Sometimes it’s the littlest things that make all the difference. Take what font you choose for your resume for example.
You may be thinking – what’s the big deal? It’s only a font after all and it can be changed in a few seconds.
But think again.
What does your font say about you and how you’d fit into the organisation that you are applying for?
Times New Roman: what does it convey to you? To me, it conveys a sense of conservativism, following the status quo, obeying rules and conventions. This font choice could be great if you are applying for a large hierarchical, risk-averse type organisation – for example certain government agencies or the military.
Comic Sans: what does it convey to you? To me, it conveys a childlike quality, playfulness and light-heartedness. This font could be perfect if you are looking to work with children or as an entertaining performance artist for example.
Arial: what does it convey to you? To me, it conveys a modern, professional, highly capable feel – and could be ideal if you are applying for a corporate role in a bank or large consulting company for example.
These are just a few examples, and the list is potentially endless…
So what is your choice of font saying about you – your personality, your skill set, your career trajectory?
Think about how the font should be different if you are applying for a job in a new start-up versus an established business? Or a male-dominated versus a female-dominated industry? or a customer-facing versus a non-customer facing role?
And to expand this out even further, what is your font colour and size saying about you? Colourful or minimalist? Bold or understated? Innovative or traditional?
There is absolutely no right or wrong about which font, size or colours to use – just as there is no right or wrong about what skills you bring to the table. But what IS important is consciously choosing fonts and colours in alignment with the skills and experience you’re highlighting in your resume.
Because the most powerful and effective resumes are those that have every element in alignment with your strengths, skills and unique selling points. This includes the structure, the font, the colour scheme, the length, the references – as well as the experience that you list and the education/ training that you include.
So always remember the power of the font!