Best Font for a Resume: How To Choose Type and Size

By Hanne Keiling

Updated April 27, 2022 | Published July 12, 2018

Updated April 27, 2022

Published July 12, 2018

Hanne was a senior content manager at Indeed.

Related: 5 Resume Tips To Get Noticed

Learn a few simple ideas to help your resume stand out!

With so many options available, determining the best font for a resume can sometimes be a difficult decision. When an employer first reads your resume, they will typically scan for a brief 20–30 seconds. Recruiters and hiring managers spend countless hours every week skimming through a constant flow of resumes sent to them. Selecting a font and size that’s simple and easy to read is key to making a good first impression. A good font shows your professionalism and increases readability, giving your resume a chance to make it to the top of the pile.

Here is a list of the best fonts for resumes:

  • Arial

  • Cambria

  • Calibri

  • Didot

  • Garamond

  • Times New Roman

  • Helvetica

Related: Resume Examples and Samples Resumes for 2020

How to choose the best resume font and size

With thousands of fonts to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide on the font that will leave the best impression on an employer and increase your chances of moving forward in the interview process. It may be tempting to choose a font that showcases your personality, but keep in mind that recruiters will be put-off if a font makes it harder for them to do their job of reading your resume.

Many employers also use software called an applicant tracking system (ATS) to record and sort job applications. These programs don’t always read and interpret intricate fonts well, so complicated or overly detailed font options can sometimes be turned into blank boxes or other illegible characters.

If you’re creating a resume for a creative field like graphic design or advertising, you have more flexibility when it comes to style. Often, creative interviewers view the resume as a showcase of creative skills and abilities and is expected to be representative of your work. Even so, ensuring your resume is easy to read is a top priority.

Here, we’ll go over some tips to help you choose the right font and size for your resume.

Use a professional and easy-to-read font

Complex fonts can make your resume difficult to read, which could encourage employers to overlook it. Instead, choose a clean, simple resume font that makes your words clear to the employer.

There are two general buckets fonts fall into: Serif and Sans Serif. These mean with and without intricacies like “tails,” respectively. Sans Serif fonts (or fonts without tails) are generally good fonts for resumes due to their high readability. There are a few Serif fonts, however, that are still accepted among employers as simple and professional—Cambria, Garamond, Times New Roman and Didot.

Avoid “thin” or “light” fonts

As the goal in picking a font should be it’s readability, you want to avoid “thin” or “light” fonts as these can sometimes be difficult to read on a screen.

Related: How to Make a Resume (With Examples)

Select the right resume font size

The optimal font size for your resume is anything between 10 and 12 points. The size you choose will be largely determined by how the font size impacts your resume layout. Because it is best practice to keep your resume to one or two pages, begin with size 10 font and experiment with sizing up if you think you have space.

While it may be tempting to keep your entire resume on one page, avoid dropping your font size below 10 points. This will make your document hard on the reader’s eyes. If your resume is two pages or longer at a 10 point font, edit your resume content to create more concise ideas by removing any unnecessary words or phrases. Only the most relevant content that best displays your skills and experiences consistent to the job should remain.

For example, here’s a resume sentence that can be shortened:

  • “Performed inventory audits on a monthly basis and discovered issues with over-ordering—executed an organization solution across all teams which resulted in a 10% increase in revenue over the next two quarters.”

Make your ideas concise and remove filler words to include only the core value of your statement:

  • “Performed regular inventory audits, identifying and solving over-ordering problem to achieve 10% revenue increase.”

Here are a few other ways you can consolidate your resume:

  • Consider removing filler words such as “like”, “with”, “a”, “and” and “that.”

  • Instead of listing each function of every job you’ve held, pick two to three key impacts you made in those roles.

  • If you have two points that are similar, consider combining them into one brief statement.

  • Include only your most recent 10 to 15 years of experience.

  • Use succinct bullet points instead of paragraphs.

Read more: How to Decide the Length of Your Resume  

Add style to your resume font

You can also add personality or definition by selecting font styles for your name and section headers, including bolding, underlining and italicizing. While your entire resume should only be one font, you can stylize or increase the size of your name and important sections like “Education” or “Professional Experience”. Be consistent with stylization, and only select one or two to ensure your resume appears professional and easy to read.

Here’s an example:

Jon Mendez
555-555-5555
jmendez@email.com

Summary

Conscientious counselor with 3+ years of experience staying attentive to the needs of children, students, and parents, while ensuring a welcoming, trusting environment. Enjoys creating customized plans and programs to spur educational and emotional growth.

Experience

CRANE & JENKINS | Counselor
Aug ’14 – Jan ’18

  • Develop comprehensive guidance and counseling programs in collaboration with faculty and staff for 1,200+ students

  • Conduct career awareness sessions and meet individually with parents and students to explore education options based on career goals

  • Pioneered and coordinated Career & College Day, introducing 800 students and parents to 60 universities, colleges and companies

CLOUD CLEARWATER | Camp Counselor
Mar ’14 – Aug ’15

  • Supervised children aged 8-12 with special needs, including Down syndrome and autism

  • Recognized and tended to needs regarding diet, medication and behavior

  • Planned and coordinated daily indoor and outdoor activities, encouraging participation, engagement and teamwork

If you’re creating a resume for a creative field like graphic design or advertising, you have more flexibility when it comes to style. Often, creative interviewers view the resume as a showcase of creative skills and abilities and is expected to be representative of your work. Even so, ensuring your resume is easy to read is a top priority.

Related: How To Choose Cover Letter Font and Font Size

Final steps

After you’ve selected your font, font style and polished your resume accordingly, take time to review and get feedback. Since the employers looking at your resume may print it out to share with stakeholders or bring to your interview, print out a test copy to make sure the font is readable and stylization is consistent and doesn’t detract from the resume content.

Resume Format

Image description

Resume Format

  1. Name and contact information

  2. Summary or objective

  3. Professional history
    a. Company name
    b. Dates of tenure
    c. Description of role and achievement

  4. Education

  5. Skills

  6. Optional (Awards & Achievements, Hobbies & Interests)

Ask trusted friends or colleagues to review both your digital and printed versions for any feedback. Getting a fresh perspective can be helpful—third parties can give you an unbiased opinion, not having looked at and criticized the resume for hours like yourself.

You have several options when it comes to selecting a font size and style. The key idea to keep in mind when selecting one is simplicity. A clean font that is easy to read gives your resume preference over those with complex or otherwise illegible fonts. In addition, a highly readable and neat font can communicate professionalism to employers.

Related: Applicant Tracking System Explained -- Apply For Jobs With Confidence!

In this video, our host will walk you through what an ATS is and how/why recruiters use them. She also offers helpful tips in order to ensure your resume can pass an ATS.


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