With the increasing use of Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) by recruitment firms to scan resumes first up before being seen by a human, as well as organisations and Government departments stipulating the font style (and even font size) they want for written applications, it is good to know which fonts are popular and to keep a list of them aside. I have a few in my arsenal.
SANS SERIF fonts are the most popular font styles which are easy on the eye and make for easy reading and scanning, and are favoured by both humans and ATS. Following are a few of the font styles I use regularly; there are a lot more to choose from, I have included a very narrow and specific selection of the ones that are most preferred by those who recruit and shortlist. The highlighted font styles in bold below are a few of the ones I use on a very regular basis, and I give specific reasons in the following paragraph as to when and why I use them.
I always use ‘Arial’ for Government applications, in particular the preparation of selection criteria. You will find that the majority of their job/position/role descriptions are developed using Arial. I like to use ‘Arial Narrow’ and ‘Calibri’ for resumes especially outside of the Government sector; in the private, tertiary, and not-for-profit sectors. ‘Tahoma’ is a nice clean, sharp and dark font – I like using this font style for resumes as well, especially for clients who are male as I find this font style to be a very masculine-looking font. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not being biased here, I have also used this font style for resumes who are female clients as well! In fact, I was conducting a practical-based Job Market Skills (JMS) Session on Resume Development and Cover Letter Creation to Year 11 students at an all-girls’ private college in Brisbane last week, and several of the students asked me what my favourite fonts were. I rattled off a few including ‘Tahoma’ and as soon as they changed their documents to this font style, two of the students piped up straight away and said they loved the look of it and would be using this style as their most preferred font from now on. ‘Trebuchet MS’ I use to develop resumes in the more creative fields such as marketing, graphic design, photography, and so forth.
Several other font styles I think present well and I like using to develop resumes include:
Have fun, play around with a few of the fonts and see which one ‘pops’ and jumps out at you; this is the font style you should use for your resume and other affiliated documents. Consistency/uniformity across the board from document to document is important – use the same font style but you do have leeway in changing the font size.
I’m here to help market you!