How To Choose The Best Font For Your Resume
The two most important factors when selecting a font for your resume are readability and professionalism.
The last thing you want to do is to make a recruiter or employers life harder, so when building your resume, your font should always be straightforward and highly readable. They shouldnt have to squint to read overly light, thin fonts, or struggle to make out complex symbols or typefaces.
Professionalism, meanwhile, is all about tone. Just as we discussed in the previous section, even silent choices like font and formatting can convey tone as easily as your word choice. The tone of your font should match the tone of your workplace personality and your level of professionalism.
In terms of both readability and professionalism, there are a few broad font families that we commonly associate with the workplace and with professional settings. Lets go over each of the five main font families, or broad categories, from which you have to choose when youre writing your resume, cover letter, or references.
The Font Size Matters Too
If your font is too small, hiring managers will have to squint to read your resume. If it’s too large, your resume will look bulky and end up being longer than it needs to be.
To avoid making any mistakes when it comes to font sizes and formatting, here are my three general rules:
You can always utilize font sizes to manipulate the length of your resume. For example, if your resume is sitting at 1.5 pages when using 10-point font, consider increasing the font size to 12 points in order to get your resume closer to a full two pages.
Of course, it’s ultimately your experience and skills that will win over employers. But using a clear font in a size that makes sense will boost your chances of getting your resume the time and attention it deserves.
Take Out Upcoming Projects And Older Associations
Consider only including the projects you completed while attending school or working for an employer. By measuring the results of completed projects, you can lend them greater credibility. For example, if you wrote an article for a company or an academic institution, find out how many people read your article.
Results of your completed projects represent the outcomes you can achieve when working for a prospective employer. If you’re applying for an academic position, you may make an exception for your upcoming books or articles. As publications are a vital part of academic life, listing your current research efforts can demonstrate your active involvement in your field.
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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.
Other Resume Font Choices
Along with our picks, here are some other popular resume font choices that are clear, legible and scalable:
- Serif â Bell MT, Bodoni MT, Bookman Old Style, Goudy Old Style
- Sans-serif â Century Gothic, Gill Sans MT, Lucida Sans
Key takeaway: There are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to fonts for your resume, but remember that your decision matters, since itâs likely your first impression with a potential employer.
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Why Is Font Choice Important
The font you choose to use on your professional resume is important for several reasons. Firstly, applicant tracking systems are typically the first readers of your resume, especially if you submit your application online through a job forum. These systems are better able to recognize and interpret regular, easy-to-read text compared to fancy or too small fonts.
Additionally, studies have shown that hiring managers and recruiters only look at resumes for an estimated six seconds before deciding whether a candidate is a good fit for a position. If the font on your resume is hard to read or too distracting, recruiters are much more likely to skip over it and move onto the next application.
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Ultimately, you’ll want to consider the position for which you’re applying when you’re choosing a font. To Glory’s point, certain more creative roles might benefit from a more unique font than Times New Roman.
Paulina Valdez Franco, a Senior Recruiter at HubSpot, also supports fonts other than Times New Roman. She mentioned, “My two favorite fonts for 2019 are Helvetica, if you’re looking for a clean and classic look, and Georgia, if you’re going after a more modern and fun look. The latter is also designed to read well on screens.”
Additionally, Paulina added, “Arial and Calibri are great choices if you want to play it safe.”
Bridget LeMon, a Technical Campus Recruiter at HubSpot, agrees that “it’s totally acceptable for candidates to stray away from the resume-norms of Times New Roman and Calibri. Avenir Next and Muna are two great options if you are looking to break the status quo.”
However, it’s important to note most recruiters I spoke with were hesitant to even offer a font at all.
For instance, Heta Patel, a HubSpot recruiter, said, “I typically don’t pay too much attention to font. I’m more concerned about whether the resume is formatted in a clean way — submitting a PDF is helpful with this, so your formatting doesn’t shift.”
Ultimately, and as expected, your content still matters most — however, a clean, clear font will help avoid any irritability you might cause a recruiter with a distracting, messy design.
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Best Fonts For Resume
When speaking with recruiters, it quickly became clear that classic fonts are still the best options — when in doubt, you want to make your resume as clear and easy-to-read as possible, even if it means forsaking your favorite script font.
For instance, Johanna Fleming, a Services Recruiter at HubSpot, told me, “Im a big fan of the ‘classics’ for resumes — Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, Helvetica, and Cambria. Im a little old school, but I think they are the cleanest and exude professionalism.”
Additionally, when asked which font size is best, Johanna said, “12 is ideal — nothing less than 10.5.”
Riley Kundtz, MBA Campus Recruiter at HubSpot, further noted, “I find the classic formatting and Times font to be helpful when reading a dense resume from an experienced MBA candidate.”
Another HubSpot recruiter, Rich Lapham, concurred, saying, “I would stick with the classics like Times New Roman or Arial. My personal recommendation would be Garamond — I think it makes it look that much more professional. Recruiters have an idea of the skills they are looking for on a resume, so if you try a new style or format it can be tougher for recruiters to find the information they are looking for. Keep it clean and simple.”
Holly Peterson, a Senior Recruiter at HubSpot, also supports more traditional fonts — “I really like Arial, Tahoma, and you can’t go wrong with Times New Roman! Anything that is cursive is too hard to read. For instance, I’d stay clear of Comic Sans.”
Whats The Best Resume Font Size To Use In 2022
Standard 12 point font in black and Times New Roman.
The best resume font size to use on your resume 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.
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Best Font For Resume: Tips On Size Types And Styles
What is the best font for a resume? Check our guide and learn the differences between Calibri and Cambria and see what font size you should use on your resume.
A nightmare scenario:
Youve prepared a perfect resume. Youve got the right skills and top-class experience for the job. You even included a cover letter. Yet
Because your resume is as illegible as a doctors prescription.
Good resume layout is key. And to have a good layout, you need to use the best font for a resume. Otherwise, nobody will care to lay their eyes upon it.
This guide will show you:
- A list of best fonts for resumes and cover letters.
- How to properly use resume fonts to make resumes pop.
- Tips and examples of how to pick the best font for a resume.
- How to choose between different types of resume fonts, as well as bold, italics, and underlines.
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What Are The Best Resume Fonts 2022
Which are the best resume fonts 2022 in serif? Which is the best font for resume in sans serif?
Serif fonts are easier to read. The little brush strokes on each letter help our brain in faster reading.
But, sans-serifs are used as best resume fonts for their contemporary look. They integrate seamlessly with modern resume designs.
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Business & Finance Resume Fonts
To succeed in business and finance, you need to take your work seriously. So use a resume font that gives your target employer the impression that you mean business.
Cambria is an ideal font for your white-collar resume because it was created for both printed and digital business documents and youll be expected to bring a hard copy of your resume to a formal job interview. If you prefer a sans serif font, use Lato, which was created to evoke stability and seriousness, according to .
This is an example of what your resume work experience section will look like when you use Cambria or Lato on your resume:
What Font Should A Resume Be In
A resume should be in Arial. Typically, resumes should be formatted using clear, professional fonts, which include Arial as well as fonts like Helvetica, Cambria, or Georgia.
Highly professional and easy to read, Arial is a great sans serif font for your resume. Even better, its less common than Times New Roman, and will help your application stand out from other candidates.
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The Best Font Size For Your Resume
Remember that readability is one of the most important aspects of resume font choice.
Font size is a key aspect of your readers ability to scan your resume quickly, pick out the important parts, and come away with a solid, positive impression of you. A recruiter might be sifting through dozens or even hundreds of resumes at a time , and making their job simpler is the first and easiest way to make yours stand out in a good way.
It can be be tempting to cram every last thing youve ever done onto your resume, but cutting out the extraneous parts of your work history can do you some good in more ways than one. With too many sections on your resume, it can quickly become overwhelming to the eye.
Whats more, if you include too much content, youll probably be required to shrink your font size to 10 . But a slightly larger font size gives employers a better impression one study at Stephen F. Austin University showed that resumes using 12-pt. font were evaluated more highly than those in 10-pt. font.
Since the ultimate goal is to make your resume as easy to read as you possibly can, the optimal font size is between 12 and 14. 10 can be used if youre highly experienced and have an extremely lengthy resume, but its not ideal. Try cutting out a few things that arent directly relevant to the job at hand and see if you can make your resume a little easier on the eyes with a larger font.
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- These Are The Best Fonts For Your Resume In 2022
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What Fonts To Avoid On Your Resume
I’m sure you know of one or two fonts that could make even the best written resume look unprofessional.
For example, youre probably well aware to avoid a playful font like Comic Sans. But there are a few other fonts to avoid that may not be so obvious. So, lets quickly take a look at them.
Times New Roman. Im sure you know this popular font well. And, typically, its fine for letters and college papers. But for resumes? Not so much. Reserve this font for contracts and reports.
Arial. Pretty much everything I just said about Times New Roman can be applied to Arial. Its okay, but it could come across as boring when you have so many other great options.
Courier. Heres another popular one that seems fine. But this font has a fixed width between letters. And that can make it appear too boxy or robotic for resumes.
Futura. This is another font that may appear okay at first glance. But still it should be avoided. Its circular shape is a bit too decorative for a text-heavy document like your resume.
Papyrus. This font looks interesting, but it has a bit too much personality for a resume. I wouldn’t recommend using it as a hiring manager would find this distracting.
Next, well go over how to make the best possible impression with your resume typeface.
Once you choose a font you like, you can use my free resume builder to create a beautiful, ATS-friendly resume that actually gets results. It won’t cost you a penny:
Keep Your Resume Font Style Simple
There are a few reasons why it’s important to keep the font on your resume simple. First of all, many of them are read by applicant tracking systems and not by people. Those systems work best reading plain and simple text rather than that with fancy formatting.
It’s not just the machines that benefit from easily readable texthuman eyes also find it easier.
Use Bold Or Italics For Emphasis
If you want to emphasize specific areas of your resume, use bold or italics. It is also important to use bold and italics sparingly to make your resume appear more professional and easier to read. Automatic resume scanning software is better at converting bold and italics than it is at converting underlined text. Underlined text may also create confusion for the hiring manager as it is common to use this emphasis for web links.
You can use bold or italics to separate your sections without increasing your font size. Bold or italicize section headers like ‘work experience,”education’ and ‘skills,’ then use regular font for the content.
The Differences Between Font Families
Every font belongs to a family of fonts, which have similar characteristics and leave similar impressions. The first decision you have to make in terms of selecting a resume font is which font family is best for your goals.
These are the five broad categories that fonts fall into:
Serif: Serif fonts, like Times New Roman, belong to one of the largest and most common font families. Letters in serif fonts have decorative serifs, or little tails, on certain character strokes.
Sans Serif: Sans serif literally means without serif, so you can guess these typefaces dont havetails! Examples of sans serif typefaces include Arial and Helvetica. Sans serif typefaces have become highly popular in the digital marketplace, partly because of their less formal, more straightforward and minimalist look.
Monospace: Commonly associated with newspapers and typewriters, monospace fonts like Courier and Courier New were designed so that each letter would take up the same amount of space on a given line. Each letter is the same width. This allows for clean, consistent graphic design, as theres no size variability between the characters. Monospace fonts have also become a popular design choice in recent years because theyre a bit nostalgic, calling back to the days of typewriters and telegrams.
Whats The Best Font Option For Your Resume?
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