.


    Ruby Rhod:
    What about Eggshell with Romalian type and raised letters and a watermark?

    come on, brah, it's close enough

  • In reply to turtles
    eriginal's picture

    turtles:
    eriginal:
    turtles:
    eriginal:
    Why has no one quoted Patrick Bateman yet?!

    open your eyes, brah. there may not be a quote in the thread but there's certainly a crystal clear reference... brah

    Almost had a panic attack when their wasn't one on here.


    Ruby Rhod:
    What about Eggshell with Romalian type and raised letters and a watermark?

    come on, brah, it's close enough

    I found it once you pointed out that I had missed it the first time; panic attack avoided.

    "One man with courage makes a majority." -- Andrew Jackson

  • In reply to eriginal
    turtles's picture

    eriginal:
    turtles:
    eriginal:
    turtles:
    eriginal:
    Why has no one quoted Patrick Bateman yet?!

    open your eyes, brah. there may not be a quote in the thread but there's certainly a crystal clear reference... brah

    Almost had a panic attack when their wasn't one on here.


    Ruby Rhod:
    What about Eggshell with Romalian type and raised letters and a watermark?

    come on, brah, it's close enough

    I found it once you pointed out that I had missed it the first time; panic attack avoided.


    alright sweet, brah. panic attacks blow hard

  • In reply to nexa023
    West Coast rainmaker's picture

    nexa023:
    what about Georgia?

    I like Georgia. Bodoni is also a favorite; it looks very neat, but isn't often used.

  • Onetwobit's picture
  • orangebull's picture

    I don't like garamond for the resume. Its italics are too fancy and its regular style is not full enough to read quickly

  • jams1212's picture

    I'd vote for TNR. It's pretty consistent, and you never know the preferences of the person reading your resume. I'd say TNR is reliable and you should use that, even it it's relatively common.

    -JB

  • WalMartShopper's picture

    staccato 555

    get all bushido on that ass

    If the glove don't fit, you must acquit!

  • quintessential's picture

    tahoma is pretty nice.

  • Going Concern's picture
  • DrPeterVenkman's picture

    Just dont' use courier new. Its ugly and takes up a lot of space. - Good to use if you need to lengthen a term paper.

  • kidflash's picture
  • BlackHat's picture

    Book Antiqua.

    I hate victims who respect their executioners

  • Neighbor's picture

    Dingwings. It's the hottest resume font out right now

    I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

  • MegaShigger's picture

    @nuclearpenguins thanks for your input. never thought of using different fonts depending on whether it's read on a screen vs print.

  • In reply to Kassad
    roofstreet's picture

    i second this...

    FSC:
    maximus307:
    I personally like Cambria. It almost looks like a cross between Times New Roman and Calibri. Looks professional and neat. Anyone else use this font?

    I do - when I interviewed at a BB, my resume was in that format. I interviewed at a boutique as well, and the copy they saw had that font too.

    Now that I think of it, every good interview I've had was using that font. Times never got me shit.

    "...the art of good business, is being a good middle man, putting people togeather. It's all about honor and respect."

  • WalMartShopper's picture

    scented paper can make up for non-target font

    If the glove don't fit, you must acquit!

  • swish41mavs's picture

    personally times new roman looks a lot better than arial.

    "Try and fail, but don't fail to try"

  • swish41mavs's picture

    I have a question regarding fonts - is it appropriate to have dark blue font headings? ie. Work Experience is in dakr blue font Times New roman 12. Thanks.

    "Try and fail, but don't fail to try"

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