An article was recently published that broke the news to everybody that Times New Roman was no longer considered an appropriate font to use on a resume. It was described to being seen as lazy and is the font equivalent of “wearing sweatpants to an interview.” Yikes.
As a college student who feels that she’s constantly reworking her resume and tweaking, this is a pretty relevant article to me. In my own defense, I do not use Times New Roman on my resumes. But it’s interesting to think about what all of this means. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in multiple classes going over what it means to have a good resume. Most of it involves the basics, such as the type of information you’re including and making sure it remains on one page. One of my classes focused on the creative aspect of it, what does it mean to have a creative resume? And, is there such a thing as too creative of a resume? (The answer is yes). It certainly makes sense to see why someone could see Times New Roman as a lazy selection, since it tends to be the default font choice on almost every program, but it still raises some questions.
Some people interviewed in the article sing their praises for Helvetica as the go-to font. Wow, Helvetica? How original. Not that there’s anything wrong with Helvetica, clearly since I used it as a bit of a tongue-in-cheek name for my blog, but it’s hardly worth jumping around over. They even describe it in the article as “safe.” While maybe not a default font on software, Helvetica is THE cliche font to use and I personally would rank it with Times New Roman if we’re concerned about font selection. There is nothing ground-breaking about Helvetica and to me, it’s a lazy choice to pick due to the fact that everybody seems to love using Helvetica.
Let’s say this together: using Helvetica does not make you a good designer. Can we say that a couple more times? Okay now that you’re done with that, let’s carry on.
Helvetica is a great, classic font. But why play it “safe” when applying for a job? In one of my classes we talked about how the average time spent on a resume during the first round is six seconds. The goal is to stand out, make the person notice your resume. In that instance, I would use neither Helvetica or Times New Roman. Or if you’re going to, have an emphasis on the actual design of your resume and not the fonts that you’re using.
Now the concern of type might mainly be something potential designers worry about, and for other types of fields of work this might be something they subconciously notice. It is however another look at how the superficiality of resumes continues to be a part of the process, versus the work put into building the actual content for that resume. Good design is great to include when looking into graphic design jobs, being able to be another outlet to showcase your ability to design. But substance is important as well and it’s more important to worry about what you’re doing to make you qualified than nitpicking over font choice (as long as it’s not Comic Sans).
They did also say no to using Courier for resumes, which is a bummer since that’s a majority of the accent type on my resume. I’m going to be a little risky though and keep it just the way it is.