Looking for a resume writing trick that puts you ahead of the competition?
Use a better font when making your resume.
Professional fonts that meet industry standards will appeal to applicant tracking systems (ATS) and help you get past the screening phase. But they're also key for capturing hiring managers' interest and keeping them excited to learn more about you.
In this guide we'll share with you the best resume fonts to use and why font choice matters. You'll also learn how font size can affect readability, along with other mistakes that you must avoid.
So let's jump right in…
What Are the Best Fonts for Resume Making?
The right typeface can take your resume from bad to great. And that's more than enough to help you get an interview and land a job at your dream company.
After all, the best resume fonts are designed to maximize your chances of getting noticed.
Here are our top 6 picks for professional fonts to use in a resume:
Lato is a typeface created in 2010 that has a sleek, sans-serif look. It doesn't follow much of the current trends. But, it’s still one of the best fonts as it has a modern look that can make a strong impression.
With all its original traits, Lato does an amazing job conveying harmony and elegance. It's a professional font that works both for print and digital resumes, which makes it the perfect design option for your next CV.
If you're looking for a serious but friendly typeface that works for body texts and headlines in uppercase and lowercase, Lato is your best friend.
Arial is a sans-serif font that’s neat, clean, and easy to read. It’s a professional typeface that gets the job done by making you look like a serious candidate.
The problem with Arial is that it's an old font that was designed in the early 1980s. So, recruiters might find it tedious and repetitive since many other applicants will probably be using it too.
Rubik is a free sans-serif font family designed in 2015. The variety of font weights with bold and italics that it comes with has made it one of the most downloaded typefaces on the internet.
With its slightly rounded corners, Rubik finds the perfect balance between professionalism and friendliness. It works well both for long paragraphs and subheadings, which makes it the ideal choice if you want to stick to only one font in your resume.
Calibri is a relatively modern sans serif typeface released by Microsoft in 2007. It's the default typeface for Microsoft Word with a font family that consists of thin, regular, and bold.
On one end, this resume font is a safe option because it's new and was developed by a large corporation. But on the other, it might have an overused font style that can turn headhunters off before they start reading.
Bitter is yet another free typeface you can use in your resume design. It's a slab serif font that prioritizes on-screen legibility and can work on any computer or device.
The robust letter design guarantees a maximum level of readability. The font family offers a wide range of weights from thin to black, in addition to other formatting options including normal, italic, and bold.
Planning on printing physical copies of your resume?
Use Bitter for headlines and another sans-serif font for long texts. This can be an excellent way to embellish your CV and make it more captivating.
Times New Roman
Times New Roman is the oldest font family in this list as it was created in the early 1930s. Due to the exceptional readability it offers, this typeface was used for print magazines and newspapers by the most popular publications around the world.
The truth is…
Despite its popularity, this may not be the best resume font for you. As an old-fashioned serif typeface, Times New Roman makes your CV look like it was designed using an old template on MS Word.
Besides, there is always the possibility that other candidates with similar layouts may be using Times New Roman too. So that makes it impossible for you to grab attention and leave a lasting impression.
Why Does Font Matter When Building a Job Resume?
Everything you put in your resume affects your application in one way or another, from the layout you choose to the colors and fonts you use.
Now don't get this wrong…
Font choice won't prove that you are experienced or well-qualified for the job. But it does have a huge effect on how recruiters see your resume and interact with it.
Here's why choosing a great resume font for your resume is vital:
A Good Font Helps You Grab Attention
Six seconds is what it takes recruiters to decide whether or not they should read your resume.
Now let's face it – the font you choose will take up most of the page compared to other design elements. So it's usually the first thing that recruiters notice as soon as they pick up your resume. That's why even color and layout don't affect first impressions as much as font does.
Your resume typeface mainly impacts your personal brand. Resumes with well-chosen fonts are more attractive to headhunters because they're unique. On the contrary, an old typeface can push away recruiters just because it's overused and outdated.
A Good Font Increases Readability
Using unique fonts to get hiring managers to notice you is one thing — but keeping them glued to your resume is another. After all, recruiters won't hire you just because your resume is beautiful but because you're qualified for the job.
Thankfully, professional fonts are all about clarity and maximum readability. If you take a close look at how typefaces have evolved over the years, you'll notice that the most popular fonts today are simple and easy to read.
To put it in simple terms – a good font will keep headhunters reading even if your sentences or paragraphs are long.
A Good Font Leaves a Positive Impression
Font choice also has a huge effect on what recruiters think about you after reading your resume.
When the competition is tough, a bad font can get you ignored…
No headhunter is willing to waste ten minutes on an illegible resume while they have 200 other ones waiting in their inbox. But even if they do, they'll be less likely to give you a fair chance after the negative experience they just had.
On the contrary, the outstanding resume font you used will be a way to leave a memorable impression after you're shortlisted. A beautiful resume can keep you on top of the recruiter's mind and get them excited about your application.
Serif vs. Sans Serif: Which Typeface Should You Use In Your Resume?
A typeface can either be serif or sans serif. Both styles are professional and popular, and there are pros and cons on each end. The main difference between the two is the decorative strokes at the end of each letterform for serif fonts.
Serif is a classic type of font that gives off a traditional vibe because it was the main typeface in the past century. Due to the decreased eligibility, however, serif fonts are better used mainly for headlines or short sentences to further embellish your resume.
On the flip side – sans serif is all about practicality as it puts readability first by being minimalistic and modern. That makes it the perfect choice for anyone designing a resume that they want to print and use online at the same time.
It's important to remember that choosing to use serif or sans-serif in your resume also depends on your industry.
You might want to use a serif font if you're applying for a job in traditional industries such as law, finance, and education. In more innovative fields, however, you have to build a modern resume that shows creativity and personality. Thus, using sans-serif fonts becomes your best choice.
3 Additional Tips to Help You Use Resume Font to Your Advantage
You've learned, so far, everything you need to know about choosing the perfect font to create your resume. You also have a better understanding of serif and sans-serif fonts and when each style should be used.
Here are three additional tips to help you make a stunning resume:
Combine Two Fonts In Your Resume
One of the best ways to improve how your resume looks is to use two complementary fonts. This allows you to lead the reader's eye more easily and establish a clear visual hierarchy on the page.
The way you can do that is simple – both typefaces must be modern to convey professionalism. But you should avoid fonts that are too creative as those may turn recruiters off.
Furthermore, it's better for your resume typefaces to be different in style so that they're clearly distinguishable by the eye. Similar typefaces will only add confusion and ambiguity. And that makes it harder for readers to understand your formatting.
Pick an Ideal Resume Font Size
The ideal font height differs based on the length of your resume and the content you're adding.
The standard font size for resumes is 12pt, but it can go slightly up or down to allow you to fit all sections into a single page. Now be careful as anything below 10pt becomes impossible to read — whereas a text size larger than 14pt may be annoying as it slows down the reading speed.
It's essential to have a different resume font size for each element depending on its importance on the page. And you have to be consistent with these choices throughout your whole resume.
For the resume header, your full name should come in the largest font. Your job title follows with a lower size as it is the second most important element. The rest of the contact details should match the default font size in other sections.
Choose A Readable Font Weight
Size isn't the only thing affecting readability when it comes to typefaces. The weight of your resume font can also make or break your job application.
How is that possible?
Recruiters will struggle to read any resume that comes in a light font weight even when the size is perfect. By the same token, using a bold font weight for paragraphs will only make your page look dense and decrease legibility.
Here's a much better solution…
If you're looking to make certain elements on the page stand out, you're better off using a regular font weight. You'll then be able to create contrast by bolding specific words on the page or using a different color to draw attention.
Font plays an important role when it comes to building a resume that can help you land your dream job. Because of the huge effect it has on first impressions and readability, picking the wrong typeface can be a sure way to get yourself ignored.
This article features the best serif and sans-serif fonts you can use to build a job-winning CV. Combine that with additional tips shared at the end, and you'll create a stellar CV that's guaranteed to make you the center of attention.
Having a hard time creating a resume using the right fonts?
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Are there any other fonts you like to use for your resume that we haven’t mentioned? Let us know in the comments below!