Finding Your Professional Identity In Fonts

Jay Haywood

When transitioning from the academic to professional worlds, several decisions are made to ensure getting a job. Accomplishments, work experience, and internships are all compiled into résumés and adjusted to fit the potential job. However, a résumé should not just be a reflection of a person’s work history. The document should also reflect the identity of the person submitting it. Otherwise, the résumé will blend in with a stack of résumés of people with similar education and work experience.

Reflecting academia, Times New Roman is an industry standard of type faces. In terms of fonts, it is clean, concise, and professional. It is easy to read when formatted smaller and leads the eye easily when going through a document with lots of information on it. However, Times New Roman is also everywhere, which means that it can also be perceived as bland, unthoughtful, and lazy.

Some people assume that they are expected to create their résumé in Times New Roman, partly because they wrote with the font for their entire college career. There are great alternatives to the font that will help identify with the applicant as an individual while still looking professional.



If you are looking to change your style but still want to stick close to traditional fonts, consider a font called Calisto MT, found within Microsoft Word. Stylistically it seems similar to Times New Roman, as it contains serifs, and is easy to read at a small typeface. However, the weight, or thickness, of Calisto MT is slightly heavier than Times New Roman, creating a layer of depth that would not be present.

If you are looking to branch out even more, consider a sans-serif font. Sans-serif fonts are considered clean and modern, and can definitely help a résumé stand out. I found a font called Lato on Google Fonts, a font service provided for free through Google, that is an excellent choice. When compared to Times New Roman, Lato seems sleek and contemporary.

While both of these fonts are great examples, they may not represent you, and that’s fine! Browse the web to find a font that reflects you both personally and professionally.



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