Best Fonts for Resumes

Best Font for Resume

June 10th, 2020

Most recruiters take about 7 seconds to scan over a resume, so font type and size are important considerations for readability and professional appearance. Whichever font style you choose, it should be easy on the eyes and have enough white space to read well on desktop and mobile screens, and in print.

Why Is Font Important?

Your resume is used to present your skills and qualifications for a job opening that you want to get, so it needs to project an air of professionalism. You do not want a recruiter to be put off from reading your resume because they would need to spend an hour deciphering it.

There are 5 types of fonts that each have their own characteristics, but the best and most legible types for resume use are:

  • Serif (with small lines at the end of each stroke of a letter).
  • Sans serif (without those small lines).

Serif fonts may be easier to read, as the little lines help the brain to compute what it is reading a little faster, but sans serif fonts are more modern which suits today's more minimalist, limited-character-driven style.

While you do want your font to be easily read, you should still have your resume stand out in some way. The most common font style for resumes is Times New Roman, 12 point. However, it can get quite boring for recruiters to see the same style all the time. So, instead of just using the default font on your laptop or PC, here are some alternative fonts that look great on resumes.

Best Resume Fonts:

Our Rank

Font

Category and Classification

Description

1.

Calibri

Sans Serif; Humanist

Calibri replaced Times New Roman as MS Word's default. It is gentle, soft, modern, and universally readable. Because of its soft design, Calibri is great for jobs where people take care of others, like teaching, nursing, or hospitality.

2.

Cambria

Serif; Open Type Math

A default font, Cambria is familiar and dependable and works well on screen or in print. It is often considered to be a more traditional choice for resumes and makes it easier to read smaller text sizes. Cambria is great for traditional fields like law, academia, banking, or accounting.

3.

Garamond

Serif; Old-Style

A graceful, old-style font that suits artistic people and ad managers but also works well for academic resumes and people who have a lot of work experience.

4.

Helvetica

Sans Serif; Neo-Grotesque

Helvetica is a clean and modern font that is popular among designers, topographers, and advertising agents. It also works well for people in more modern positions, like sales, office work, or customer service.

5.

Georgia

Serif; Transitional

Georgia is a traditional font that has a high readability, as it was designed to be read online and is available on any computer. Georgia is great for creative fields like graphic design, publishing, or photography.

6.

Arial

Sans Serif; Neo-Grotesque

Arial is a classic font and is a safe bet as the lines are clean and very easy to read. It is a very common font though, so may be a bit boring for your recruiter to read.

7.

Book Antiqua

Serif; Old-Style

Book Antiqua is a gentle and distinctive font that is easy to read and readily available on Microsoft. It's a great choice for arts and humanities professions.

8.

Trebuchet MS

Sans Serif; Humanist

A rounded, friendly font, Trebuchet is a little more textured and modern than other fonts and is well-suited to creative, social media roles or marketing and sales professions. It is also great for entry-level applicants.

9.

Didot

Serif; Modern

Didot is one of the more creative fonts that is still professional enough for resumes. It is a delicate, sophisticated, and distinctive font perfect for creative professions, most commonly in fashion. However, it displays better at larger sizes so is best suited to resume headers only.

10.

Times New Roman

Serif; Transitional

A classic, formal font, Times New Roman is a default font that works best for legal and corporate professions.

11.

Verdana

Sans Serif; Modern Humanist

Verdana is clean, modern, and easy to read in small print on screens as it has slightly wider than normal spacing. This makes it a great choice for people who need to squeeze a lot of information into their resumes.

12.

Avenir

Sans Serif; Geometric

Avenir is a geometric font that is popular among designers and is just neutral enough to be easy to read while still making a stylistic impact.

Additional Font Tips:

Font Size:

The best font size for the body of your resume is between 10 and 12pt, depending on your resume's layout and the font type. Since it's best to keep your resume to 1 or 2 pages, if possible, start with 10pt and work your way up from there if you have space.

Even if your resume is longer than 2 pages, don't use anything less than 10pt, as smaller fonts will be difficult for recruiters to read. Instead, try to crop your resume and make it more concise. Also remember that some fonts work better at certain sizes.

You can add style to your resume by changing the font size of your headings and subtitles. Most word processors come with different heading versions of the font, such as h1, h2, h3, etc. Using these for headers will ensure you get the right size differences and are consistent throughout the document.

Italics vs. Bold:

You can also add style to your resume by using Microsoft's default headings, which are in bold. Italics can be useful for supporting text if you don't want to use a smaller font. However, you need to remember to be consistent with this style and also to not use bold or italics too much. You need your resume to remain professional.

Font Colors:

Using a pop of color for your headings and subtitles can really make your resume stand out, but this should be kept to just a few areas, such as:

  • Your name.
  • Section headers.
  • Bars or charts.
  • Any vertical or horizontal lines.

Only choose one color and stick with it for the areas you want to highlight as using multiple colors will just distract and confuse the recruiter. Also, be wary of using lightly colored or thin fonts, which can also be difficult to read. Stick with black instead of grey or another color in the body of your resume.

Pairing Fonts:

Another way to help your headings and subtitles to stand out from the body of your resume is to pair two different fonts that agree with each other. You can choose fonts with contrasting typefaces, standard script with cursive script, or serif with sans-serif, but the two fonts should look good together.

Fonts for ATS Resumes:

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) work by scanning resumes and parsing (or pulling out) information. ATS systems are not perfect, and they will miss information if the resume formatting isn't to the system's specifications. Certain fonts just don't parse well with an ATS, but the ones that do are:

  • Arial.
  • Times New Roman.
  • Cambria.
  • Garamond.
  • Georgia.
  • Book Antiqua (or Palatino).
  • Calibri.
  • Helvetica.
  • Tahoma.
  • Verdana.

Using a font that doesn't parse well with an ATS system will result in the ATS converting important information from your resume into tofu, those little blank boxes that replace numbers, letters, and other characters. Simple fonts, especially Arial and Times New Roman, work best for ATS resumes.

Takeaway:

No matter what font style or size you choose, the most important thing for your resume is to ensure that it is clean, neat, and highly readable. Make sure your font is clear and sized between 10 and 12pts with larger headings.

FAQs:

What is the best font to use for a resume?

  • Calibri.
  • Cambria.
  • Garamond.
  • Helvetica.
  • Georgia.
  • Arial.
  • Book Antiqua.
  • Trebuchet MS.

What font should a resume be in in 2020?

  • Calibri.
  • Helvetica.
  • Arial.
  • Trebuchet MS.
  • Verdana.
  • Avenir.

Is 10pt font too small for a resume?

No, especially if you have a lot of information that you need to put on your resume. However, a slightly larger font size is always better as it will be easier to read and cause less eye strain for the recruiter.

Does font matter on a resume?

Yes. Font matters because most recruiters take about 7 seconds to scan over a resume, so it must be clean, neat, and highly readable. The font you select will also portray your character to a limited extent and you will want to present a professional appearance.

What font is most pleasing to the eye?

Sans serif fonts are attractive as they are clean, neat, and modern.

What is the most professional font?

  • Calibri.
  • Cambria.
  • Garamond.
  • Helvetica.
  • Georgia.
  • Arial.
  • Book Antiqua.
  • Trebuchet MS.

What size font should my name be on a resume?

As you want your name to really stand out in the header of your resume, a good trick is to double the size of the font you are using in the body of your resume. So, if your resume is written in 12pt, your name can be in 24pt.

What is the easiest font to read?

Serif fonts are easier to read, as the little lines help the brain to compute what it is reading a little faster.

How do I choose a font?

  • Decide whether you want to use a serif or sans serif font.
  • Avoid fonts that are thin or light.
  • Choose a font style that best complements your profession.
  • Stick to simple, clean fonts that can be more easily read by applicant tracking systems.

What are the best fonts for ATS resumes?

  • Arial.
  • Times New Roman.
  • Cambria.
  • Garamond.
  • Georgia.
  • Book Antiqua (or Palatino).
  • Calibri.
  • Helvetica.
  • Tahoma.
  • Verdana.