What is the Best Font for a Resume?
As a vital visual aspect of a resume, the chosen font plays an important role in landing an individual’s much-coveted job. The best font for a resume will be one that is easily legible and pleasant for the reader to view. They can be determined by certain characteristics, such as whether a font is a serif or sans serif.
Best resume fonts explained
A font refers to the representation of text in a readable document. Most often, they are used in Microsoft Office programs to represent text, particularly in Microsoft Word. MS Word is the predominant word processor used in writing resumes.
Resumes play an essential role in a person’s life. It is a summary of the person’s character, as well as their experience and capabilities. A good resume is a pathway to the next job opportunity. You need to present it officially and respectfully to make a good impression.
List of best fonts for resume
The following is a list of the best resume fonts to use when applying for a job:
1. Times New Roman
Times New Roman is widely-considered the best resume font. It’s the most classic and traditional font to use on a resume. If you want to play it safe, this is the #1 font to use.
The Arial font is commonly used for official letters. It appears natural and clean. To some, it is also attractive. The clean lines improve the readability of the entire document. These characteristics make Arial one of the safest bets when choosing fonts. Tip: if you’re short on space, try Arial Narrow which will enable you to fit more on each page.
In modern MS Windows applications, Calibri is often used as the default font. As such, it’s considered a convenient option for writing resumes, especially for people just starting to look for jobs. Calibri is professional, but its interesting design also makes it visually appealing to most readers.
However, the most important limitation to keep in mind with Calibri is that some interviewers may consider it lackluster and low-effort, as it is a default font in Word. The recruiter may feel that the candidate does not pay attention to the finer details and that they just went with what was easy.
Garamond is widely used for its appearance of elegance, in addition to its readability. It’s great in a resume for a field that isn’t entirely corporate, but may also be used sparingly in a corporate environment. Most people see this font as old-fashioned, so a progressive corporation may not appreciate its setup. Garamond, however, remains a relevant resume font.
Georgia is one of the most commonly used fonts. To some, it’s seen as a more modern Serif font as compared to Garamond. Georgia somewhat resembles Times New Roman but has been upgraded to appear more modern and to be easier to read.
Characteristics of the best font 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 type, there are a wide array of fonts to select from.
Serif vs. Sans Serif
A font’s design characteristic deserves its own section. The serif is an easily missed detail that differentiates fonts and separates them into two camps.
The serif is the tiny tail or flourish that you see at the end of most letters, as seen in the Times New Roman example above. By contrast, Arial lacks serifs, ergo it is called sans serif. The lines in Arial are cleaner and straighter, with no tails. Both fonts are deemed as professional. Selecting a Serif font vs. Sans-Serif font is more of an art than a science.
How to choose the best resume fonts
- The right font attracts the reader’s attention, without detracting too much from the content. The more easily a reader goes through a resume, the higher the chances of landing an interview.
- The proper font choice can also implicitly convey something about the writer to the reader. A poorly selected font (such as using Comic Sans) for a job requiring high professionalism will give a bad impression. A professional font (such as Arial) may be better suited for someone considering the field of finance as compared to that of graphic design.
- Finally, a clean font will help the resume writer proofread for typos and grammar more easily.
Free Resume Template
If you’re looking for an example of the best font for resume, check out and download CFI’s Free Resume Template. Note: this resume is in Times New Roman font.
The above is certainly not an exhaustive list of all possible good fonts to use for resumes. They are, however, considered the best fonts to use. The fonts convey professionalism and a mindset centered around a good work ethic.
On top of font selection, it’s also important to consider other things relating to the font. One of the aspects is font size. In such case, the safest bet is usually 12, although some fonts (like Arial) appear too large in 12. In such cases, size down to a size similar to Times New Roman 12.
Finally, ensure the resume is a one-page document. The reason for this is that recruiters and readers will be sifting through many resumes, and will often not get to the second page of a resume.
Thank you for reading CFI’s guide on the best font for resume. Our mission is to help you advance your career, and with that goal in mind, these additional resources will be a big help: