What Font Should a Resume Be? — 9 Good Resume Fonts to Use
There’s no such thing as the perfect resume font. The appropriate font for your resume depends on many factors. These factors include your professional industry and the degree of formality a company expects.
To help you narrow things down, we’re going to suggest one or two professional fonts for your resume — personalized for you based on the industry you’re applying for work in.
Without further ado, here’s our list of recommended fonts for your resume:
You’ll notice that in our list we exclude two major standard fonts for resumes — Arial and Times New Roman. That’s because they’re overused.
There’s nothing wrong with either — they’re good resume fonts. However, so many applicants use them that they don’t stand out (unless that applicant is using one of our eye-catching resume templates, of course).
As a better alternative, here are some excellent, less popular fonts. They’re sure to make your resume design stand out while still keeping things professional:
Cambria is a professional font for resumes of all types. While it’s designed to look good on a monitor, it’s also readable at small sizes, making it easy on the eyes when printed out.
And despite being a recently created font, Cambria feels fairly traditional. That means it’s not going to put off any hiring managers.
According to recruiters, you can’t go wrong with a classic serif font for your resume. That’s why Georgia is a great modern option. It has a timeless, professional appearance — similar to Times New Roman — but distinguishes itself by being a little more fun.
And since it’s used by companies like the New York Times and Amazon, it’s familiar to most readers, so don’t worry about it being too outlandish.
One downside, however, is that Georgia is a little thick compared with other good resume fonts. So choose something else if you lack space.
Garamond is a timeless, classic font — dating from the 15th or 16th century. It’s among the best fonts to use for a resume since it’s classy and recognizable.
Like a fine wine, Garamond has aged well, and holds its own against modern alternatives. Better yet, recruiters rarely see Garamond used as a resume font, making it a great option if you need to stand apart from the competition.
Use this font if: you want to differentiate your resume from other job applicants. As a classic and easy-to-read style, this resume font is usable for applications in any industry. There’s a good reason it’s been around for 500 years (and counting), after all.
Helvetica is a contemporary typeface for your resume — and it’s a favorite of recruiters and hiring managers everywhere. Known for its use on signs throughout the New York Subway, its polished, clear, and professional aesthetic is sure to impress anyone lucky enough to receive your application.
Helvetica is preinstalled on Apple computers, but you’ll need to acquire it separately if you’re using Microsoft Windows.
Calibri is a tasteful, modern resume font. It’s used by many email clients, such as Gmail. Therefore, hiring managers will have no problem opening your application. It’s also the default on Microsoft Word, making it a good resume font because of its widespread usage.
Calibri was designed to have a warm and soft character, according to its designer, Lucas de Groot.
6. Book Antiqua
One thing all proper fonts for resumes have in common is that they’re not distracting. In other words, they’re not flashy but still catch the hiring manager’s attention.
Book Antiqua is the perfect example of a proper resume font. It’s different enough that it’s a pleasant change to a tired hiring manager digging through applications. But its serif font style and easy-to-read design makes it professional enough to woo most recruiters.
While it’s not the most traditional font, it’s great for professions in the creative sector.
Use this font if: you’re seeking work in a creative or cultural role, such as event planning, or tourism, or in museums and art galleries.
7. Arial Narrow
Arial is a very common resume font. Arial Narrow, on the other hand, can come in handy when your resume is just spilling onto a second or third page and you want to make it fit. The text will remain readable too.
Use this font if: you’re struggling to fit your resume onto a single page.
8. Trebuchet MS
Trebuchet MS is another friendly, rounded typeface for resumes. It’s a little thicker than other good resume fonts, which means it’s great for entry-level job seekers who are trying to fill up the page. Its thickness also means it has high readability — making it a favorite of recruiters across most industries.
A newcomer to the world of fonts, Lato is described by its creator as “serious and friendly.” It was specifically created for corporate use, so it’s a standard font for resumes in 2020. Additionally, its modern sans serif design makes it easy to read and is sure to draw the eyes of any hiring manager.
As a recent addition, it’s not preinstalled on many computers. It might not show up properly if you send your application as a Word file, or include it in your email body text.
Didot: A Bonus Resume Font for Headers
Didot is a good resume font, but it’s best used for your header — normally either your name or resume headline. You should use a different font for the body to make the text more readable.
This modern resume font makes your name or resume headline pop off the page. However, its thin strokes make it difficult to read at smaller font sizes. For example, look at the vertical lines of the Ns, the left stroke of the A, and right stroke of the V in the example above.
For this reason, you shouldn’t use Didot in your body text. It looks best as a resume header font paired with Garamond or Book Antiqua in the body.
Three Resume Fonts to Avoid
We’ve answered the question “what are the best fonts for resumes?” So now let’s look at the fonts you should stay away from.
1. Lucinda Handwriting
OK, we don’t have anything against Lucinda Handwriting specifically. All fonts that are designed to look like they were handwritten are not appropriate fonts for resumes.
Not only are such resume fonts unprofessional, but they’re also hard to read, and make you look like a bit of an amateur.
Alternatives: Since most applicants who use handwritten fonts want to look creative, try a more professional resume font like the ones listed above, such as Book Antiqua or Georgia.
Understand that Courier — and all typewriter-style fonts — are unsuitable if you’re still unsure about what’s the best font to use for your resume.
That’s because such fonts are monospaced: each letter has the same spacing on the page, making a professional document like a resume look unnatural.
Plus, what’s the point of making your resume look like you used a typewriter to write it? It simply looks old-fashioned and behind the times.
Alternatives: Use a classic font that’s still relevant today, like Garamond.
3. Comic Sans
If you’re unfamiliar with this Comic Sans, all you need to know is that it was originally created to look like the font used in comic book speech bubbles.
That says it all really. Comic Sans is famous among recruiters everywhere for instantly making a resume look childish and unprofessional.
Alternatives: If you’re looking for a friendly but professional font for your resume, then Calibri and Lato will do the job.
Choosing the Right Resume Font Size
You might be surprised to learn that font sizes differ between fonts.
Take a look at these fonts, which are all size 10.5 points:
Looking at the fonts in the blue box above, you might think that they’re a variety of sizes. But actually, they’re all the same size (in points) — even Garamond, which looks particularly small.
Ultimately, readability is the most important consideration when choosing the font size for your resume. So while 11-point font looks aesthetically pleasing for most font styles, the truth is that each font varies. Be sure to experiment with your resume’s font size and style until you arrive at the best font size for your resume.
Your resume font size should also be linked directly to the font style. Styles vary so much that one may look horrible at 10.5 points, whereas another appears ideal at 10.5 and bloated at 11.5.
As you can see, there’s no real standard resume font size. To achieve a perfect balance, first choose a font style, then adjust its size.
In general though, 10 points is about the smallest font appropriate for resumes.
If your resume exceeds a page by just a few words or a sentence, try using synonyms or rewriting sentences to make them shorter. If you can’t shorten your resume by rewriting it, try adjusting the margin and font size. But don’t go overboard with these adjustments, otherwise your resume will look terrible. You can also try switching your font to Arial Narrow to save space.
Just remember, don’t sacrifice your resume’s aesthetic quality or readability to fit it onto one page.
Takeaways — Best Font and Size for Your Resume
If you want your resume to be noticed, your best bet is to use one of the fonts we’ve listed, and to stick to a font size between 10.5 and 12 points.
Now you know what a good font for your resume is (and what size font a resume should be), you’re ready to start writing your own.
Have any comments or questions? Add them below, and our team of resume experts will get back to you shortly. Happy job hunting!