Your Resume Font: Where to Go Bold

Resume font choices can be confusing. First, you have to decide on the best font(s) for your resume (more here).  Then you have to decide where to use normal font and where to use bold font. 

Resume Font: Where to Go Bold

Because bold font draws your readers’ eyes, it’s helpful to use it to guide them to the information that’s most important to them.

Check out this research study, or the following video (H/T Phyllis Mufson), to see how readers scan resumes.

Now that you know what your readers are looking for, be sure to use bold font on the following elements of your resume:

  1. Your name.
  2. Section headings.
  3. Job titles.
  4. Employment dates.
  5. Employer names.
  6. Employer locations.
  7. Your name on second-page headers.
  8. Degrees.

If you want to see how easy this makes your resume to scan, check out these executive resumes.

Resume Font: Where Not to Go Bold

Candidates often use bold font inside the narrative descriptions of their jobs and accomplishments. This makes me:

  1. Wonder if the applicant thinks I’m so dumb they have to point me to the super important information in the narrative text of their resume.
  2. Look at snippets of information that don’t mean much because they’re out of context.
  3. Assume that all of the other information on the resume is unimportant – otherwise, it would be bolded too!

Then I go back to wondering if the applicant thinks I’m dumb.


Resumes amaze me. They contain so much explicit and subtle, subliminal information.

Always think about what the reader wants and how your resume might make them feel. Then give them a good experience.


I write executive resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Save time. Look good. Get hired.
Click here to learn more about my executive resume writing service or here to email me. 


Image: Fotolia/pressmaster
Updated October 2018

© 2015 – 2018, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.

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Comments 10

  1. So good.

    I’ve been reading through several resumes lately and this point alone can make a huge difference in which ones stood out and which ones failed.

    Great tips. I hope others start following.



  2. Definitely agree…a little well-placed bolding can make a world of difference, and too much can make a disaster of an otherwise good resume

  3. You’re right, you just end up reading the bold if it’s in the CV body. However, you don’t seem to on the web. Is that becasue employers are looking for ways to exclude people not trying to find ways to include people?

  4. THIS was an awesome, concise exercise in Resume building. I do use some bold in my cover letters, very minimal but enough that the specific thing I want noticed, seems to get noticed.


  5. Good thoughts in general. People in the arts can be quite different. I teach a graphic design portfolio class at a local college that recently hosted a job fair. Many of my senior level students went to the fair. One student in particular said the company representative commended her on the well designed (not just typed) resume. It stood out. Again, good advice for submitting a resume online but in person or at a job fair, a sophisticated (meaning a stand out) resume will get you noticed where a generic, homogenous one will get lost in the shuffle. It’s difficult to follow the rules and think outside of the box at the same time.

  6. Design is its own vertical when it comes to job search matters — particularly the presentation of self. I appreciate the insights you contribute so much David.

    BTW, design is one of my dream careers in another life.

  7. I don’t know Richard. I’m always looking for people to include when I’m recruiting.


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