It's like putting on sweatpants: Why job seekers should leave Times New Roman font off their CV

Jessica Morris
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The best font for job seekers is Helvetica (Source: Getty)

When it comes to choosing the right font for their CV, most job seekers opt for the safe-bet Times New Roman. Some believe it suggests an individual has desirable traits such as reliability, respectability as well as authority. For others, it's just what you do.

However, according to a series of interviews with three typography wonks by Bloomberg, it should be avoided. Rather than screaming "hire me", it actually tells prospective employers a candidate isn't really that bothered.

"It’s telegraphing that you didn’t put any thought into the typeface that you selected," said Martina Flor, a letterer and designer. "It’s like putting on sweatpants."

Other bogeymen of the typography world include Comic Sans, which Brian Hoff, creative director of Brian Hoff Design advised avoiding "unless you are applying to clown college".

And another no-go font was Courier, which experts said harked back to the days when people used typewriters.

“You don’t have a typewriter, so don’t try to pretend that you have a typewriter,” said Matt Luckhurst, the creative director at Collins, a brand consultancy.

So, if we don't want to do the equivalent of turning up to a job interview in a tracksuit, which font should we use?

All three typography experts agreed that the holy-grail for CV writing was Helvetica.

"Helvetica is so no-fuss, it doesn’t really lean in one direction or another. It feels professional, lighthearted, honest," said Hoff. "Helvetica is safe. Maybe that’s why it’s more businessy."

But if you've got the cash, and you really, really want that new job, then Proxima Nova was also recommended. Nonetheless it isn't cheap, as one style of the font costs £18.99 at, or £478.99 for the whole family.

"It has a softer feel. Helvetica can be more stiff, and Proxima Nova feels a little rounder," Hoff said. "I never met a client that didn’t like that typeface."

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