From education to employment

Why your font matters when applying for a job

When applying for a job, first impressions are vital – especially when sending an email to a potential employer. The recruiter can’t see your face or hear your voice, so all they have to work with is the content of your email. Nailing your grammar, formatting and tone is more important than ever to give yourself the best introduction possible, but did you know the font you use can say a lot about your personality too? 

Amber Penrose, Divisional Director at Irving Knight Recruitment Company, reiterates the importance of making a good first impression when applying for a new role: “It’s vital that you set the tone when emailing a potential employer-  you often won’t get a second chance!

“It should go without saying, but ensure that your grammar is perfect. Nothing will ruin the first impression like spelling mistakes in your email. Make sure that your formatting and even your font choice are perfect to ensure that you’re putting the best foot forward.”

Alex Econs, CEO of London printing company, ICON Printing explains: “Most people don’t realise the effect their font choice can have on others’ perception of them, especially in the workplace. The font you choose is an extension of your personality, and each one has its own mood, attitude, and tone. Whether it’s a traditional Times New Roman or a futurist Roboto, it’s important that you choose a font that conveys your best traits.”

If you want to know what your go-to font might say about your personality or if you’re looking to freshen up your formatting. Alex has suggested 4 simple swaps guaranteed to make an impression…

Times News Roman – Lato

Serif fonts (the ones with the ‘feet’ at the edges of letters) have been used throughout history to convey tradition and reliability to readers. Times New Roman continues to be one of the most popular fonts today thanks to its place as the default font on Microsoft word. 

Alex says: “Times New Roman has a formal appeal due to its history as the font of choice for broadsheet papers and it and continues to be a popular font in the workplace. By choosing this font, you’re showing that you value tradition and clarity in your work above all else. 

“But be careful, the font has a rigidity that can convey an unwillingness to change, not a good professional look. If you want to keep the sleek, traditional style of Times New Roman without seeming overly stiff,  Lato’s modern update on the classic font could be the  perfect choice for you.”

Arial – Helvetica

Both loved and hated for its simplistic and neat design, Arial continues to be one of the most popular fonts in the world, with an eye-watering 53% of Brits using it.

Alex says: “As the default font for many online platforms including Google Docs and its use across Microsoft apps, Arial’s cheerful appearance and clean lines make it a mainstay of font choice.

“Always be careful when choosing a generic font, it can make you appear lazy and unwilling to put effort into your work. If you want to keep the tidiness of Arial, Helvetica could be a good alternative- it has a similar style but doesn’t come with the same baggage as Arial.”

Comic Sans – Baskerville 

Based on the font that appeared in comic books, Comic Sans has become a joke for bad font choices thanks to the inopportune use of the cheery font in serious circumstances. Comic Sans’ curvy lettering makes it perfect for standing out, but often for the wrong reasons. 

Alex adds: “Choosing a dated font like the Comic Sans can instantly put people off – whether you’re in the know about its uncool reputation or you’re blissfully oblivious, both of these can have an impact on how people view you. 

“If you want to make a splash with your font choice, Baskerville is a great alternative that can make a statement without sullying your style!”

Roboto – Futura Light

Roboto’s sleek skeletal design and easy readability make it the go-to font for many websites. In fact, it’s the most popular font on the internet

Alex says: “You’ve no doubt been on hundreds of sites that use the Roboto typeface, and whilst it is a classic, people using the font can appear stilted and unwilling to change. And while choosing a font that uses the sans-serif style (the ones without the “feet”)  shows that you’re a modern thinker, but it can make you seem fickle and short-sighted. 

“If you pride yourself on your artistic merit or creativity,  Futura is a sans-serif font that can allow you to add an element of style without completely moving away from Roboto.”

To find out more about what your font type says about you, please visit Icon Printing.

Media contacts 

Alan Murphy: [email protected]

Amelia Evans: [email protected]

About ICON

ICON Printing offers fast turnaround printing on a range of garments, with clients ranging from WeWork to Boiler Room and the Tate. Get a quote in 2 minutes online.


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