Close
Need more options? Browse Jobs by Company, Date Posted, Job Title, and more job categories
Search
Advice » Resumes & Letters» Resume Writing Tips » The Proper Use Of Fonts In ...
The Proper Use Of Fonts In Your Resume

The Proper Use Of Fonts In Your Resume


By Mark Swartz
Monster Senior Contributing Writer
 

The content of your resume—all those carefully chosen action verbs and achievement statements—is what convinces an employer to invite you in for a job interview. That’s why you spend so much time on writing and re-writing the words.
 
Your choice of fonts is also important. Select the proper type and your resume will be easily read by anyone who needs to view it (or by any scanning system the employer might use to capture your information electronically). But if you try to get overly fancy in order to attract attention, you may instead make your resume practically unreadable.
 
Font Basics

A font is a specific type of lettering and numbering design that you use in composing a written document. The words you are reading in this article are set in a particular font style used extensively by Monster.ca.
 
Fonts come in distinct families. They differ in terms of their look and other qualities, such as size, weight and spacing.
 
Font Readability
 
When you submit your resume in response to a job posting, your document will either be read directly by people, or will get scanned first into an electronic applicant tracking system. In either case it’s vital that the fonts you use make your words easy to interpret.
 
Simple, clean fonts like Arial or Verdana guarantee the readability of your text. More ornate fonts, such as those named Informal, Roman, or Chiller, may give your document more personality. They will certainly stand out from ordinary typefaces. However they may also make the reader strain their eyes, or the letters may not be correctly interpreted by scanners. This can drop your resume to the bottom of the pile.
 
Clean And Sleek Versus Fancy And Memorable
 
There are two main categories of typefaces. One is called Serif, the other is Sans Serif.
Serif fonts tend to be more stylized. They all have little markings, curves or hooks as part of their design. Here are some examples of Serif font families:
 
  • Times New Roman
  • Bookman Old Style
  • Century


Because Serif fonts are not as sleek as Sans Serif typefaces, you should consider avoiding their use in job applications. They can cause scanning software to make errors and reject your resume.
 
As for Sans Serifs (which literally means “without serifs”), Arial is the most common family of fonts. It appears often in resumes. Arial is sleek and clean. It does not cause eye strain or scanning hiccups. The following type examples are from the Sans Serif category:
 
  • Arial
  • Segoe UI Semibold
  • Verdana
 
Size Matters
 
Don’t make the mistake of picking a crisp, clean font that you then shrink down in size, just so you can jam as many words as possible into your resume. That’s a bit like cheating. Better you should edit your content thoroughly to eliminate excess wording.
 
The more you reduce the size of your font, the less legible it becomes. Thus scanning systems are more likely to misread small print. And the people who must review your application manually may not want to squint. They could skip your submission for others that aren’t so visually challenging.
 
For a font family such as Arial, using a font size of 10.5 to 12 points gives the best results. When in doubt, go with 11 points. It gives you excellent readability and allows you to fit a good amount of content into your application.
 
Font Styles
 
One you decide on which font to go with, you’ll need to consider which style elements to add. This could include the use of bolding, italics, colour, etc.
 
For the sake of simplicity, opt for standard characters. Minimize the use of bolding except for section headers. Resist the urge to italicize words or phrases for effect: scanning systems might have problems reading such characters.
 
You can use all capital letters in headers, but don’t write entire sentences in capitals or IT WILL LOOK LIKE YOU ARE SHOUTING AT THE READER.
 
The default colour for your fonts ought to be black. Unless you’re a graphics professional or in the visual arts fields, you are more likely to make a mess by using colour than to produce an attractive end product.
 
Be Consistent
 
There’s no need to be fancy when it comes to resume fonts. Stick with one choice (such as Arial) and a couple of styles for variety (e.g. bold, all capitals). This way you won’t overwhelm your reader with a document that looks like it was stitched together by Dr. Frankenstein.
 
Ultimately you want your resume to be read easily by people and electronic scanners alike. So give them something they can digest effortlessly. Count on your fonts to make your words visually crisp. Count on your words for content that puts you atop the list of interview prospects. 
 

Latest Jobs

The Home Depot
Posted: 04/23/2014
Calgary, AB, T2Z 0B2
Bayat Marketing Group Inc
Posted: 04/23/2014
Ottawa, ON, K2P 2L9
Beauty Systems Group
Posted: 04/23/2014
Sudbury, ON, P3A 2A4
The Judge Group
Posted: 04/23/2014
Toronto, ON
Talentcor
Posted: 04/23/2014
Surrey, BC

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile

 
 
 

Career Centre

Tools to help your job hunt.
Tools to help your job hunt.
Research careers here.
Research careers here.
How does your work experience compare to others?
How does your work experience compare to others?
Look perfect on paper - get your resume professionally written.
Look perfect on paper - get your resume professionally written.
Get coached for your interview. Gain confidence to get the job.
Get coached for your interview. Gain confidence to get the job.
Know what a job pays.
Know what a job pays.
More Career Centre Resources

Screening Candidates

Alt text
We all carry around some prejudice. Are you immune? Not likely. Here's how to work through your human foibles to get the best candidate.

Workforce Planning

Alt text
Here some Canadian resources that are available to entrepreneurs to help them get the back up that they need to run their businesses effectively.

For Seekers

Resume Writing Service
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
Compare Your Salary
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Interview Preparation
Gain an interview advantage with step-by-step preparation
Other Services

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $175.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Centre
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.

Social Media

Career help on Facebook
Follow Monster.ca on Facebook. Ask career questions, find career related answers.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Advice Forums
Tap into Monster's online career forums and share advice with experts.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
The Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Jobs & Career Advice
Find jobs in your industry of choice and use the associated resources to boost your search.
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes
About Monster | Work for Monster | Investor Relations | Monster Network
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap| Mobile
©2014 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2014.1.40.6-212
eTrustLogo