Your resume is your first opportunity to make a positive impression on an employer, so choosing the right font is important. Choose the best font for your resume to help you get hired.
What are the best resume fonts to impress employers?
Fonts fall into two broad categories: serif and sans serif. A serif font has a small line added on to the main shape of a letter as a decorative element. ‘Sans’ means ‘without,’ so a sans serif font lacks these small additional lines. There are good font choices to use for a resume in both categories.
Here are some tips for font suggestions:
For a professional font, consider Times New Roman
Times New Roman is best for uses like professional organizations’ style guidelines. The Modern Language Association requires this font and the American Psychological Association recommends it. Because of this, college instructors often ask students to use Times New Roman, even if they teach in a field that has no specific font guidelines. Many people, therefore, associate Times New Roman with professionalism and academic writing.
While Times New Roman is often a good choice, research whether the job you are applying for is part of a field that has writing style guidelines. If so, use the font required or suggested by those guidelines.
Most popular resume fonts similar to Times New Roman:
- Lucida Bright
- MS Serif
- Times New Roman
For an easy-to-read font, consider Cambria
Readability is the most significant factor in selecting a font. Whoever is reading your resume will be looking at a large number of other resumes as well, so it’s important to choose a font that’s easy to read. Additionally, at the screening stage, employers and recruiters quickly skim resumes to see whether you meet key qualifications. This fast pace means that the reader will not have the time or desire to adapt to an unusual or difficult-to-read font.
Cambria was created to read well in print and on a screen. This means that you can choose this font and know that it will be a good choice for either method the employer views your resume.
Other good choices are fonts that are not overly crowded, thick, bubbly or decorative. Serif fonts are older and are more readable. Trebuchet and Verdana are easy to read on a screen. Garamond and Georgia are classic. Garamond is a group of older style fonts and Georgia also has a traditional look.
Keep in mind that not all fonts are easily available. An example is Helvetica, which is available on some computers but not all, so some people would need to take an extra step to download the font before using or viewing it. Didot font must be downloaded on most computers. While Helvetica and Didot are both well-regarded, it would be more courteous to use a font that readers are more widely familiar with.
For an easily accessible font, consider Arial
Arial is a good font for those with a reading disability. Increased awareness of reading disabilities means accessibility is important to more businesses. Accessible text is more readable for people with dyslexia and other reading disabilities. Additionally, if a text is more accessible for dyslexic readers, it is better for a broader audience of people.
Other good choices are sans serif fonts like Calibri and Verdana. These work better for dyslexic readers and are appropriate for resumes. (Comic Sans is also a good font for dyslexic readers, but it is not professional enough for a resume.)
Most popular professional resume fonts similar to Arial:
- Century Gothic
- Lucida Sans
Carefully choose font size
Font size is an important part of readability. Even the most readable font could be difficult to see if it’s too small. Likewise, something too large might look like an attempt to fill up space. There is no set standard for resume font size; however, in general, something from 11 to 13 is good. For accessibility, the font should not be smaller than 12-point. Headings can be a bit larger or bolded so they stand out and help readers skim faster.
Keep in mind that some fonts are visually larger than others, so one font could look great in 12-point size while another might look too large or too small. Experiment with some different possibilities. You can also tweak the font size a bit to achieve a good style for your resume. If your initial font makes your resume continue one or two lines onto a second page, a slight decrease in font size can help fit everything comfortably on a single page.
Choosing the best font for a resume is an important early step for anyone who wants to get a job.
Employers and hiring managers sort through resumes quickly during the first stages of hiring. Resumes that are hard to read are usually discarded right away so you need to choose a font that’s easy to review.
40+ job titles matched with the popular resume fonts
There are no definitive rules for what fonts should be used in a resume to apply for specific jobs. But there are guidelines that can help you choose the best font for a resume and job application.
Times New Roman and similar Serif fonts are seen as traditional and classic. Therefore Serif fonts are usually used for jobs like accounting and nursing.
Arial and similar Sans Serif family fonts are seen as modern and minimal. Fonts in the Sans family are usually used in resumes for industries like architecture and marketing.
Jobs that use Serif family fonts like Times New Roman:
- Consumer Electronics
- Information Technology
- Logistics & Supply Chain
- Management Consulting
- Professional Services
- Real Estate
- Staffing & Recruiting
Professions that use Sans Serif family fonts like Arial:
- Broadcast Media
- Event Services
- Food & Beverage
- Graphic Design
- Health & Wellness
- Leisure & Travel
- Performing Arts
- Writing & Editing