Résumé Typesetting

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Tom Hodgins's picture
Joined: 10 Mar 2008 - 9:36pm
Résumé Typesetting

Hey all,

I'm interested in setting some résumés for family and I was wondering what fonts you've set résumés in before, and what typefaces work best for that sort of thing. I did my sister's résumé recently in Garamond, at her request.

Do you know of any great or outstandingly beautiful résumé designs that stuck with you? I'm under the impression that a résumé should be a beautiful classical design, but I'm curious to see how more contemporary typefaces can be integrated.

Thanks a million!

John Arnor G. Lom's picture
Joined: 30 Nov 2007 - 12:49pm

I always set my résumé in something like Caslon - even when applying for design-related jobs; and pay extra attention to the margins and general layout of the page.

This isn’t the place for you to shine as a designer or typographer, this is the place to try and convey the information with as little distractions as possible. (If you're setting a designer’s résumé, you have the portfolio that can take care of that other bit.) Go for too much color, too much ornamental bits or too creative typefaces; and it looks like you're trying to take the attention off of the content.

Make it instantly scannable and readable, and let it be up to the content to grab the attention, not the typeface.

Jackie Frant's picture
Joined: 24 Feb 2005 - 9:18am

I use to typeset resumés for many designers in New York City during the 1980s and 1990s. One thing that was always asked for was a simple, easy-to-read format. We'd use a display type or even logo for the person's name --and then a clean cut serif font.

I was always asked to make the resumé fit on one side only. No matter how much experience the person had. There were many different theories but this made sense. The resumé would be the first thing looked at by someone who doesn't know you and is being bombarded with everyone's resumé for the same job. The designers I dealt with believed their portfolios would speak up and be different enough to make them stand out - but that first piece of paper to introduce them was extremely important. It was the ticket in.

When it comes to creative resumés there are several great examples. Dewine's Bogart-look-a-like resume -- Would you hire this Art Director? Another well known one I think may have been a Chas. creation -- of a fold paper -- that when opened (all folds lead to the center - sort of looked like a camera lense) confetti popped out of it. Sure made an impression, but didn't want to be the person who cleaned up the confetti!

I think there may be a thread already on typophile on this topic where many ideas were brought forth.