These Are The Best Fonts For Your Resume In 2021
When it comes to crafting the perfect resume to land your dream job, you probably think of just about everything but the font. But font is a key part of your first impression to recruiters and employers.
In this post, I’m going to walk you through the 10 best fonts for your resume . We’ll also talk about why employers care about font choice and how you can use it to set yourself apart from the competition.
What Fonts Should You Avoid On A Resume
Avoid using flowery, themed, or fun fonts, like Comic Sans and Impact or cursive fonts such as Freestyle Script and Segoe Script.
Along with being difficult to read and not compatible with an ATS, artistic fonts tell employers that you don’t know the rules of creating a professional resume, which could potentially lead them to think you don’t take your job search seriously. Remember, no snazzy resume font will showcase your qualifications as clearly as your job experience, talents, and accomplishments.
The Best Font Size For A Resume
The best font size for a resume, in most cases, is somewhere between 10 and 12 points.
Remember that your goal in choosing both resume font and resume font size is to make your CV as easy to read as possible. Most hiring managers spend just a few seconds scanning a resume, and for a positive first impression, how it looks can be just as important as what it says. If recruiters are able to read other resumes easily, but have to reach for their reading glasses to decipher yours, they may find yours easier to ignore.
On the other hand, if your font size is too large it may look like youre writing for children, or for senior citizens with failing eyesight. One of the main imperatives involving font size is the need to fit your resume on one page.
There are some fonts that are easier to read in smaller sizes than others. So when choosing the font to use for your resume, experiment a bit with the size to see how it affects legibility.
If your resume doesnt fit on one page with a 12-point font size, try a size as low as 10 points, but no smaller. Always try to trim your text before you resort to formatting solutions like reducing font size, downsizing margins or eliminating paragraph breaks. Always leave room for an appropriate amount of white space to avoid a resume thats too dense.
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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.
Whats The Best Resume Font Size
What size font for resume and cover letter text?
The best font size for resume and cover letter body text is between 1112pts. You could go with 10pts, but thats beginning to push it on the small end. However, it may be useful for less consequential text, such as dates worked at a past job.
For resume subsections and their headings, you can increase that size 24pts to help them stand out and help scannability.
Finally, your name at the top can be another 24pts larger than that to help it stand out well and act as a sort of resume page title.
Expert Hint: Your cover letter should match your resume in terms of styling and design. Choose the same cover letter template as your resume template, and keep font sizes consistent on both.
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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 .
Should You Use Different Colored Fonts On Your Resume
As I’ve mentioned above, finding ways to stand out on your resume is key.
Typefaces, font size, and general formatting are subtle ways to inject personality into your resume. Colors are a bit more direct.
Adding a splash of color can make your resume pop! I’ve personally done it on my own resume, check it out:
It’s easy to go overboard and end up with a resume that looks tacky or gimmicky.
Notice how I’ve only injected color into a few areas of my resume and I kept things consistent. If want to do this yourself, I only recommend changing the colors for:
- Your name
- The section headers on your resume
- Any bars/charts in your skills section
- Any lines on your resume
I’d recommend picking three of those four so you don’t go overboard. Also, I’d recommend keeping things to a single color. Adding multiple colors to your resume is distracting and confusing.
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Which Fonts To Not Use In A Resume
- Fonts that just look weird: Unusual, avant-garde, over-designed fonts are inappropriate for a resume.
- Fonts that look like cursive: The only cursive in your job application, if any, should be your signature, so avoid fonts that mimic handwriting, or where the plain text looks like italics.
- Anything in all caps or small caps: Fonts with all capital letters are never appropriate for the body text of a resume.
These rules apply to body text, but you have a bit more leeway in header design. For example, the first and largest text on the page will generally be your name, and it may be appropriate to choose a more distinctive font style for this.
Well talk about how a resume writer should choose the right font in a bit, but first lets talk about how big the font should be.
Why Is Resume Font Important
The style of the font you choose for your resume is important because it impacts the readability and appearance. It gives your resume a professional appearance and helps you present a positive first impression to the hiring manager.
Choosing the right font ensures your resume is readable to applicant tracking system software. When you use a standard font, the likelihood of the hiring manager receiving your resume for review increases. When you fill out an application online, some ATS software can automatically scan your resume and populate the boxes for you. Using an easy-to-scan font makes it simple for the ATS to translate your resume to the application.
When choosing a resume font, consider the size, presentation and legibility on both paper and a computer screen. You’ll likely send your resume through an online link or email first and present a paper copy during an interview.
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Ideal Font Style For Cover Letters & Resumes
Bold fontBold text is particularly useful for drawing the readers attention to specific words or phrases. In the case of resume writing, you can guide their gaze over to resume keywords.
In the resume work experience section, bolding is great to start off each entry, specifically to highlight the position you have/had. Check the example:
- Effective Writing for Strategic Public Relations
- Social, Legal, and Ethical Foundations of Public Relations
- Business and Economic Foundations of Public Relations
Italic fontItalics are great for supporting text, such as dates and explanatory statements.
In the resume work history area, italics comes in handy for the second line, where you give the company name you worked for, along with the city and state. See the example:
jetBlue Airways, New York, NY
UnderlineDont underline text on your resume. Underlining will already be used on digital resumes to identify and email addresses and URLs, such as your LinkedIn profile. Any more underlined text and the resume starts feeling messy.
Font ColorFor most resume designs, youre best sticking with a black color font. Black stands out best against light backgrounds, making it clear and legible.
However, if you have a dual-tone resume, with say a heading area in dark blue, white text goes well here.
Line spacingWhen writing, line spacing is the space that separates one row of text with the row above or below it.
The Best Font Size And Style For Resumes
Theresa Chiechi / The Balance
When youre writing your resume, your font choice does matter. It’s important to opt for a basic fontchoose one that both hiring managers and applicant management systems can easily read. Your resume is no place to use difficult-to-read cursive, handwriting-style, or calligraphy fonts.
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Which Resume Font Size To Use
Dont make the mistake of shrinking down the resume font size so you can squeeze as many words in as possible. Employers dont want to work hard to read your resume and the last thing you want to do is make them squint
On the other hand, space on your resume is precious as it ideally should be kept to under 2 pages in length. A large resume font size will make it seem like you have nothing to say.
According to GlassDoor, the best resume font size is 11 for the main body of the text . The main page header should be much larger, around 22-24. The subheadings of each section should be roughly 14.
Resume format: It is always a good idea to send your resume in PDF format. In other formats, such as a Word document, the computer or device of the recipient automatically changes the font. This can completely change the documents appearance. As fonts differ in the amount of space the characters take up, it can end up looking messy.
About The Authormatt Glodz
Matt Glodz is the Founder and Managing Partner of Resume Pilots and a Certified Professional Resume Writer.
After studying business communication at Cornell University, Matt worked within Fortune 500 companies, where he noted that qualified candidates were frequently denied interview opportunities due to poorly written documents.
At Resume Pilots, Matt combines his business and writing background – which includes prior work for a Chicago Tribune publication – to craft resumes that give his clients the best chance of landing interviews. He works with clients ranging from CEOs to recent graduates and has been writing resumes for over eight years.
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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
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.
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What Is The Smallest Font Size For A Resume
The smallest font to use on a resume is 10.5 points. Even 10.5 may be too small because some fonts are simply bigger than others. If your font size is too small, the hiring manager will have trouble reading your resume. Arial Narrow at 10.5 is the smallest font and font size combination that looks good on a resume.
How To Choose The Best Resume Fonts
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Whats The Best Resume Font Size To Use In 2021
Standard 12 point font in black and Times New Roman.
The best resume font size to use on your resume in 2021 is the standard 12 point font .
I know, I know. Boring and basic, but it provides excellent readability for the end user.
You can use different font sizes for the headings and name, but youll want to keep your resume somewhat consistent beyond that.
Which Fonts To Use In A Resume: Summary Of Rules To Follow
Clean and legible: Make sure your chosen font does not look too noisy once the resume page is populated by text. Serif fonts can often overburden a resume describing a robust career, but your mileage may vary. Just make sure your own eyes dont hurt when trying to read a dense paragraph or bullet point list. If you find it difficult to focus due to the noisiness of the text, chances are the hiring manager will too.
Appropriate for the medium: Pay attention to how your font of choice looks on a digital screen or on paper. Handing over a paper document is becoming increasingly rare these days, but if you plan to bring the resume with you to an interview or share during a networking event, make sure your chosen font actually works on a physical page.
Appropriate for the industry and profession: If youre sending your resume to a forward-thinking IT or web development company, you might want to consider some of the industry staples, like Googles pet font, Roboto, or web developer favorites like Open Sans or Ubuntu. If your resume is heading to a more traditional business, consider more widely accepted fonts, often found in Windows or iOS systems, like Arial, Calibri or Georgia. In some cases, even creative fonts like Futura or Montserrat may work, as visual designers favor them, but you have to be purposeful and thoughtful in your choices.
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Here Are Some Of The Best Fonts For Your Resume:
Why aren’t Times New Roman and Arial on this list?
Its a common misconception that Times New Roman and Arial are great resume fonts. While they are some of the most popular fonts in general, they are not the best for your resume.
Times New Roman is a compact font and can be difficult to read. Arial is overused and won’t capture anyone’s attention!
What about serif vs. sans serif?
There are four major types of fonts: serif, sans serif, script, and decorative.
For purposes of a resume, both serif and sans serif can be used. These fonts are the most professional and easiest to read.
Sans serif fonts are considered modern and simple. Serif fonts are elegant and professional.