There are so many things that you have to pay attention to with your resume. Is it error-free? Do you sell yourself enough? Should you keep that job in that doesn’t really fit because it fills a gap, or remove it? Objective or no objective?
With all of those concerns, you probably aren’t thinking all that much about how your resume is formatted or what font you’re using – but you should be. Why? Because the look of your resume can either draw a potential employer in or cause them to immediately discount you.
But how do you choose that perfect font and format? There isn’t a simple, single answer, but there are some guidelines and tips that can be helpful.
Remember that less is more.
This is especially true when picking fonts, but it even applies with the format of your resume. For fonts, you literally want less — your resume should all be in the same font. The only possible place a different font can be used is for your name and contact information, but even there you want it to fit in with the rest of the resume. It may be incredibly clever and creative if you design your resume so that the hiring manager has to turn it in a circle to read it, but I can guarantee you that most of them won’t bother. You want a clean look with a decent amount of white space.
See what’s out there.
Do a quick Google search and you’ll find good examples of all kinds of resumes. Getting to actually read and see them should help you to get an idea for the direction you want to go and help you to realize what’s within the general parameters of good taste and expectations for your industry and company.
Simplicity is key.
Maybe you really like some of the script fonts available in Word, but that doesn’t mean you should use them in your resume – if you have to use them in something public, save them for your blog. The font that you choose should be one of the simpler and more common ones, and your goal should be to make sure that the person can read it easily.
Use a resume builder.
The great thing about resume builders is that they take care of all the hard stuff for you and work hard to eliminate foolish mistakes. How so? Well, you can still choose from a variety of templates and decide which common sections you want to include, but good resume programs tend to eliminate more outlandish resume choices and stick to the templates and styles that have gotten the best results.
Get others to read it.
When we’re in the middle of working on something, it can be tough to know whether it’s actually good or if we’ve just lost sight of the big picture because we’re so focused on the nuts and bolts. If you’re not sure whether or not your resume looks good and professional, why don’t you just ask? The best thing to do is to hand it off to a trusted professional that you know, but friends and family members can make surprisingly good critics as well. Even if they don’t want to take five minutes to read it, who cares? Where fonts and formatting are concerned, a simple glance is all that’s required for them to tell you if it looks good, bad, or ugly.
Here’s some information on differences between serif and sans serif fonts via visual.ly
About the guest post author:
Josh Weiss-Roessler writes resumes professionally and is co-owner of Weiss-Roessler Writing. He loves using his knowledge of resume writing and the job market to help people get the career they want, but also writes on a vast array of other topics. If he’s not trapped at his keyboard, you’re likely to find him spending time with his wife, their one-year-old son, or their two tiny-but-mighty dogs.