Your resume is either going to hinder or help your job hunting experience. The right resume should be legible and attractive to recruiters.
According to TheLadders, recruiters scan resumes for about seven seconds before deciding whether to hire you or not. There are usually a lot of people applying for a position, so not using the best font for your resume could reduce your chances of getting the job.
To stand out from the crowd with your resume, ensure that your text is good and that the overall meaning of your resume is not lost.
In this article, I have highlighted some of the best font options for your resume, its functionality, and examples. Because these fonts go well with Applicants Tracking Systems, you have a high chance of sealing an interview.
At the end of this article, I will also highlight the best font and size everyone should go for if they want to keep their resume simple and professional. That said, let’s dive in!
Arial is a popular, attractive sans serif; that is, a font without a serif. This is one of the standard fonts for resumes as it is clean, free from decorative frills, and easy to read.
It is a more acceptable choice for online reading as it contrasts well against white backgrounds. Another advantage of using this font is that it is still legible in small sizes like 10 or 11 points.
Arial font is suitable for all industries, hence is a safe bet for your resume when you are unsure of what to use. The font comes in a variety of styles and weights making it ideal for you to format your resume to your taste.
Arial was the default font for Microsoft Office applications before Calibri was introduced in 2007. It is easily available on Windows and Mac computers.
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Times New Roman is one of the most popular serif fonts in the world. A serif font derives its origin from Latin alphabets.
They were reproduced from words carved from stones and easily distinguishable by a stroke or line attached to either the top or bottom of the letters. This font is highly legible as it has a traditional feel.
Because this font is considered highly professional, ATS (Applicants Tracking Systems) will consider it readable, making it an excellent choice for resumes. Times New Roman is an exceptional choice while applying to traditional industries like schools, banks, real estate, or law firms.
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Helvetica is another terrific sans-serif font you can use for your resume. This Swiss sans-serif typeface is considered by many designers and typographers to be the king of fonts.
Helvetica is very similar to Arial and requires scrutiny to tell the difference. It offers a clean and modern look that is easy on the eye.
More so, the font also comes in a variety of weights and styles. Another advantage of this font is that it is designed to read well on screen, so you have no fear if you are sending a digital copy of your resume.
If you are looking for a standard font with a hint of sophistication, Helvetica comes highly recommended.
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Tahoma is a sans-serif typeface that provides great alternatives to other classic fonts. It’s one of the most popular sans-serif font families on Windows operating systems.
The font has a tall narrow body that not only makes it legible but adds a technical flair to the text. It was created with an on-screen display in mind, as clarity and legibility are achievable even at smaller font sizes.
Overall, Tahoma is a great font to use if you are applying for a job in the technical or engineering industry.
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Designed by Mattew Carter for Microsoft Corporation, Verdana is one of the best fonts for your resume. At first glance, you’ll notice that its spaced-out characters aid the legibility of the body text.
It has an elegant look that can easily be read even in smaller sizes. With Verdana, your resume won’t look cluttered at all.
Finally, this font is recommended for industries like construction or engineering.
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If you are looking for a unique alternative to the classic Times New Roman, Cambria is your best bet. Cambria, a serif font, is part of a suite of typefaces called the ClearType Font Collection, which has been widely used in Microsoft Office programs.
One of the features that make it stand out is its sturdy characters that are legible even in smaller sizes. This makes it a great option for either print or online resume submission.
With Cambria, you are getting legibility with a unique outlook that differentiates your resume from others. Overall, the font can be used if you’re applying to any professional industry such as finance, management, and consultancy.
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Calibri, a sans-serif typeface, has been Microsoft’s default font for over 14 years. In 2005, it won the TDC2 2005 Type System award from the Type Directors club.
This font is trendy and familiar and is an awesome advantage to you as your recruiter won’t struggle to read your resume.
Calibri can be easily read on any computer or mobile device and won’t mess up the formatting no matter where it’s sent. It is also economical with space as at a 12-pt size, it gives extra space of up to 700 words in a two-page resume.
Lastly, Calibri offers an organized, professional, and warm look to your resume and you can use it to apply in almost any industry.
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If you’re seeking employment in the creative sector like graphic design, video editing, or any other creative job, then Trebuchet MS is your choice. Created by Vincent Connare, the font looks very thick and rounded making it stand apart from other fonts.
The font appears well on a screen and is perfect for dazzling hiring managers especially those in the creative field. Aside from creatives, entry-level job seekers can also use the font for their resumes.
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Didot is also a great choice for your resume if you’re applying to a creative industry such as fashion design, photography, or graphic design. It is a serif font with roots in France.
I love how the font adds a playful, romantic feel to texts and helps you make a statement with your resume. As much as it’s creative and fun, it’s still legible which is an important quality in a font for your resume.
For a classic font choice in your resume, you could opt for Georgia. It’s also a serif font whose thicker strokes add more clarity to a computer screen.
Many big corporations like Yahoo, Amazon, Twitter, and even the New York Times online all use this font. So, your recruiter won’t find it difficult to read your resume.
I particularly love this font for its modern yet classical look. Another feature that makes it stand out is that it appears the same in all document formats whether a word document or a pdf.
Overall, Georgia is an excellent choice if you want a font that looks simple yet professional.
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If you are looking for a competitive edge with your resume, using Garamond might just be the answer. Like Times New Roman, Garamond is a serif typeface designed in the 1700s.
It gives your resume a classic, elegant look that will be attractive to any recruiter. Aside from that, the font condenses your text, giving you space for more information.
Another outstanding feature of Garamond is its ability to allow you to fit more text in your resume without sacrificing legibility.
Overall, the font is an awesome choice when you’re applying to any technical field like software development or digital marketing.
Avenir is a French word that means, “Future”. This font is especially great for those looking to add a contemporary twist to their resume.
The font’s clean and sharp edges not only make your resume warm and lively but also elevate the presentation so that it doesn’t appear distracting.
Aside from that, it comes with multiple weights and styles that you can apply to differentiate various parts and features on your resume.
Lucida Sans is another font guaranteed to give your resume a professional look. The font is made up of both sans serif and serif characters.
One admirable feature of Lucida Sans is that it’s elegant, delicate, and easily understandable. No wonder the name was derived from, “Luid” meaning, “expressed clearly”.
Also, because it’s a tall font, it is compatible with both digital and print readership. It comes in different styles and weights, which you can optimize to make your resume stand out.
The styles include regular, italic, demi, demi italic, bold, bold italic, narrow, narrow italic, narrow demi, and narrow demi italic. Also, there is a more modern feel to it and is best used for junior roles or roles in the creative space.
The Open Sans font is a sans-serif typeface that came into existence in 2011. It was designed by Steve Matteson. Due to its tall and wide characters, Open Sans is a good choice for optimal readability.
The wide-open letters are easy to read on any screen. It comes in different weights and styles making it a great option for text formatting.
It is also familiar to many readers as it is the default font for Mozilla and several Google pages.
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Looking for an alternative to the everyday Times New Roman font in your resume, try Corbel. It is a humanist sans-serif typeface designed by Jeremy Tankard and released in 2005.
As a sans-serif font, it is clear, simple, and free from frills, making it a great choice for your resume writing. This font is a more creative design than the standard Calibri. Corbel can make your resume look unique and modern.
It is a great option if you want your resume to be legible and yet creative.
Futura is a geometric sans-serif typeface designed by Paul Renner and released in 1927. This font adds a modern twist to your resume.
I also love that the font has an overall clean and attractive design that can set your resume apart from others.
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Looking for a font that is sharp, clean, and easy to read, you can’t go wrong with Century Gothic. This font is quite basic and was released by Monotype Imaging in 1991.
It is easy to read, making it a great choice for print material. Best of all, this font can be used for a resume in any industry without looking out of place.
Constantia is a serif font designed in 2003 for both print and on-screen use. Constantia is part of the ClearType Font Collection which includes three other fonts: Calibri, Cambria, and Corbel.
It is one of the best options to use in your resume if you are opting for a classic font that hints at confidence and reader-friendliness.
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Book Antiqua is part of the serif family and was created by Monotype Corporation. It’s an elegant, distinctive, gentle, and classic font that will surely pique a recruiter’s interest in your resume.
Aside from that, it also provides better space flexibility among characters and has a variety of styles and weights that make text formatting as easy as pie. Some of its styles include Book Antiqua Regular, Book Antiqua Italic, Book Antiqua Bold, Book Antiqua Regular, and Book Antiqua Bold Italic.
All in all, if you want to veer away from the regular don’t choices, this is a great option to use.
Lato, a sans-serif font was designed in 2010, by Łukasz Dziedzic, a Polish typeface designer, and named after the Polish word for “summer” because it was meant to be as cheery as the warmest season.
One of the amazing features of this font is its multifaceted ability to be serious and still contain some element of playfulness. It is legible and a world away from the classic fonts used in resumes.
Lato is also a corporate font, so you can rest assured that it will work well on your resume. As an open-source font, you can download and use it for free.
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This is a font that is going to fit perfectly in your resume writing. It has a modern and clean look that will give your copy a vibrant touch.
The lack of ornamental serifs makes it readable to your recruiter. The humanist sans-serif typeface was designed by Eric Gill and released by the British branch of Monotype from 1928 onwards.
It has various weights and styles that will be helpful in text formatting.
Clarendon is one of the best fonts for resume writing. It was designed by Robert Besley and released in 1845.
Using Clarendon adds a bold, contemporary, and friendly touch to your resume.
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This is another great font under the serif family. Just like Times New Roman, this font provides a traditional, formal, and reliable feel to your text. This font stands out best in headings or names and can be adapted to add life to your resume pages.
I love how Baskerville adds an elegant twist to your resume without taking away its readability.
Of all the fonts listed above, I’ll pick Times New Roman as the best font for your resume. Apart from being one of the most popular fonts in the world, it is considerably legible, ATS-compliant, and has an elegance that keeps your resume distinct.
Aside from being timeless, Times New Roman is readily available on both Windows and Mac operating systems. You don’t have to worry about your recruiter struggling to read your resume.
Also, since many recruiters in various industries are already familiar with the traditional feel of Times New Roman, you may want to stick with it and stay on the safe side. But of course, you’re free to use any of the other fonts reviewed above especially if it suits your industry.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.