Why You Should Never Use Times New Roman On Your Resume

Why You Should Never Use Times New Roman On Your Resume
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We recently noted that Helvetica is a sensible font choice for your resume. Now here’s a font you definitely shouldn’t use: Times New Roman.

Romans picture from Shutterstock

As POPSUGAR Living points out in a post quoting from Bloomberg, choosing Times New Roman — often the default font in Word — is a lazy choice. “”It’s telegraphing that you didn’t put any thought into the typeface that you selected,” creative director Brian Hoff said. “It’s like putting on trackpants.”

Hoff favours Helvetica (as we noted in our previous post), but that doesn’t mean it’s the only option. We’d suggest sans serif, but not, obviously, Comic Sans. And don’t choose a highly obscure font for a resume in Word format, since it won’t necessarily render well on other machines.

Using Times New Roman on Your Resume Is Like Wearing Trackpants to an Interview [POPSUGAR Living]


  • I definitely wouldn’t hire anyone that would waste time actually putting thought into what typeface they used past “which one is the default.”

    • That’s your prerogative. I would think less of an applicant for using Times. 9 times out of 10 it is indicative of a lack of computer skills.

      • HELVETICA? Why slam someone for using Times-New Roman, and then give the green light to Helvetica? In terms of “generic” fonts, they’re opposite sides of the coin — a basic serif vs. a basic san serif.

        Time News Roman seems fine for body copy and large blocks of text. At some point, legibility is more important than the “wow” factor. Save the imaginative fonts for the headlines.

        • You are arguing a different point.

          I am arguing that people choose Times-New-Roman because they couldn’t change the default font (now Calibri). This is an indicator of poor computer skills, likely to be confirmed in the application.

  • Well my version of MS Word (2013) has neither Helvetica or Sans Serif as an available choice, so I have settled with Calibri as it is now the MS Word default so most people viewing my resume will be able to render it correctly.

    • Actually, Sans Serif refers to a category of typeface that doesn’t have any of those little lines or ticks (called serifs) at the ends of its characters. Sans Serif fonts are generally easier to read, which can be considered as a plus for most long documents.
      Calibri is classified as sans serif, so it’s an appropriate choice.

        • Ahaha, can’t say I disagree with you there. I guess it would have been worth saying that typefaces aren’t necessarily all that clear cut either, and case by case decision making is still required 😛

  • Since most people placing job ads these days can’t even spell, I’d be more than faintly surprised if they noticed a typeface. That’d be like asking them to notice their hastily repurposed email sig actually links to another person.

    • If I want you to do Graphic Design I still don’t care what font you choose on the resume I’m going to judge you on your graphic portfolio.

  • If your resume is to be delivered digitally, use a sans serif font. Serif fonts such as Times New Roman just don’t work well on screens: the fiddly bits get lost randomly depending on the size it’s being viewed at.
    If your resume is printed, use whatever you want! Times New Roman is still perfectly fine, just old fashioned.

  • Personally all that matters is the size of the brown envelope that accompanies said resume……papa gotta eat too you know…….

  • 1, Calibri has been the default for quite a while so awesome article for 2006 bro!
    2, About 1% of people would even notice your font choice and they are clearly people who are mental anyway. Most employers/recruiters are trying to rip through resumes as fast as they possibly can so they can go back to pretending to work.

  • I’ve been told this a hundred times, don’t use TNR or Arial, but every job I’ve ever gotten has been with an easy to read resume.

    When I had to sort through a pile of resumes, I simply threw away any that where hard to read. I even remember getting a call transferred to me from somebody who wanted to follow up. And man where they upset that of the 20 Resumes I was passing forward theirs was not in it. And that my answer was the font or layout annoyed me so I went with the easier to read ones.

  • Firstly, I doubt there are many hirers who spend any time thinking about the typeface in a resume. If they are, they’re probably hiring for a job where any applicants would need to care about the typeface in their resume.

    Secondly, the chances of your resume reaching the hiring manager without being visually mangled through some recruiters or HR drones resume compilation tool is slim.

  • Sans Serif fonts are generally easier to read
    Only on screen. Serifs were designed for a reason: they give shape to the words (and we read by words’ shapes) and they lead the eye along the line of text. The reason sans serif is easier to read on screen is that the serifs generally translate poorly to being rendered in pixels, making the result “muddy” as some serifs will be rendered as a pixel while others will simply disappear.

    In general, this snippet is very misleading. Most people who are reading the resumes wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between Times New Roman and Palatino or any other fount. All they’re interested in is the information you put in your resume. Quoting an art director is meaningless, as he’d be more interested in the typeface than almost any other professional.

  • Popsugar? No wonder they think TNR is the default.

    If you’re going to run cross-promotions of your sites, please make them a little less stupid.

  • LifeHacker linked to the original Bloomberg article on 1 May with the headline Why You May Want To Consider Using Helvetica Typeface For Your Resume. Fair enough. Now, via POPSUGAR it has become Why You Should Never Use Times New Roman On Your Resume.

    Hang on…

    Bloomberg spoke to three typography professionals (graphic designers to us plebs) who charge their clients lots of money to care about stuff like typefaces.

    One, Hoff (alas, not The Hoff) is creative director of his own design studio. His metaphor of using Times New Roman to wearing trackpants to an interview might well be true in GraphicDesignLand, but for pretty much every other profession Times New Roman is a perfectly valid choice for a resume.

    Most importantly, it comes with all versions of Windows and OS X so at least you know the recipient won’t have any problem opening your resume.

    Hoff favours Helvetica … And don’t choose a highly obscure font for a resume in Word format…
    To a PC running Windows – as used by most of the population outside GraphicDesignLand – Helvetica is an obscure font and will probably be rendered using Arial or Calibri anyway.

    If a recruiter requests a Word copy of your resume they’re probably going to copy the relevant info into a separate document anyway. By the time it is looked at by prospective employers it may not look anything like the document you sent them.

    “Don’t use Comic Sans” is sound advice for a professional resume. “Never Use Times New Roman” is not – unless demonstrating your artistic ability is a key requirement of your desired profession.

  • Tahoma or Arial for me. Actually Arial 10 is my default go-to choice each and every time, its clean and its at the top of the alphabetised font list. Otherwise Tahoma when I remember and want to go a little on the wild side 😛

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