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Avenir, or Minimalust. Easy enough, right?
Reading this snippet in an email, it seems reasonable and helpful. On a particularly bad day, the advice might even sound inspired. Changing your font could make your whole resume look different, it could help you get the recognition and results you need to get an interview, right?
You know the old saying, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. And if you tried this helpful tip like I did, you probably got frustrated quickly and began asking about the Return on your (Time) Investment (Was it really only 45 seconds?).
Out of the three recommended fonts, Helvetica is the only standard option; and truthfully, it’s no more new and fresh than Times New Roman—the only difference is that Helvetica is a sans serif font, which is more readable than a serif font like TNR. Furthermore, the majority of companies use online applicant tracking systems than scan resumes for skills. When your resume is uploaded, if your font isn’t one of the “recognized” options, it may be automatically converted to one of the preloaded, standard fonts (There goes your 45 seconds).
But is it really only 45 seconds?
If you are planning to land a job in web design or graphic design, you may be familiar with the other fonts. If you aren’t, I’m here to assure you they are fonts rather than the names of Ikea furniture. Avenir is a font family used for web design that you need to download, and Minimalust required two different searches to locate because it is a specific typeface used in Graphic Design. Suddenly, this 45 second helpful tip turned into a 30-minute frustration activity titled “How do I convert my resume to this?” There are better ways to spend your time.
Content is King.
Here is the real truth: your content is key. If you have the right content, most recruiters could care less about your font because they have way too many applicants to review and probably have no idea what font it is anyway (UNLESS you are in an artistic industry like marketing, graphic design, or web design where you need to design materials as the artist that you are).
Recruiters want to see a targeted, proofread, and consistently formatted resume. And believe it or not, there are still industries that prefer Times New Roman. Examples include, executive leadership positions, financial industry, and conventional companies, where tradition reigns supreme.
Free Your Resume (and Yourself).
The Takeaway: DO NOT CHANGE YOUR FONT unless you are doing so to make it consistent.
This Independence Day, free yourself from easy fixes. Revolutionary resumes aren’t created with a “select all” and a font switch. Do the work; get the job.
Say "no" to easy fixes.