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Is Times New Roman Keeping You From Getting Hired?


Looking to apply for a new job? Before you send in your resume, you may want to reconsider what font you’re using. As it turns out, your default choice of Times New Roman might send your resume right to the reject pile.

(Photo Credit: Mike McKay/Flickr)

Could the font you’re using on your resume really hurt your chances at landing an interview? Natalie Kitroeff at Bloomberg recently asked typography experts “which typefaces make a curriculum vitae look classiest [and] which should never, ever be seen by an employer.” As it turns out, using Times New Roman “is the typeface equivalent of wearing sweatpants to an interview.”

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According to Brian Hoff, creative director of Brian Hoff Design, using Times New Roman is essentially “telegraphing that you didn’t put any thought into the typeface that you selected.”

Apparently, just as the way you dress for an interview is critical, appearances matter on your resume as well.

So if Times New Roman is a careless, sloppy choice, what are the best typefaces for professionals who want to make an impact with the design of their resume?

Hoff advises you to go with Helvetica.

“Helvetica is so no-fuss, it doesn’t really lean in one direction or another. It feels professional, lighthearted, honest,” says Hoff. “Helvetica is safe. Maybe that’s why it’s more business-y.”

However, be sure not to choose a similar or knock-off font. Helvetica is sans-serif, meaning its letters do not have the tiny “feet” that adorn the “T” in Times New Roman, for example. The experts advise to use Helvetica only.

“If it’s me, [I’m using] Helvetica. Helvetica is beautiful,” says Matt Luckhurst, the creative director at Collins, a brand consultancy, in San Francisco. “There is only one Helvetica.”

You could also opt for other fonts easy on the eyes such as Proxima Nova, which will cost you around $30 to purchase. Garamond is another good choice.

However, whatever you do, don’t use flowery or cursive fonts, and definitely stay away from typewriter-style fonts like Courier, since you obviously didn’t write your resume on a typewriter and this just looks tacky.

Finally, it should go without saying: never, ever use Comic Sans.

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Do you use a specific font on your resume? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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Frank Csweetiepie3Adam Recent comment authors
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Career coaches usually advocate using a ‘sensible’ typeface such as Arial or Times New Roman on resumes. These fonts have not been default in the world’s most used word processing software Microsoft Word since 2003. I wouldn’t discriminate just for using a font but would feel using Calibri would look lazy to me. I know Helvetica is an excellent font loved by graphic designers the world over but I don’t own a copy. Regular people don’t buy fonts and just… Read more »

Frank C
Frank C

That’s the trouble with this country…appearance is more important than substance. It applies to everything. Ever watch cooking shows? They have these dishes of art work and you’d be starving after you finished. Personally I stay away from those restaurants. It has to look decent but the food has to be good, that’s what’s most important. Should apply here too!


Being a graphic design professional, I do see the merit of using Helvetica for a resume as it is easier to read than serif fonts. That being said, a job seeker may want to consider a bit more design flair with fonts/type/layout, especially to enhance a resume for a CREATIVE job, such as in an arts-related field. For the bulk of the resume, something like Helvetica is great, but for headings and such (on an arts-related job resume) I would… Read more »

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