8 Best Resume Fonts: How To Choose Type and Style
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 17 December 2022
Published 26 May 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
While fonts may seem like a minor consideration when formatting your resume, they can make a significant difference in transforming the look and feel of your writing. The best fonts for resumes can show your personality and enhance the readability of your skills and work experience. Understanding how to combine fonts to highlight specific sections can make your resume more memorable too. If you are applying for a job in the creative field, it's especially important to take care when choosing the fonts in your resume.
In this article, we discuss the eight best fonts for a resume, how to select the most appropriate font and tips for formatting your resume.
Related: Resume Format Guide (with Examples)
8 best fonts for a resume
Here's a list of the eight best fonts for your resume:
Having replaced Times New Roman as Microsoft Word's default font, Calibri is a safe sans-serif option for your resume. Its smooth lines make your writing seem inviting. Professional writers use it regularly because it's available in most word processing software.
Cambria is a serif font that developers have designed to work well for on-screen reading and small printed text. Since recruiters receive your resume via email, it's a good font choice that is both comfortable to read and a little on the stylistic side.
If you are looking for a more traditional font that adds a hint of character to your resume, Garamond will be a suitable match. The font makes your resume seem more personal and relatable.
Didot is a common font in creative industries like fashion and photography. It's distinctive while still feeling classical. The sophisticated font is a great choice for larger text, such as headers on your resume.
If you want a fresh alternative to Times New Roman, consider switching to Georgia for a similar yet more modern look. It's suitable for resumes because it's available on most computers and easy to read on screens too.
For a clean, modern sans-serif font, consider Helvetica. It's a favourite among designers and typographers because it appears professional, light-hearted and honest. While it's not available on PCs by default, you can download it for free online. Helvetica is the chosen font of many brand names and you use it as the font for your name on your resume too.
Arial is the safest option for a professional font. However, because it's so saturated in most business documents, recruiters might find Arial too conventional. Some recruiters, especially in the marketing industry, would like to see you use more thought and creativity in your font choice.
8. Book Antiqua
Book Antiqua is a font with a gentle yet distinctive style. It's not always the most obvious choice for a resume, but its crisp style ensures your text is easy to read for recruiters. The typeface is readily available on PC operating systems too.
How to choose the best font for your resume
The font you choose for your resume should bring out your personality while still appearing readable. Research shows that recruiters spend six seconds on average deciding whether to read your resume. That's why the appearance, especially the font you select, can make a powerful impression on your recruiter.
Some hiring departments use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to sort through large volumes of applications. They are often limited when interpreting intricate fonts, making it even more essential to pay attention to font options. Here are some factors to consider when deciding on the font for your resume:
1. Select an appropriate size
The first step to making your font more legible is selecting the right size. Most business documents use size 10 or 12-point font. It's small enough to not be distracting to the reader while being big enough so that it's easy on the eyes. The size of your font also shows professionalism. Following resume etiquette closely will encourage your recruiter to take your job application seriously.
2. Use colour sparingly
Black is the standard font colour for resumes and all business documents alike. It not only communicates formality but it also saves you from spending too much time testing out colours. While you may want to use different colours to highlight different sections in your resume, it's best to use black as your main text colour and limit your resume to no more than two accent colours.
The colour you select might also depend on the industry you are applying to. Typically, creative professions have more flexibility. If you are a designer or artist, you want to make your style and talent stand out on your resume.
3. Avoid 'thin' and ' light' fonts
As the goal of picking a font should be its readability, you want to avoid 'thin' or 'light' fonts as these can sometimes be difficult to read on a screen. Your recruiter might find them strenuous to read; and therefore, may not take the time to process all your information. When printing out a document with this style of typeface, their print quality tends to be low and the ink often blends in with the page.
4. Stay away from stylistic elements
Handwritten fonts with long tails and stylistic elements can make your resume appear too crowded. It's best to avoid these fonts unless you are applying for a role that requires you to work with typography. These fonts also show a disregard for formality in the workplace; therefore, stick to crisp fonts that make you appear strong and capable.
5. Use fonts to highlight different sections
Combine different fonts to highlight different sections in your resume. For example, for headers, you can use a more stylistic font like Helvetica and use a simple font like Calibri for your main body text. This will help your recruiter navigate your resume quickly and efficiently. They will also appreciate your effort to make their work less time-consuming.
However, remember to use no more than three different typefaces in your entire resume. Adhering to this guideline will ensure your resume looks focused and engaging.
6. Choose an easy-to-read font
If you choose a font aside from the ones listed above, make sure it's professional and easy-to-read. There are two types of categories fonts fall into, serif and sans-serif. These mean with and without intricacies like 'tails'. When in doubt, a serif font is your most reliable option. As a general rule, remember that the more legible your font choice, the more likely your recruiter will read your resume in detail.
Tips for formatting your resume
You should pay attention to your resume format so that it follows a consistent style from start to finish. This not only makes your resume more readable but also shows recruiters your attention to detail and presentation skills. Here are a few tips to consider when formatting your resume:
Keep your resume concise
While typing out your resume, you might feel tempted to use a smaller size font or a narrower typeface to fit your words into one to two pages. To keep your resume concise, it's best to edit your work, choosing only the most important and impressive points for each piece of work experience. Following the standard formatting rules is the most effective way to produce a legible resume. Being able to present your resume clearly will help you progress in the recruitment process.
Add style to your resume
Choosing different font styles, such as bolding, italicizing and underlining, can help recruiters process the information on your resume more efficiently. These techniques help highlight important points and separate sections from each other. However, remember to keep your formatting style consistent so that your resume flows naturally. Here's an example work experience section to show how formatting can impact the appearance of your resume:
COMPANY ABC | Software Engineer
Jan 2018 - Aug 2020
Monitored computer systems to diagnose problems and ensure reliability
Planned and coordinated hackathons to motivate team members and promote novel ways of thinking
Implemented emergency protocols that saw system failures decrease by close to 20%
Ask for feedback
Before you submit your resume, get a close friend, relative or co-worker to proofread your resume. They will help you identify not only spelling and grammatical errors but also stylistic inconsistencies.
It's important to get a fresh perspective about your resume because it gives you an idea about how a new reader, such as a recruiter, will perceive your work. They will also catch errors that you might have missed. Use their observations to improve the format of your resume. Listen to their feedback on fonts and make the necessary changes. An error-free resume demonstrates that you can produce quality work.
The model shown is for illustration purposes only, and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.
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