For years I’ve been researching on the topic of how to write winning resumes. One thing I’ve learned for sure: the resume success lies in its readability. What makes a resume readable? A proper number of pages, bullet points, and legible font type and size do. Let’s look at some of the best fonts for resume and toss in a couple of creative ones for the resume to stand out.
Why Resume Font Matters?
Many hiring managers today don’t waste their precious time on a primary check of the resume. All the resumes first go through the ATS checker to detect the right usage of job-related keywords. That’s why, your job, as an applicant, is to make sure the font will be recognized by the ATS checker first.
Here is a readable font checklist to run your font choice through.
- Not too small (between 10 and 12 font size).
- Easily scanned.
- Not too distracting.
- Easily-readable on a mobile device.
- Aesthetically pleasing.
Sans vs. Serif
Serif fonts have little lines at the end of every stroke in a letter. These fonts date back to the Roman antiquity thus may seem outdated if compared to sans-serif fonts.
Sans-serif fonts, on the contrary, don’t have the lines at the end of each letter stroke and are considered to be modern and fresh.
Serif fonts are good resume fonts because those little brushstrokes make them easier and faster to perceive by the eye, thus faster to read through. Sans-serif fonts are commonly chosen by employees with creative skills because they are easier to interwork with applications based on creative resume templates.
Compare the two font groups (serif on the left and sans on the right) and choose what suits your resume design choice.
Traditional Resume Fonts Choices
Whereas this font is considered to be a foolproof option, Arial may seem banal and unsophisticated to some employers. Barbara Safani, executive resume writer, on the other hand, claims to like this font because it’s clean and easy to read.
Calibri is also one of the safest resume font choices recognizable to all computer programs. Professional resume writer Donna Svei states that Calibri makes a perfect two-page resume from 550 to 750 words which is perfectly enough to describe skills and expertise.
This font makes it easy to design a resume both in Word and in PDF. It is used by Yahoo, Amazon, and Twitter. However, because of its often usage, Georgia won’t likely make the resume stand out.
Garamond is a great alternative to Times New Roman. It gives the resume a classic and polished look. It makes sure the information is full and readable without sacrificing the page’s space.
Being popular among designers and typographers this font gives the resume a professional lighthearted and honest look.
Serious but Friendly Fonts for Resume
A font created by a polish typeface designer, named after a polish word “summer” is supposed to be serious but friendly. It is a corporate font which reflects well on the resume. Whereas it’s openly available, your employer may not be able to read it if it wasn’t downloaded beforehand.
It’s an upscale and classy font. It gives some style to the resume thus making it suitable for applications to fashion and photography companies. It best displays its creative features in large sizes, so save it for headings.
It is both classic and modern as it has been popularized with “Keep Calm and Carry On” posters.
Kabel is an acceptable choice for any resume but is often used to give it a contemporary look.
Modern and Professional Fonts for Resume
Cambria and Caladea
Originally designed for an on-screen reading, Cambria is a professional-looking resume font. Caladea, an open-source substitute for Cambria, is one of the best resume fonts for modern jobs.
Because of its clean and unpretentious look, it’s one of the best fonts to use for resumes and cover letters. It’s been well optimized and is still legible even in small print.
Avenir and Avenir Next
These two font options are extremely versatile and give the resume a crisp look. They are best used to differentiate the resume sections. Avoid using the “book” and “light” weight of the font as they are hard to read.
Worst Fonts for Resumes
Being once considered a good font for resume, Times New Roman has gained the reputation of being outdated and overused. The following fonts aren’t only unprofessional but give a resume childish look thus leaving you off the competition for a job position.
These fonts are simply inadequate to use in resume writing because of their old, nostalgic and monumental.
- Comic Sans
- Brush Script
- Century Gothic
- Trajan Pro
Best Fonts for a Resume paired
In order to maximize the font’s features and amplify its impact on the resume readability, it’s better to use more than one font. You can either pair a serif with a serif, or a sans with a sans, and, even mix and match. The key is to make sure the resume information look consistent.
How to Format the Text Appropriately
- Use the bold, italics and underline information for it to look prominent.
- If you bold one section heading, bold them all.
- Make the name stand out (capitalize it, if you want).
- Don’t overuse the font features, you risk making the resume look messy.
- Don’t choose a resume font that’s too fancy. Impress the hirer with your knowledge and experience, not with the font.
The font choice defines your style and attitude toward the future job. In an ideal scenario, you want to choose a professional, classy and modern font. Now you know what fonts can make the biggest impact on the reader. Experiment with the best fonts from the list above and win that job interview.
Have you already decided which font to use for your next resume? Share your ideas.