font psychology

Your Resume & The Psychology of Fonts — Infographic

A recent AvidCareerist post on resume fonts shared an infographic about serif and sans serif fonts and talked about when to use which type of font on your resume. Now comes a new infographic on font psychology.

Sans Serif Font Psychology

Look at some classic choices for sans serif fonts (the second category below) and what each might imply about you to people reading your resume (see the right-hand column). Have a little fun experimenting with these.

Or look at this post, that tests fonts for resumes, where I’ve done it for you. Check which fonts scale well to the volume of information you want to share, their eye appeal, and their subliminal message.

Serif Font Psychology

In addition, check out the serif fonts, and their associations, for fonts you might choose for headings and other limited uses on your resume.

Why Does This Matter?

First, it’s fun. Next, it underscores the fact that people do have cultural and intuitive responses to fonts.

Times New Roman Font

Believe it or not, we’re still processing the change from using typewriters to living with computers and mobile devices. Back in the day (1929 to be exact), Times New Roman ruled. It continued in popularity until the wide adoption of personal computers displaced it with fonts that most people find easier to read on screens.

Thus, using Times New Roman now gives a cultural signal that you’re outdated and possibly resistant to change. In fact, you just might be oblivious and would be willing to update your on-page look with a more contemporary font.

Stick with the Conference Fonts

As long as you go with one of the “Conference” fonts shown below you should be fine for your resume. None of them carry emotional valence that might cause a reader to judge you based on your font choice. Take a look and have some fun!

The psychology of fonts

From Visually.

Image Courtesy of Mr. Cup
Updated February 2019

© 2013 – 2019, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.

Comments 9

  1. Thank you, this is great resource to consider.

    I’m glad you like it JoAnn. Thank you for commenting. Donna

  2. Donna, this is great! I regularly recommend my grad students check out your blog — you offer such pragmatic advice! Hope all’s well with you. ~Laura

    Laura! How nice to see you here. Thank you for your kind words. Miss you. XO, Donna

  3. A nice reminder of font use. With so many fonts out there it can be very easy and tempting to use the wrong fonts over and over depending on the collateral if you don’t have the right experience with fonts…. other advice is not using the same fonts over and over and over again. Get creativewith your fonts…. there are many good fonts out there that aren’t old school. I agree san serif fonts are much easier to read. The main font I can’t stand seeing is Trajon in any form. It’s a movie theater ad font and I see it all the time used everywhere. Also be weary of copprplate bc. It looks nice but is so over used for the wrong reasons. Thsts just my input… judge me if you will or thank me.
    Colin Hasson

    Thank you Colin. Donna

  4. Hi Donna, great post! I cannot make out the name of the first font for the Top 5 Modern. Would you be able to help a sister out?

  5. Thank you. A sensational infographic (never know if that is the correct singular…). I shall certainly share.
    I have done much research on which fonts to use on a CV. But after reading this, maybe one could give a client – to an extremely small degree – the option to choose?

  6. Hi Elize,

    Thank you for your kind words. I usually find that a specific font works best. Giving choice might open up some formatting challenges for you. That said, give it a try and see how it works!


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