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

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 Resumé 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

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Comments (117)

 
Jul 29, 2009 - 11:24pm

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.

 
Aug 29, 2012 - 11:14pm

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 - 12:23pm

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

______________________________ Freeze those knees, my chickadees!
 
Jun 19, 2012 - 8:42pm

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.

in it 2 win it
 
Aug 13, 2012 - 3:13pm

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."
 
Jun 20, 2012 - 7:33pm

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
 
Jun 27, 2012 - 5:29am

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 - 9:19am

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 - 8:38am

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
 
Aug 29, 2012 - 2:46am

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"
 
Aug 29, 2012 - 10:51am

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 - 11:13am

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 30, 2012 - 12:08am

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 5, 2012 - 12:08pm

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.

 
Oct 16, 2015 - 7:33am

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 - 7:34am

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 - 7:36am

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 - 7:37am

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 - 7:41am

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

I am permanently behind on PMs, it's not personal.

 
Oct 16, 2015 - 7:53am

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 - 7:57am

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

I am permanently behind on PMs, it's not personal.

 
Oct 16, 2015 - 8:01am

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 - 8:05am

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.

Wall Street leaders now understand that they made a mistake, one born of their innocent and trusting nature. They trusted ordinary Americans to behave more responsibly than they themselves ever would, and these ordinary Americans betrayed their trust.
 
Oct 16, 2015 - 8:13am

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

“Millionaires don't use astrology, billionaires do”
 
Oct 16, 2015 - 8:15am
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