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What is the Best Font for a Resume (+10 Examples & Tips)

Resume writing | 2016-12-28
Natalie Severt - resume expert at Uptowork Natalie Severt
Resume Expert at Uptowork

What are the best fonts for a resume? 

 

Well, the best resume fonts are those that are easy to read. That’s the bottom line.

 

If you use a common resume font that’s easy to read, you win. That’s all you have to do. 

 

No, there are no magical font that will get you more interviews.

 

But…

 

Some typefaces do seem to have a psychological impact on the reader.

 

Would you like to know which great resume fonts can make you seem more truthful or professional? 

 

Of course, you would.

 

In this article you will find:

 

  • The best resume fonts compared to the worst.
  • Beautiful examples of how the best resume fonts look. 
  • Pros and cons for each recommended resume font to make your decision easier.
  • Psychological tips on standard fonts to use on a resume.

 

Are you writing a resume for the first time? Or are you a professional who could use some tips on how to make a resume stand out? Either way, we've got you covered. Read our full guide: "How To Make A Resume: A Step-By-Step Guide (+30 Examples)"

 

20 Samples of the Worst and Best Resume Fonts 

 

examples of the best fonts to put on your resume

 

1. Calibri

 

Let’s start with Calibri. Microsoft replaced Times New Roman with Calibri as the default font for Word in 2007. 

 

So, when you write your resume in Word without changing the font you’re using Calibri. And there’s nothing wrong with that. 

 

Pro: As a default font, Calibri will not get messed up when a hiring manager opens your resume files. Plus it’s a professional and easy-to-read font.

 

Con: As a default font, many other job seekers will also use Calibri. That means your resume might not stand out from the others. 

 

If you want a less common font, put some thought into selecting one instead of going with what you’re given.

 

Villain Font: Webdings

 

Webdings isn’t even a font. It’s a typeface that uses pictures instead of letters. 

 

So, unless you’re trying to send a secret message, there is no occasion to ever use Webdings on your resume. 

 

Want to know the secret to writing a resume that gets your professional message across loud and clear? Have you heard of opening with a resume summary? If not, then you should read our guide: "How To Write A Resume Summary: 21 Best Examples You Will See"

 

which font to use on a resume

 

2. Helvetica

 

Two Swiss designers created Helvetica. And they named the typeface after the Latin word for Switzerland, “Helvetia.”

 

There are those that say Helvetica is the best font for a resume. Helvetica is a pretty, easy-to-read sans serif font.

 

The only problem is that Helvetica is not free. 

 

You aren’t going to find it listed under fonts in Microsoft Word. You are going to have to buy it if you want to use it and don’t have a Mac.

 

Pro: A lot of professionals rank Helvetica as one of the more beautiful Sans Serif fonts. 

 

What are Sans Serif fonts?

 

Sans Serif fonts are those that do not have the feet on letters like the “T” in Times New Roman. Designers describe them as fresh, modern, and good for resumes. 

 

Both the New York City metro and major corporations like BMW use Helvetica for their signs.

 

Con: Helvetica only comes preloaded on Macs. Otherwise, you have to buy the font to use it. 

 

Villain Font: Courier

 

A Bloomberg article attacked Courier as one of the worst resume fonts. 

 

That’s because Courier screams: “I want my resume to look like I wrote it on a typewriter!” 

 

You are not Jack Kerouac. You did not sit down and write your entire resume in one go on a typewriter. (If you did, you might want to consider rewriting your resume.) So, your resume shouldn’t look like you wrote it on a typewriter.

 

Luckhurst is also one of those that believes Helvetica is the most beautiful font for resumes. That’s for you to decide.

 

If you want your resume to look professional, it's better to spend time choosing the right resume format. Do you know which resume format is best for you? Find out by reading our guide: "3 Resume Formats: How To Choose The Best One [Examples]"

 

best font for resume comparison

 

3. Arial 

 

Arial looks like Helvetica. So much so that the main difference seems to be that Arial is free. Plus it’s a very standard typeface that’s easy and comfortable to read.

 

Pro: Arial is the default font for Google Docs. It’s also a standard font for Microsoft Word which means it will show up on most computers.

 

Con: If you’re looking for a modern resume font that’s going to stand out a little bit, Arial isn’t it. You might want to go with Garamond or other less obvious fonts. Or you might want to just pay for Helvetica. 

 

Villain Font: Comic Sans

 

Yes, I shouldn’t have to tell anyone to avoid Comic Sans. 

 

Comic Sans is for writing the dialogue that appears in the speech bubbles of comic books. It was not designed for serious documents. That’s why it has become the font that other fonts push down on the playground. 

 

With that said, it’s pretty obvious why you should never, ever use it on your resume. 

 

But what should you put on a resume? Are you sure you aren't forgetting anything? Just in case you want to find out, read our guide: "What To Put On A Resume To Make It Perfect [Tips & Examples]"

 

good resume fonts samples

 

4. Georgia

 

Georgia is the font used by the New York Times online. It’s also used by Yahoo, Amazon, and Twitter. 

 

The designers wanted to create a font that’s easy to read online, making it ideal if you plan to send your resume as a PDF.

 

Pro: You can find Georgia across writing platforms.

 

Con: Georgia is accessible and a fine replacement font for Times New Roman. That may lead  many other job seekers to use Georgia. 

 

So, again, if you want to stand out you might want to go with something else.

 

Villain Font: Times New Roman

 

Now, there are no rules about not using Times New Roman. In fact, it is the most standard resume font. 

 

But that’s why you might want to avoid it. Imagine you’re the hiring manager. You’re scanning one resume after another in Times New Roman.

 

Then you come across a resume written in Georgia. It’s a similar font, but it's just different enough to be refreshing. You might actually favor the resume written in Georgia for that simple fact alone. 

 

That’s why Georgia is one of the best fonts for a resume. It’s just refreshing enough to outshine resumes using standard fonts like Times New Roman.

 

Want to know another refreshing resume secret? Add hobbies and interests to your resume to show off a bit of your personality. Don't believe me? Read our guide: "+20 Best Examples Of Hobbies & Interests To Put On A Resume (5 Tips)"

 

recommended font size for resume 

5. Verdana

 

Matthew Carter created Verdana over at Microsoft. He designed the font so that it is easy to read in small print on computer screens. 

 

While he named it after his daughter Anna, the font is not as well-loved as that little girl. 

 

Yet, Verdana remains a good choice for digital versions of resumes.

 

Pro: Great for job seekers who need to squeeze more onto their resumes.

 

Especially if you know the hiring manager is going to read it online and not in print.

 

Con: If you’re looking for a “wow” resume font, keep looking. Verdana doesn’t look all that different from Arial and Arial looks like Helvetica. 

 

Villain Font: Futura

 

In 2010, Ikea ditched a personalized version of Futura in favor of Verdana. 

 

The Ikea catalog is the third most printed document after the Bible and Harry Potter. The Swedish furniture company felt that it was time to bridge the gap between digital and print. 

 

So, they chose Verdana. 

 

Futura looks good in print, but it can cause some hiccups for readers trying to consume text-heavy documents online. 

 

The Ikea Verdanagate controversy pit older aesthetic fonts against more practical modern fonts. (Futura is from the 1920’s) 

 

Let’s say you do need a versatile font like Verdana that will look good both on your PDF and print resume. 

 

Just think about it. Ikea is a master at maximizing the use of minimized space. A good trick for resume writers. Maybe that translates to their choice of font? You be the judge.

 

Having trouble squeezing information onto your resume? How long should a resume be in the first place? Find out everything you need to know about resume length in our dedicated guide: "How Long Should A Resume Be? Everything You Need To Know"

 

professional resume fonts examples

 

6. Garamond

 

Garamond is a font with a long history. I won’t bore you with the details. But, Garamond fonts come from 15th and 16th-century designs. 

 

Why is that important? Well, at its age, Garamond is timeless.

 

And a timeless font is a good resume font.

 

Claude Garamond was a French punchcutter and lived from 1480 to 1561. His designs formed the basis for the Adobe version of Garamond. 

 

Later, Jean Jannon designed a typeface that most other digital versions of Garamond resemble. 

 

Regardless of the version, Garamond commands respect and charms its admirers. 

 

Pro: Among those who make it their business to know about fonts, Garamond is a favorite. It’s classy. 

 

Plus, Garamond meets all the requirements of a good resume font. Easy to read? Check. Attractive? Check. Not something everyone and their mom uses? Check.

 

Con: The Harry Potter books - Garamond. It’s just a magical font. 

 

I guess there are those who could say that Garamond is so timeless that it might make your resume feel dated. 

 

Villain Font: Papyrus 

 

Okay, so you want an old school, classic looking font. 

 

That’s why Garamond is great. It’s French. It’s old. It’s classy. 

 

But.

 

Fake Ancient Egyptian chic isn’t the answer. Papyrus may be a great font for The Return of the Mummy, but it’s not a great font for your resume. It’s just as kitsch and childish as Comic Sans. Avoid it.

 

Instead, add accomplishments to your resume. Adding achievements to your resume is the fastest way to make it classy. Don't know how? Need ideas? We've got you covered: "Achievements To Put On A Resume - Complete Guide (+30 Examples)"

 

 a good typeface for resumes

 

7. Proxima Nova

 

Changing speed. 

 

Unlike Garamond, Proxima Nova is a modern font. Mark Simonson created the font as late as 2005. 

 

Proxima Nova is for you if you’d rather go for a sleek, modern resume font. It’s the font of choice for websites like Buzzfeed, Mashable, and Flickr. 

 

Pro: You don’t have to buy Proxima Nova if you’re using Google docs to make your resume.

 

Con: Proxima Nova is not a Microsoft Word font. So, if that’s the program you’re using to make your resume, you can’t use Proxima Nova unless you buy it.

 

Villain Font: Trajan

 

Want to go with the opposite of modern? Why not Trajan?

 

Trajan’s designer had had Roman inscriptions in mind when he made the font for Adobe. 

 

The font is all in caps, with no lowercase letters. So, using Trajan may make you feel like the Caesar of resumes. 

 

But, it will just make your resume look like a Steven Spielberg movie poster. 

 

Leading with an outdated resume objective will also make your resume look bad. Read our guide to find out how to write a modern resume objective that will land you a job: "+20 Resume Objective Examples - Use Them On Your Resume (Tips)"

 

the best cv font size

 

8. Lato

 

Łukasz Dziedzic, a Polish typeface designer, created Lato.  It’s an open source font which means you can download and use it for free. 

 

Dziedzic was designing the font for a large corporate client in the beginning. That’s why the typeface has both serious and friendly qualities. 

 

He said the dual nature of the font gave it the “feeling of the summer.” He named the font Lato, which is the Polish word for summer.

 

Pro: Lato is a corporate font. So,  you can rest assured that it will work well on your resume.

 

Con: Lato is not a standard Microsoft Word font. That might mean that it will not load when some hiring managers open your resume.

 

Villain Font: Bradley Hand

 

Let’s say you want to go for something more personal and less corporate. 

 

Wouldn’t a font that looks like handwriting work well? No. You should personalize many aspects of the job-seeking process. Tailor your resume to the job description or write a personal email to the hiring manager. 

 

But don’t choose a popular resume font that looks handwritten. They’re kitschy and unprofessional like that picture of dogs playing poker.

 

Don't know how to tailor your resume to a job description? It's one of the best things you can do for your resume. Read our full guide to find out how to tailor your resume: "6 Proven Tips On How To Tailor Your Resume To The Job Description"

 

best and worst resume fonts comparison

 

9. Baskerville

 

In an experiment for the New York Times, writer Errol Morris made a quiz to see if fonts changed the way people respond to information. 

 

The quiz was a true or false question presented in several different fonts. Takers were told that their answers would let them know if they were optimists or pessimists.

 

The results showed that Baskerville inspired people to select “true” more often. 

 

Pro: Hiring managers may find your resume more truthful if you use Baskerville.

 

Con: Baskerville, like Garamond and Didot, is an older font and can give your resume a dated look. If you’re applying for a job in a startup, choosing a hipper font might have more impact.

 

Villain Font:  Impact

 

Speaking of impact…

 

Okay, so most of these preferred resume fonts are boring and common. Let’s go for something with impact. 

 

Hey, isn’t there a font called Impact? Why, yes. But you can’t use it on your resume. 

 

Why not?

 

Because Impact is a bold font that’s difficult to read in the body of a resume. So, if you want to make an impact, don’t use impact as a font.

 

Making an impact on a resume is about putting all the right skills in all the right places. Need to know what skills are the best for resumes? Read our guide: "+30 Best Examples Of What Skills To Put On A Resume (Proven Tips)"

 

what is the best font for a resume

 

10. Didot

 

Didot is an elegant font designed by Firmin Didot just before the French Revolution.

 

Didot is not as old and classic as Garamond. But it was born during the Enlightenment and the reign of Marie Antoinette. So, it’s a good font for dressing up your resume. 

 

At the same time, many professionals associate the font with fashion. Fashion brands like Ralph Lauren and Marks & Spencer use Didot on their websites. 

 

So, keep in mind that there is a time and place for Didot. You don’t want your resume to suffer the same fate as Marie Antoinette. Only use Didot under the right circumstances. 

 

Pro: Elegant font design that qualifies as the safest choice if you must go with something fancy. 

 

Con: You must buy Didot if you want to use it on your resume. That’s the biggest drawback and the reason why we’ve put it last on our list of fonts.

 

Also, Didot works best for fashion industry resumes. Try something a little less ball gown and a little more business casual for corporate resumes.

 

Villain Font:  Vivaldi (Or any other swoopy, cursive font)

 

Ask yourself. Would this font look great on my wedding invitations? 

 

Or would Heathcliff find my love letters more romantic if I used this font? 

 

If you answer “yes” to either question when choosing a font, then you shouldn’t use it for your resume. 

 

That’s because fancy, cursive fonts are difficult to read. And “hard to read font” translates to “bad resume font.” So, do not use fonts like Vivaldi under any circumstances. 

 

If it must be fancy, make it Didot.

 

Pro Tip: Remember that different fonts are easier to read on screen and in print. Make sure you choose a font that works both ways. Print out a copy of your resume to make sure. 

 

Also, when choosing a font size for a resume keep it between 10-12 points. Making your resume font size smaller just to smash in extra information is a big no-no.

 

proper resume fonts

 

Key Takeaway

 

Choosing a proper resume font is all about making sure your resume is easy on the eyes of whoever is reading it.

 

You’ll also want to make sure that you’re using a universal font. One that will open on every computer and appease Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software.

 

There is some psychology behind how fonts work on the subconscious. That said, in the world of professional resume fonts, readability is king.

 

Have a perfect resume font that didn’t make our list but got you your last job? Share it with us in the comments. 

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