Best Font for a Resume: How To Choose Type and Size
Updated June 29, 2023
With so many options available, determining the best font for a resume can sometimes be a difficult decision. Selecting a font and size that's simple and easy to read can help you make a good first impression on your prospective employer. Understanding what fonts are available and which one to use for your application documents can allow you to demonstrate your professionalism and highlight your experience and skills.
In this article, we review the best fonts for a resume and share a list of steps that can help you choose the right one.
What are the best fonts for a resume?
With thousands of fonts to choose from, you may feel overwhelmed when deciding on which one you want to use in your application documents, like your resume. It may be tempting to choose a font that showcases your personality, but remember that recruiters may not prefer a font that makes it harder for them to read and reference 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 they may turn complicated or overly detailed font options 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, although it's still important to focus on readability. Here is a list of the best fonts for resumes:
Times New Roman
How to choose the best resume font and size
Here are some tips to help you choose the right font and size for your resume:
1. 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 styles of fonts: 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 that are still accepted among employers as simple and professional: Cambria, Garamond, Times New Roman and Didot. As the goal in picking a font is its readability since the right font makes it easy for a hiring manager to review your application documents. Because of this, you may want to avoid “thin” or “light” fonts as these can sometimes be difficult to read on a screen.
2. Select the right resume font size
The optimal font size for your resume is anything between 10 and 12 points. The size you choose can be largely determined by how the font size impacts your resume layout. A one-page resume is appropriate for new graduates or employees new to a field.
Alternatively, tenured individuals, those with extensive professional skills or a variety of roles may have two-page resumes. Consider beginning with size 10 font and experimenting 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 can make your document challenging for the reader's eyes. If your resume is two pages or longer in 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.
3. Bold the right sections
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, experience or contact information.
Be consistent with stylization and only select one or two to ensure your resume appears professional and easy to read. Here's an example of a portion of a resume that uses bold font to add clarity and style:
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.
Counselor | August 2015–January 2018
Crane & Jenkins | Denver, CO
Developed comprehensive guidance and counseling programs in collaboration with faculty and staff for 1,200+ students
Conducted more than 30 career awareness sessions and met 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
Camp Counselor | March 2014–August 2015
Cloud Clearwater | Boulder, CO
Supervised groups of 12 children aged 8-12 with special needs
Recognized and tended to needs regarding diet, medication and behavior
Planned and coordinated daily indoor and outdoor activities for 12 children at a time five days a week, encouraging participation, engagement and teamwork
4. Ask for feedback
After you've selected your font and font style, and refined your resume accordingly, take time to review and get feedback. Since the employers looking at your resume may print it out to share with managers 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. This also allows you to ensure the margins and alignment are as expected without cutting off content.
Ask trusted friends or colleagues to review both your digital and printed versions for any feedback. You have several options regarding the right 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. A highly readable and neat font can communicate professionalism to employers.
"Resume Format" is the title of this infographic that shows an image of an example resume.
On the left side of the infographic, a numbered list points to each section of the resume.
Name and contact information
Summary or objective
a. Company name
b. Dates of tenure
c. Description of role and achievement
Optional (Awards & Achievements, Hobbies & Interests)
On the right side of the image is a sample resume with the name Janet Chobot and lines representing text underneath. Then the headlines Summary, Professional History, Educational History, Skills, and Awards & Achievements. Under each section are lines representing text.
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