Best font for a resume - Which theme to go with?

milken's picture
Rank: Monkey | 48

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 ...because odds are if you aren't sure what font to use on your resume...

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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!

    Get a Pro to Review Your Resume

Comments (118)

Jul 29, 2009

I would use ariel 11.

Jul 29, 2009

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.

Jul 29, 2009

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.

Jul 29, 2009

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.

Jul 31, 2009

thanks for all of your posts guys

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Jul 31, 2009

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.

Jul 31, 2009
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.

    • 1
Aug 29, 2012
ibdhopeful:

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 use Garamond. I like Garamond and Georgia the best. Your resume stands out from the rest of the times new roman ones.

I also agree with the serif/san serif fond decision. If possible, use serif if the resume will be printed and san serif if it will be view online for the optimal reader experience.

Jul 31, 2009

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

Freeze those knees, my chickadees!

Jul 31, 2009
porto121:

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

as long as you use rainbow colors.

    • 1
Mar 30, 2010

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?

Jun 19, 2012
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.

Aug 13, 2012

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.

Mar 30, 2010

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

Apr 11, 2010

what about Georgia?

Jun 27, 2012
nexa023:

what about Georgia?

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

Jun 14, 2012

I recomend Gabriola font http://font-knox.com/gabriola-font

Jun 20, 2012

wingdings at size 34 or webdings 3 at size 7

I eat success for breakfast...with skim milk

Jun 20, 2012

Comic Sans

Gimme the loot

Jun 20, 2012

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

Jun 27, 2012

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.

Jun 27, 2012

Comic Sans all the way.

Jun 27, 2012

Why has no one quoted Patrick Bateman yet?!

Jun 27, 2012
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

Jun 20, 2012
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

Jun 27, 2012
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.

Jun 27, 2012

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

Jun 27, 2012

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

Jun 27, 2012

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

Jun 27, 2012

Calibri

Jun 28, 2012

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

Jun 30, 2012

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

Jun 30, 2012

staccato 555

get all bushido on that ass

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

Jun 30, 2012

You have to pay for the really good fonts.

Yale official font is good. Sabon is good.

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Jun 30, 2012

tahoma is pretty nice.

Jun 30, 2012

TNR for body, Cambria for headings

Jun 30, 2012

Silian Rail

Jul 1, 2012

Gisha and Khmer UI are nice

Jul 4, 2012

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.

Jul 5, 2012

georgia <3

Jul 7, 2012
kidflash:

georgia <3

Lots of personal preferences here.

It's a well accepted typographical rule that

  • Sans Serif fonts (what some people here call "clean lines") such as Arial (or Helvetica, the true original version), Tahoma, Verdana, Calibri - are better read ON THE COMPUTER
  • Serif fonts (those with line endings) such as TNR, Georgia, Cambria are best read IN PRINT. This is why pretty much every book you read, and newspapers/magazines, are all printed in serif fonts. Except some esoteric designer magazines with pulp fiction.

If you expect that your resume will be read on screen, use Sans Serif. I think Helvetica beats all other newbie fonts. Every single time. You can play with "Helvetica Neue" which has slightly clearer lines. The Helvetica family, and its cheaper knockoff cousin, Arial for Windoze users, is simple and confident.

If you expect printed reading, use Georgia. Better than TNR when printed, takes less space, and to the serif reading eye, much more polished.

So, in order:

  1. Helvetica (or Helvetica Neue if you have it, or Arial)
  2. Georgia

That's it. Don't fret over the font. Make sure the content is good. The white space and formatting are MUCH MORE distinguishing than the font used.

Jul 30, 2012
morespinach:
kidflash:

georgia <3

Lots of personal preferences here.

It's a well accepted typographical rule that

  • Sans Serif fonts (what some people here call "clean lines") such as Arial (or Helvetica, the true original version), Tahoma, Verdana, Calibri - are better read ON THE COMPUTER
  • Serif fonts (those with line endings) such as TNR, Georgia, Cambria are best read IN PRINT. This is why pretty much every book you read, and newspapers/magazines, are all printed in serif fonts. Except some esoteric designer magazines with pulp fiction.

If you expect that your resume will be read on screen, use Sans Serif. I think Helvetica beats all other newbie fonts. Every single time. You can play with "Helvetica Neue" which has slightly clearer lines. The Helvetica family, and its cheaper knockoff cousin, Arial for Windoze users, is simple and confident.

If you expect printed reading, use Georgia. Better than TNR when printed, takes less space, and to the serif reading eye, much more polished.

So, in order:

  1. Helvetica (or Helvetica Neue if you have it, or Arial)
  2. Georgia

That's it. Don't fret over the font. Make sure the content is good. The white space and formatting are MUCH MORE distinguishing than the font used.

That makes a lot of sense. I agree with Helvetica Neue especially. That is one fine font.

Jul 30, 2012

Book Antiqua.

Aug 1, 2012

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

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

    • 1
Aug 8, 2012

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

Jun 30, 2012

scented paper can make up for non-target font

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

    • 1
Aug 29, 2012

personally times new roman looks a lot better than arial.

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

Aug 29, 2012

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"

Jul 7, 2012

No. Stick to black. Make it bold or underlined.

Aug 29, 2012

Garamond, its gorgeous sz 10

Jul 7, 2012

No, Garamond isn't gorgeous. It's "x-height" is too low. It's a pretentious font that's good for book covers, headings, and academic papers from professors who don't know any better.

Stick to Times or Georgia if you're going with a Serif font. Both have decent x-heights (height of each character) and are therefore the most oft-used.

Aug 29, 2012
morespinach:

No, Garamond isn't gorgeous. It's "x-height" is too low. It's a pretentious font that's good for book covers, headings, and academic papers from professors who don't know any better.

Stick to Times or Georgia if you're going with a Serif font. Both have decent x-heights (height of each character) and are therefore the most oft-used.

Thats exactly why I like it. Its smaller height grants you room for more content on the page of your resume

Aug 29, 2012

Asking which font of the myriad normal-looking fonts is best = asking for the best penis length between 6 and 7 inches

Aug 30, 2012

Who cares? Is it really that important? You should focus your time on networking or adding stuff to your resume rather than what font it's in. Anyone disagree?

Because when you're in a room full of smart people, smart suddenly doesn't matter--interesting is what matters.

Sep 3, 2012

keep it Times New Roman

Sep 5, 2012

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.

    • 1
Sep 23, 2012

Times New Roman for one-pager with 200-300 words.
Otherwise, it's Calibri.

Sep 24, 2012

i always use wingdings. very fun..

Sep 24, 2012

I flow with the Times New Romans (12 font) to keep with the Times.

I will show myself out

Sep 24, 2012

I just go with standard - Times New Roman

Apr 7, 2013

Does anybody know what font/s HBS uses in their case studies? Their site says Hoefler and Trade Gothic, but I've checked and they're not.

Example: http://payload14.cargocollective.com/1/3/101548/25...

Mar 6, 2015

Segoe UI

Aug 8, 2015

Some good advice here ... There is one thing that you miss however, and that is when a sans-serif font is more appropriate, and when a serif font is more appropriate.

Oct 16, 2015

i'd play it safe and use times new roman.

its not as if the person looking at your resume will say..

"Whoa! Dammnnn kid! This kid went old-school and used CenturyOldStyle! Forget the interview and give him an offer!"

Play it safe, use times or times new roman, make sure there is a good amount of detail on ur job descriptions, evenly spaced and decent white space on the resume.

The things u should be considered with are typos and spacing.

I'm making it up as I go along.

Oct 16, 2015

If I got a resume with Times New Roman... it doesn't speak well for the candidate.

Oct 16, 2015

Thanks for the input... its exactly what I was thinking, but wanted to get some reassurance.

also, I know there is a poster on WSO who provides a service that critiques resumes to make them more fit for Banking / S&T ... his username was "fosk" or something of that nature.. anybody know who I'm talking about? Have a link to his site?

Thanks.

Oct 16, 2015

It doesn't make a damn difference.

I was reading resumes today. More important was how busy they were... bad use of white space, etc.

Even more importantly, what the resume actually said.

I used Times New Roman for mine; it's easy on the eyes and what everyone uses in the business world. As long as it's a serif font, it doesn't matter.

This is a ridiculous thread, sorry.

Oct 16, 2015
venturecapitalista:

It doesn't make a damn difference.

I was reading resumes today. More important was how busy they were... bad use of white space, etc.

Even more importantly, what the resume actually said.

I used Times New Roman for mine; it's easy on the eyes and what everyone uses in the business world. As long as it's a serif font, it doesn't matter.

This is a ridiculous thread, sorry.

Let me rephrase: as long as it's not Times New Roman, I really don't care (assuming it's not wingdings or some shit). But having it as TNR is just weird.

Oct 16, 2015

word 2007 is much more flexible in terms of formatting. the size of the smallest movement for the indentation, objects, lines, etc. is much less clunky.

i use Garamond for mine. nice clean feel.

Oct 16, 2015

times new roman is the business standard for a reason. Yes, there are other options that may be more appealing to you, but it may stand out in a bad way as a recruiter/analyst looks through a huge stack and it's the only one that isn't uniform. I would stick with the standard.

Oct 16, 2015

There are actually a lot of kids who don't use Times and who it doesn't hurt.

Oct 16, 2015

I guess I just tend to lean towards the safe side on things like that. Plus, I think Times looks better than most other options.

Oct 16, 2015

Lzd Paris uses Garamond
In my MM boutique we were using Perpetua, and before Arial, for ppt presentations

Oct 16, 2015

comic sans

Oct 16, 2015

wing dings

Oct 16, 2015

I use Arial. Decided to do this to stand out from all the TNR after having gone through hundreds of serif-fonted resumes for recruiting

Oct 16, 2015

Serif-fonts are usually easier to read than sans-serif fonts.

Oct 16, 2015

I used Garamond. Didn't ding me ;)

Oct 16, 2015

Comic sans!

Honestly, no bank gives a sh1t about your font unless you pick something ridiculous. Just stick to Times New Roman to be safe. Some of you people here are ridiculous.

Oct 16, 2015

a) search function
b) cambria (body, not header)

Oct 16, 2015

arial seemed to have worked fine for me...

Oct 16, 2015

Silian Braille on Bone colored paper.

Oct 16, 2015
Nouveau Richie:

Silian Braille on Bone colored paper.

Cillian bro.

Oct 16, 2015

I have used Garamond but changed to Times New Roman based on the M&I template for spacing reasons. I have gotten interviews using both. While I do like Cooper Black (Garfield font) I would not recommend it for a resume. Keep it standard/clean and you will be fine; remember that you stand out with experiences not font.

People ask me, would you rather be feared or loved?
Um easy, I want people to be afraid of how much they love me.

Oct 16, 2015

Calibri.
Sans Serif rules.

Oct 16, 2015

That's what I'm rocking right now, toying with Cambria as well. Want something a bit more classic, less sleek and modern.

Oct 16, 2015

Comic sans all the way. I like to communicate to resume reviewers that I have a sense of humor and don't take myself too seriously (also, that I don't want the job).

Oct 16, 2015

Hate Calibri. So freakishly common and looks dumb.

If you use a mac, helvetica is nice. Stick to times new roman or times though, safer.

If I'm not wrong Morgan Stanley uses News Gothic for their logo. Just sayin...

Oct 16, 2015

hey all... any good templates for a mac (ipages) out there that you use?

i really like this kids resume but cant seem to find it or make it

thanks
http://www.razume.com/documents/18743/

Jul 29, 2009

Looking through a book of 250 resumes for SA, I'd say the varying fonts like Garamond, Helvetica, etc. are annoying. Nevertheless, we did not ding anyone for a bad font, but a cleaner resume with normal font makes a much better impression.

I used to use Calibri but switched back to classic Times New Roman for buy-side recruiting. At the end of the day, content and spacing / formatting are much more important, and choosing an "original" font can only harm you.

Oct 16, 2015

Arial Narrow 9 or you are dinged. No joke.

Oct 16, 2015

Wow, these threads are getting ridiculous. Next one will be titled "Should I put my middle initial on my resume"?

Oct 16, 2015

I used Times on mine, but if there is any other font I would use it's Helvetica (size 10 or 11). Helvetica Neue is good, too.

@f1mpladed: my resume looks a lot like that guy's, so I uploaded the template. Feel free to use it: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=6DDR2PAH
Edit: You will have to play with the spacing since I messed it up a bit when editing out my info, but just select an entire line and go to the Paragraph menu, then edit the spacing "after" and "before" until things look right.

Oct 16, 2015

To preempt that next thred... Yes; I think you should put your middle intial on your resume. It gives you more credibility IMO.

Oct 16, 2015
jackofalltrades:

To preempt that next thred... Yes; I think you should put your middle intial on your resume. It gives you more credibility IMO.

Half hour too late jackie.

http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/middle-initi...

Oct 16, 2015

.

Oct 16, 2015

Times New Roman

Oct 16, 2015

wingdings

Oct 16, 2015

times new roman or garamond

Oct 16, 2015

verdana also works. really anything that is a standard font

Oct 16, 2015

I use TNR, with my name in Engravers.

If you really want to impress a particular bank though, ask a buddy there what the firm's font (every bank has one) is and adjust accordingly. It will be a good touch. lol

Oct 16, 2015

cambria ftw

Oct 16, 2015
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