"Using Times New Roman is the typeface equivalent of wearing sweatpants to an interview," according to a new article in Bloomberg. Things like this make steam come out of my ears. It's one of those job-hunting myths that need to die. Here are 5 of the worst.
1. Typeface matters for your résumé. OK, if you write your résumé in crayon on the back of a Denny's placemat, that's the equivalent of showing up in sweatpants. Using Times New Roman is OK. Go ahead and do it, if it's your choice. Note that the Bloomberg people interviewed "typography wonks" (their term). If you're applying for a job in typography, then sure, your typeface matters. Otherwise, here is what is important:
- The résumé is easy to read and in reverse chronological order.
- Accomplishments for each job are spelled out.
- The résumé doesn't contain inappropriate items, like race, gender, age, unrelated hobbies, and political opinions.
- The résumé has been proofread and all corrections made.
2. You need an objective at the top of your résumé. No, no you don't. These objectives are universally awful. You want a career that will help you develop your true potential, blah, blah, blah. Companies know that you're applying for this job because your objective is to get this job. Leave it off.
3. You should call the recruiter after applying. This advice often comes from parents who haven't job hunted in years. Let me tell you a secret: The recruiter and the hiring manager both know you want the job because you applied. You don't need to call and let them know you want the job. You don't need to call and see if they received your résumé. Most companies have an automated system for accepting résumés that sends out an automated response. They received it. They'll call you if they are interested. Calling to "follow up" is not showing initiative. It's just taking up time.
4. You should ask for an "informational" interview to get a job interview. While it's true that skipping over the recruiter and talking directly with a hiring manager can be helpful in getting through the HR bureaucracy, lying about why you want to meet with someone is not helpful. Informational interviews should be about information. They aren't a backdoor way into a job.
5. You should do something creative to stand out. Now, while there are success stories, the reason they hit the news is because they are not the normal way people succeed. Sending flowers to the recruiter or tap dancing during the interview is more than likely to end poorly for you. The way you stand out in the job hunt is by being the best candidate. Solid skills are far more important than the fonts on your résumé. Good hiring managers are looking for skill and fit, and the other things are irrelevant.
There is no right way to job hunt. Sometimes recruiters are going to reject you because your shoes aren't polished or your résumé is two pages instead of one. Sometimes you'll get the job because you met the right person in the grocery store. Sometimes you are the best person and you still don't get the job. But, overall, the most important thing is to be a qualified candidate.