I’ll admit it, I’ve always been a font freak. I swear I missed my calling as a graphic artist because I love color, logos, and elegant typeface. But I learned a hard lesson early in my career as a resume writer that not all computers are created equal when it comes to fonts. Some have Georgia, others don’t, same goes for Lucida Handwriting. What happens when you choose to use these fonts and your recipient doesn’t have them? Well, their computer substitutes something else, usually something ugly that doesn’t flow well on the page, and that means you can have extra lines flowing over to a second page. Or worse, as it was in my case, bullet points convert to smiley faces. That can be horrifying on an executive resume.

Because of that discovery six years ago, I now only use standard typeface in resumes, i.e. Times New Roman, or Arial. I know, they are boring, but every computer has them, and they are scannable because the letters don’t touch one another. This is extremely important for the electronic job search.

Today’s Roanoke Times printed a great article from Sam McManis of McClatchy Newspapers titled “What’s your Type?” It details how the font you choose for e-mails, letters, and other correspondence reveals much about your personality. Times New Roman and Arial were included as fonts to use for making a good impression in correspondence. According to research, Arial is considered “stable,” while Times New Roman is perceived as “practical.” Comic Sans is either loved or hated, Rockwell Xbold is rude, Impact is rigid, and Courier New is dull and unimaginative. You can read the whole article here and decide how you want to be perceived in your job search.

–Susan Geary, CERW / 1st Rate Resumes