Whether you’re into design or couldn’t care less, there’s no doubting that typography occupies a sizable part of everyday life—especially when you’re on the job hunt. And while everyone knows that Comic San should be solely reserved for employed clowns and third graders learning to elevate their PowerPoint game, there is some confusion as to which font is both personal and professional. Bloomberg spoke with three typography experts to see what fonts you should use—and which you should avoid—to update your résumé.
The unanimous contender for best font is Helvetica. “Helvetica is so no-fuss, it doesn’t really lean in one direction or another. It feels professional, lighthearted, honest,” says Brian Hoff, creative director of Brian Hoff Design. “Helvetica is safe. Maybe that’s why it’s more business-y.” For Matt Luckhurst, the creative director at Collins, the love runs a bit deeper. “Helvetica is beautiful. There is only one Helvetica.” So, the general consensus is as follows: The sans serif typeface is clean, pristine, and your best bet straight off Microsoft Word.
If your C.V. is filled to the brim and seems to run a bit long, try Garamond. According to Luckhurst, “Garamond has all these quirks in it, so what that does is allow the eye to see where it should go.” As for the standard Times New Roman, well, it’s accepted, but also could signal laziness and a lack of innovation on your part. “It’s like putting on sweatpants,” says Hoff.
The worst fonts—aside from Comic Sans and Wingdings, that is—are the aggressively long and swooshed Zapfino and typewriter-like Courier.
As for emoji? Well, we can’t really tell if Luckhurst is being sarcastic when he says, “I think it’s a great idea. Put a lot of emojis on the bottom. Some chicken wings. They will love it. Maybe an emoji is your logo. Maybe you just really key in on the 100 logo, that’s your thing, you put it everywhere.” As avid emoji fans ourselves, we encourage you to “do you” with whatever means you have at your disposal—just be a little discreet, please.