I just came across a good explanation from UrbanFonts on how to choose serif versus non serif fonts. And I thought, “Oh my, this is SO applicable to resumes.” I did. Really. Hence this blog post. Plus I love it when I think, “Oh my.” It makes me feel so ladylike.
If you’re wondering what a serif is, hold on, it’s explained in the infographic below.
Resumes tend to be presented in either Times New Roman (serif) or Arial (non serif) fonts — or a blend. One school of thought says that Times New Roman is an old fashioned font that makes you look outdated. That school thinks that Arial is a more contemporary font that makes you look up to date. Another school of thought says that Times New Roman is easier to read than Arial and that matters more than anything else.
UrbanFonts makes a pretty compelling argument for using a serif font like Times New Roman for hard copy documents and a sans serif font like Arial for documents that will be read online. It’s likely that your resume will be read online, thus it makes sense to go primarily with a sans serif font. I prefer Calibri, Gill Sans, or Helvetica to the over-used Arial. You can see comparisons of how each of these fonts renders in a resume here.
Check out this infographic for a quick primer on font choices: