Tips You Can Use To Leverage Formatting & Make Your Resume Font Pop
In addition to choosing a font, you can also use various formatting styles to make certain areas of your resume stand out.
Tip #1: The first rule of resume formatting is to use any special styles, like bold or italics, sparingly. You dont want your reader to feel overwhelmed by mixed styles or too many italics sections on a page. Be selective about any special characters. White space is your resumes best friend, and will allow your reader to scan the documents quickly, cherry-picking the most important parts with ease.
Tip #2: The next rule of using bold and italics on your resume are to do so consistently. It might seem like an obvious rule, but its also often broken. If you bold your previous job titles and use italics for subtitles, for example, do so for every previous job you list, even if theyre different in some way. Establish a pattern with your style choices right away, and your reader will follow your lead.
Tip #3: You can use bold in your resume to highlight specific key aspects of your background that are relevant to a given job, or to set apart particular sections for optimal scan-ability. For example, you could use bold to highlight special skills you used that are specifically mentioned in the job description. Or, you could use bold, along with a slightly larger font size, for headings.
What Kinds Of Fonts Should You Stay Away From
Now that you have a sense of the classic fonts and basic considerations, you should also know there are a few things you should avoid:
- Heavily stylized fonts: Although pretty and design-oriented, stay away from heavily stylized fonts like modern cursive fonts, since ATSs cant read them, Yurovsky says, and humans might have trouble, too.
- Narrow, condensed, or light fonts or versions of fonts: These fonts can be harder on human eyes, especially when youre reading on a screen.
- Non-standard, downloaded, or custom fonts: Fonts that arent standard to most operating systems may be converted inaccurately by an ATS, says Muse career coach Tina Wascovich.
- Gimmick fonts: Your resume is a professional document, so your font choice should also be professional. Stay away from fonts like Comic Sans, Papyrus, and, of course, Wingdings.
Serif And Sans Serif Font Styles
Every font belongs to a family of fonts – the 2 main being serif font and sans serif font.
Serif fonts have little “tails” or lines, called serifs, at the end of each stroke in a letter. Sans serif fonts do not have these little decorative tails and are made up of clean, simple lines that are the same throughout.
Serif fonts are more traditional and help convey a formal and serious message. Some consider these fonts as being easier to read as the little tails on each letter can help you to compute what you’re reading a little bit faster.
Sans serif fonts are considered more modern and contemporary-looking, providing your resume with a fresher look. They are generally less formal than serif fonts and provide a minimal and simplistic look.
The 10 best fonts for resumes fall into both serif and sans serif categories. When selecting the right resume font the main criteria are legibility and accessibility.
The reader experience is all important – your resume should be easy to read to survive the seven-second scan. Further considerations when selecting the best font for resume are :
- whether your resume is going to be read in a print version, on a computer screen or on a mobile device – certain fonts read better on different devices or in print.
- the industry you are in and the type of job you are applying for – different professions may be best reflected by different resume fonts.
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Add Style To Your Resume Font
You can also add personality or definition by selecting font styles for your name and section headers, including bolding, underlining and italicizing. While your entire resume should only be one font, you can stylize or increase the size of your name and important sections like Education or Professional Experience. Be consistent with stylization, and only select one or two to ensure your resume appears professional and easy to read.
Heres an example:
Conscientious Counselor with 3+ years of experience staying attentive to the needs of children, students, and parents, while ensuring a welcoming, trusting environment. Enjoys creating customized plans and programs to spur educational and emotional growth.
- Develop comprehensive guidance and counseling programs in collaboration with faculty and staff for 1,200+ students
- Conduct career awareness sessions and meet individually with parents and students to explore education options based on career goals
- Pioneered and coordinated Career & College Day, introducing 800 students and parents to 60 universities, colleges, and companies
CLOUD CLEARWATER | Camp Counselor
- Supervised children aged 8-12 with special needs, including down syndrome and autism
- Recognized and tended to needs regarding diet, medication, and behavior
- Planned and coordinated daily indoor and outdoor activities, encouraging participation, engagement, and teamwork
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Reasons Why Calibri Is The Best Font For Resumes
Do you want to know if there is a recommended font for resumes?
Yes, there is not just one, but many a veritable fontroversy!
So what should a job seeker do? How can you decide which font is the best for your resume?
5 Considerations for Resume Fonts
I consider 5 factors when choosing and recommending fonts for resumes:
Recommended Font for Resumes
When I consider those factors and every MS Word font , theres only one I recommend for resumes 11-point Calibri.
It was made to be read on computer screens, and its Microsofts default font. Thus, its familiar to your readers and easy on their eyes.
Best Font Size for Resumes
Moving on to font size, notice I referred to 11-point Calibri above.
I mostly use 15-point Calibri for headings.
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Font Format For Resume
For your resume – our users recommend using a range between 10 – 12 size font. The most common response from our users is to use a 10.5 font. This font size should be uniform throughout.
Regarding fonts – arial, calibri, and times new roman are typically the recommended fonts. Our WSO sample resume utilizes times new roman.
Content Editor Note: Below are five helpful posts on resume fonts, overall resume improvement, and also make sure to check out our …because odds are if you aren’t sure what font to use on your resume…
Characteristics Of The Best Fonts For Resume
Fonts come with specific features that can determine and affect the perspective of the reader. A specific font comes in different:
- Visual design
- Whether a font is serif or sans serif
The first three characteristics can be adjusted by the writer for any font. For example, with the font Times New Roman, the writer can elect to use a size 8, bolded, and in blue color. The last two characteristics, however, are inherent to each font and a user cannot change how the font looks in respect to those features.
The only way to change a basic font design is to select a different font. Depending on the type of resume, as well as the job industry and job typeInvestment Banking Job DescriptionThis Investment Banking Job description outlines the main skills, education, and work experience required to become an IB analyst or associate, there are a wide array of fonts to select from.
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What Fonts Should You Avoid On Your Cv
Comic Sans has a terrible reputation and should certainly not be used on any self-respecting CV. The only possible exception to this would be if you’re aiming to work with small children, but even then it’s inadvisable your CV should be aimed at the adults reviewing it.
Any font that looks fun, bubbly or themed, such as Jokerman, Cavolini and Old English, should be avoided as well, as should cursive fonts such as Freestyle Script and Brush Script. They don’t look professional and are difficult to read.
Which Fonts Are Best For Resumes
The best fonts to use for resumes are clear and simple. Not only to make it easy-to-read for prospective employers, but also for ATS . ATS are the systems employers use to filter out candidates. They narrow down the selection until there is a more manageable number to be manually read. They, like people, favor readable resumes.
The worst resume fonts are the ones that try to be fun, wacky, weird, or silly. Not only do they give entirely the wrong impression of being unprofessional and sometimes childish, they also tend to be unclear. You may feel like fonts such as Comic Sans, Courier, and Gothic fonts may give your resume a touch of personality. Dont do it.
The three best resume fonts according to job site Monster.com, are Calibri, Arial, and Times New Roman. They are all clear, readable, perfectly good choices which are better than the vast majority.
An employer is unlikely to judge you harshly for using them. However, they will make your resume look similar to other peoples.
There are a number of alternative resume fonts that are just as readable as the top choices but that show you have put thought into choosing your resume font. Fonts such as Avenir, Gill Sans, Verdana, and Cambria are all great options that will give your resume a fresher feel.
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Top 5 Situational Resume Fonts
These situational fonts are recommended by some sources yet discouraged by others, so use with caution :
Helvetica: This classic, widely used sans serif typeface is probably the worlds best-known font ” rel=”nofollow”> documentary film of the same name). But its so common that many say its too common.
Times New Roman: Formerly the default typeface for Microsoft Office, this old-school serif font is beloved by some for its familiarity yet dismissed by others for the same reason: Its old-fashioned and boring.
Roboto, Open Sans, Ubuntu: As we already mentioned, these are common IT fonts, popularized by Google and other tech giants. They are usually clean and legible, but may be too techy for some more traditional employers.
What Is The Best Font To Use For A Cv
These simple CV details could make or break your application.
We all know that presentation is key for a good CV a recruiter will start making judgements about you as soon as they glance at your document, before they’ve even read a word. Your job is to make it as easy as possible for them to evaluate your CV, and font plays a part in that. If an HR manager gives up because the text is too small, the words are too condensed on the page or you’ve chosen a hard-to-read typeface, you’ve fallen at the first hurdle.
If you want to figure out the best font and font size to use on your CV, we’re here to guide you.
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How Do You Know If Your Resume Will Be Read
Your resume can be read by a recruiter or HR person in an instant. If your resume stands out its more likely to be read and the recruiter will want to know why!
The best fonts for your resume are those that stand out and are good at conveying your personality or professional style. Using fonts like Helvetica, Lucida, Georgia, and Calibri will help you get noticed if youre looking for a job as a software engineer, graphic designer, or website developer. You should also look for fonts with subtle highlights to make them easy on the eyes these fonts have less contrast than bolder ones.
Find Out If Your Resume Font And Formatting Are Ats
Scan your resume with the Jobscan resume checker below. Youll receive a report with optimization tips for any job.
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Once youve got your resume curated for the specific role youre applying for, itll be much easier to fit your text in at the optimal resume font size.
For even more help, take a look at our free resume templates.
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Whats The Best Resume Font & Size
When it comes to font and font size, we generally recommend going with something that stands out, but not too much.
The font you go with has a direct impact on the readability, and so, it needs to look good on PDF as well as paper.
Before we dive into the best resume fonts though, lets take a look at one font you shouldnt ever use:
Yes, youll stand out. No, not in the good way.
Jokes aside, the most common font people tend to use is Times New Roman, 12pt.
Now, theres nothing necessarily wrong with that, but you should know that its going to be the default font for most people.
Do you want your resume to stand out among all the Times New Roman resumes?
If so, consider using:
Once youve picked your font, you move on to:
The Importance Of Legible Fonts On Your Resume
The font you select for your resume can impact your employers perception of you. Employers will look for something beyond your words, and having a well-selected font is one way you can express your professional presence.If it’s unreadable, it could be the first thing someone may notice and the reason why your resume gets skipped.Choosing a font that is clean, crisp, and well-defined can show the reader that you have style, are professional, and have a personal touch. If your resume is using a hard-to-read font, it tells the reader that you donât care about presentation or looking unprofessional.
A font that is too cluttered, too big, or too small makes it difficult for the hiring manager to read your resumeâand sends a message to them that you are disorganized, sloppy, or do not sweat the details.
While there is no perfect resume font, there are fonts that are better than others. It is important that you select a font that works for you and presents the best possible image for the type of resume you are creating.â
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How Do You Pick A Resume Font
So how do you know which of these more traditional, easy-to-read fonts you should pick? That depends on your personal preference and what you think sends the right message for your resume. The saying, Dress for the job you want applies to font choice too! Yurovsky says.
You might want to consider whether a serif or sans serif font is best for you. If you want to make your resume look more modern you might choose a sans serif font like Arial or Calibri, and avoid serif fonts like Times New Roman and Georgia, says Muse career coach Debra Boggs. But if you work in higher education or the medical field, a serif font like Georgia would be appropriate.
To figure out which type of font youre looking at, check the capital Tsif the top has short lines hanging down on either side, those lines are serifs. But if the top of the T is a single line straight across, you have a sans serif font.
Once youve decided between serif and sans serif, choosing a font comes down to which one looks best to you!
What Font Is Most Pleasing To The Eye
In the past few years, almost all employers have opted for serif fonts because theyre easy on the eyes in a professional setting. Serif fonts also resemble old manuscripts and give more structure and style to a document. Arial, Georgia, and Verdana are the three most popular serifs used on resumes.
If you want your resume to stand out you should use serif fonts with lighter weights because theyre easier to read at small sizes than older versions.
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What Are The Best Resume Font Sizes
Which exact font sizes are best for your resume will vary based on the font youve picked and your situation. So choose your font first and use your own judgement to determine which font sizes are most appropriate.
Here are some general guidelines from our experts to get you started:
- Your Name: 20-24 point
- Headings and Subheadings: 11-14 point
- Body Text and Your Contact Info: 10-12 point
Ultimately, the most important component of your resume is the content. Your font and font size choices should be about making sure your content is clear so you can convince the reader you’re right for the job.
Regina Borsellino is a NYC-based editor at The Muse covering job search and career advice, particularly resume best practices, interviewing, remote work, and personal and professional development. Before joining The Muse, Regina was an editor for InvestorPlace, where she also wrote about topics such as investing and biotech companies. She holds a BA in English language and literature from the University of Maryland and an MFA in creative writing from American University. Find her on and .