How to Select the Best Font for Your Resume

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 20 October 2022 | Published 27 May 2021

Updated 20 October 2022

Published 27 May 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Word processing software has many fonts that allow people to express themselves creatively. With so many options to choose from, it can get tricky settling on one font to use in your resume.

When a recruiter receives your application, they spend the first 30 seconds scanning over your resume, so in order to hold their attention, it is important to format your resume in an engaging and legible manner. Choosing a font that's easy to read puts you in the position of making a good first impression. The right font shows your professionalism and improves the readability of your resume, thereby increasing your chances of becoming the recruiter's top choice.

In this article, we discuss the best fonts to help your resume stand out and which font is right for you.

Read more: How to Format Your Resume (With Examples)

What are the best fonts to use in a resume?

Below are some of the most professional, yet simple fonts to use in your resume:

  • Cambria

  • Arial

  • Didot

  • Calibri

  • Garamond

  • Times New Roman

  • Helvetica

Related: How to Write a Resume If You Are a Fresh Graduate

How to determine the best font for your resume

Settling on one font can be difficult. However, when writing your resume, you have to select a font that will get a hiring manager to pay attention to your resume and increase your likelihood of moving ahead in the interview process.

Although you may be tempted to select a font that will show the recruiter your personality, you need to remember that the recruiter may be put off by a font that isn't legible, or one that is hard to read.

Most employers use software such as the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to sort through job applications. The ATS simplifies the screening process, but they are limited in interpreting complex fonts. Often, overly formatted fonts will get converted into blank boxes or other hard-to-read characters. While not all recruiters use this software, it is in your best interest to use simple-to-read fonts to stay on the safe side.

The ability to express your personality through your font varies with the profession you're applying for. If you are in a creative profession, such as graphic design, hiring managers would be more flexible when it comes to stylistic fonts in your resume. In this case, the resume serves to gauge how a candidate can express their artistic ability. However, keep in mind that it should still be easy to read.

Related: How to Write an ATS Resume (With Template and Example)

How to select the best font and size for your resume

The following are some tips to help you settle on the best font and size for your resume:

The font should be professional and easy to read

Intricate fonts can make your resume challenging to read. This may influence the recruiter to overlook it. Always go for clean and simple fonts.

Avoid cursive fonts as they appear unprofessional. A crisp text serves to emphasise what you want to say with your resume.

Even though you want to stand out from the rest, it is important to avoid taking liberties with the fonts you choose. While Times New Roman is a pleasant font, it is usually the default font that most candidates use. Try out other professional fonts that help you stand out from others.

Stay away from light or thin fonts

The goal when picking your font should be its readability. Therefore, you have to stay away from fonts that are generally ‘thin' or ‘light' as they tend to be difficult to read on both paper and screen.

Choose the right font size

When picking the right font size, ensure you stay within 10 and 12-point sizes. The font size you go with should largely depend on how it will affect your resume layout. It is good practice to ensure that your resume is one to two pages in length.

Always begin with a size 10 font and keep adjusting it if you think you have enough space. Experienced professionals may have more to write about in their resumes and should not be tempted to squeeze everything onto one page. Choose two pages instead. It will make for an easier reading experience for your recruiter.

If you find that your resume is more than two pages long with 10-point font, review your content, reevaluate how you can summarise your points and remove any jargon. Tailoring the information you expand upon for each application can also help your resume look more focused. Try using statistics and symbols to communicate your achievements as well.

Below are some ways to make your resume look more professional:

  • Remove filler words such as: ‘and', ‘that', ‘like' or ‘with'.

  • List three key accomplishments in each of your roles instead of going into detail about your job duties.

  • If two or more points seem similar, combine them into one statement for a more concise resume.

  • Include your most recent experience.

  • Use bullet points and not paragraphs for easy readability.

Related: A Comprehensive Guide to Creating a Professional Resume

Add some style to your font

You can add some personality and style to your font by using font styles for your section headers and name. This may include underlining, bolding, and italicising. Although your resume should have one font, you can italicise or increase the size of your name and critical sections such as education and experience.

Stay consistent with any stylisation and only choose one or two styles to ensure your resume looks professional and is easy to read. If you're applying for a creative field such as advertising and graphic design, you are at liberty when it comes to style.

Creative interviewers usually view the resume as a yardstick for your creative talents and expect it to act as a representation of your work. However, you still need to ensure that your resume is easy to read.

Related: 5 Steps For Producing an Effective Creative Resume

Resume layout

You should consider five main elements in the layout of your resume:

  • Line spacing: Choose size 1.0 or 1.15 spacing between each line of text and leave a space after every subheading. Adjust the spacing according to the available space in your resume.

  • Bullet points: When writing about your work experience, use bullet points to help the recruiter easily skim through the application. Always ensure that you don't overuse the bullet points and limit their use to 5 points.

  • Resume length: Avoid squeezing all your information onto one page so that the recruiter doesn't have to squint when reading your resume.

  • Text alignment: The text on your resume should be left-aligned. This is usually the standard for most professional documents and resumes. It also makes your resume easier to read. This rule, however, doesn't apply to your resume heading. The resume heading typically consists of your contact details and name. You may choose to centre-align the heading or select an alignment of your choosing.

  • Section spacing: There are no fixed rules when it comes to spacing. However, once you settle on a format, ensure that you stay consistent with the spacing you've chosen throughout your resume. A key thing to note is to include enough space to keep your resume flowing and organised.

Related: Understanding Resume Design (Definition, Steps and Tips)

Final steps

After choosing your preferred font and style for your resume, take some time to go through it and get feedback from your friends. The recruiter may print your resume to share it with other stakeholders or bring it with them to your interview.

Always print out a test copy to check if the font looks clear and readable. Printing a test copy allows you to check the consistency of stylisation throughout the resume and enables you to see if it detracts from the content.

Ask your close friends or relatives to look at both the printed and digital versions for any feedback. They will be able to give you their unbiased opinion. Take it as valuable advice to improve. It's better if they spot your mistakes before it gets into a recruiter's hands.

It's also a good practice to take a break of about 15 minutes after writing the resume and selecting the font. This way, you will get back to the document with a fresh pair of eyes.

A clean and simple font is easy to read and gives your resume a professional look. An easy-to-read resume can give you preference over those with intricate and hard-to-read fonts.

Related: 6 Universal Rules for Writing Your Resume

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