Want to make sure your resume for an executive position will really appeal to the one reviewing it? A good place to start is to type it using a legible and professional-looking font. You might think that you are the perfect candidate, but you would never know if the hiring manager can properly make out of the text on your resume.
Of course, there are hundreds of different fonts to choose from, but not all of them are befitting to use on a resume, so picking one is very important to be able to land a job. Though there are several different font families, most job seekers go for the serif family, where fonts have stylized tails and other decorative markings, such as Times New Roman (TNR), or the sans-serif family, where fonts are simpler without frills, such as Arial. It is said that that serif typefaces are associated with being reliable, respectable, impressive, traditional and authoritative, while sans-serif fonts are seen as clean, universal, stable, objective and modern.
Whatever font type you choose, it is of utmost importance that your resume typeface should show up well both in print and on a screen and be easy on the eyes regardless of formatting and size. It is also a good idea to choose a universal and standard font that works on any operating system, considering that resumes will likely be scanned by automated applicant tracking software.
As for applying for an executive position, here are the best font choices that you can have to send the right message to your potential employer:
When going for a sans-serif font, Arial would be one of your best options. As you can see, many professionals like to see this type of font because its lines are clean and it is easy to read. Though some hiring managers are finding it to be unsophisticated and banal, this tried-and-true classic font has become a standard and is definitely the safest choice you will have.
If you are looking for an old-style font, you should consider using Garamond for your resume. This typeface, which is considered as timeless, conveys a sense of delicacy and fluidity, with a simple elegance that would look polished both in print and on screen.
As the default font on Microsoft Word, Calibri would be an excellent option for a universally readable and safe font. Professional resume writers are strong advocates of this font style, noting that it is familiar to most renders and readers well on computer screens. It is also stated that noted that the 12-point Calibri produces a perfectly sized 2-page resume having approximately 550 to 750 words.
Times New Roman
Although the TNR might remind you of your essays during your high school and college years, this universal font remains a popular choice for writing resumes, as it will show up as clean and easy-to-read text on any computer screen. However, while it is highly readable and safe, keep in mind that, like Arial, using the TNR may be construed as unimaginative and boring, thus there is a possibility that it would not stand out in a pool of resumes.
If you want something that is still traditional-looking as alternative to the overly used TNR, you can consider switching to the Georgia font. According to a Colorado Technical University infographic, it is recommended to use this font style because of its readability, noting that it was designed to be available on any computer and to be read on any screen.
A long and evidence-based study about fonts published by The New York Times in 2012 concluded that this member of the serif family is the most trusted font. It uses about the same amount of space as TNR, but the latter would be easier to read in narrative text. However, Baskerville is proven to be best used for names and section headings, where it gives a subliminal message of trust.
If you are looking to use a sans-serif typeface, but do not want to use Arial or Verdana, can use Trebuchet MS instead. According to the certified career coach and expert for Answers.com, Chandlee Bryan, this font style is the perfect choice if you want to set yourself apart from other candidates. With it, your resume will stand out from others, as it is a slightly unusual font choice, yet not so strange that it can turn off potential employers.
As a general rule, the font you should use for an executive resume should be clear, scalable and legible. It should be professional, but not too basic; interesting, but not too playful; and modern, but not extravagant. The key here is moderation. In addition to font types, the average font size should also be carefully considered when writing an executive resume. The recommended font size is 10 to 12 for regular text and 12 to 14 for subheadings. By thinking as much about your font as the content in your resume, you can create a document that managers and HR members will be eager to read.
Finding Fonts That Work On All Types of Computers
There is a lot of cool fonts that you may be tempted to use for your resume because they look both appealing and professional, but if you want to ensure your document will translate well on Windows and Mac PCs, it is wise to choose one that is available on both operating systems. For example, you may love the Palatino Linotype on your Windows PC, but since it does not have an immediate translation on a Mac computer, it would look different from your original copy when it is pulled up on anything other than a PC running on windows.
Avoiding Fun Fonts
It is always a good idea to sidestep cursive and fun fonts, such as Comic Sans, as they lack professionalism. The only exception to this is that when you are submitting your executive resume for creative jobs, such as those in the entertainment industry. Even so, it is still best to know for sure if your target employer will be agreeable to it before making your resume.