Best Font for a Resume: Which Type & Size Should You Use

Nilda Melissa Diaz, CPRW
By Nilda Melissa Diaz, CPRW, Career Advice Expert Last Updated: May 13, 2024

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Choosing the best font for your resume can be the difference between standing out to recruiters and being overlooked among a sea of applicants.

Whether you’re a recent graduate or a seasoned professional, this guide will help you make informed font choices that can help you land your dream job.

We’ll cover the following topics: 

  • The best font to use for a resume, according to experts. 
  • Which fonts to avoid using on your resume.
  • How to pick the best resume font for your job application.
  • Determining the best resume font size.
  • Incorporating different font colors into your resume. 
  • Customizing your resume font with a resume builder.

What is the best font for a resume?

Selecting a legible and professional font for your resume ensures that your document is easy to scan, both by applicant tracking systems (ATS) and hiring managers.   

See the best resume fonts according to our Certified Professional Resume Writers (CPRW).

Each font is professional and ATS-friendly to display your skills and qualifications in the best possible light.

  1. Arial

    Arial is a popular and widely used font for resumes. It has a simple and straightforward design with uniform character widths, making it a good font for resumes that require a professional and polished look.

     

    Arial is an excellent font choice for resumes in industries such as technology, marketing and advertising, business and finance and education.

    Mb Arial Font
  2. Helvetica

    Helvetica is a clean, modern and widely recognized sans-serif font that offers a professional and polished appearance. It is known for its simplicity and readability, making it a popular choice for resumes. 

     

    The neutral and timeless aesthetic allows the content of your resume to take center stage while still maintaining a polished look.

     

    Helvetica’s clean and balanced design makes it suitable for various industries and positions. It is often preferred in creative fields, such as graphic design or advertising, but it can also work well for more traditional industries.

    Mb Helvetica Font
  3. Times New Roman

    Times New Roman has been around since 1931, first built for newspapers and later transformed into the preferred resume font for candidates in traditional or more conservative industries. 

     

    Times New Roman’s serifs (small decorative lines at the end of the letter strokes) give it a timeless look, making it a popular choice for resumes in more traditional industries such as law or finance.

     

    Some hiring managers may find Times New Roman to be overused or outdated, and it may not be the best choice for resumes in more creative or modern fields. Researching the expectations and preferences of the industry and company you are applying to is important.

    Mb Times New Roman Font
  4. Verdana

    Verdana is a modern font known for its readability, especially at smaller sizes, and its uniform character widths. 

     

    It was specifically designed for on-screen use, making it a popular choice for posting your resume online or sharing digital documents. 

     

    Verdana’s rounded and uniform letterforms give it a friendly and approachable appearance, which works well for resumes in various industries. It is a versatile font that can be used in both creative and traditional fields.

    Mb Verdana Font
  5. Trebuchet MS

    Trebuchet MS is an excellent font for resumes packed with information. It has a clean and readable design with a slightly condensed and narrow appearance, which can be helpful if you need to fit a lot of information on your resume. 

     

    The font was designed for on-screen use and is known for its legibility, making it a popular choice for digital documents.

     

    Trebuchet MS has a friendly and approachable appearance, which can work well for resumes in creative or more casual industries. It can also add a touch of personality to your resume without sacrificing professionalism.

    Mb Trebuchet Ms Font
  6. Georgia

    Elegant but legible, Georgia is an excellent option for job seekers who want to give their resume an elevated look. It was designed in 1993 with the idea of having a readable rounded font, so rest assured that Georgia will make it pass ATS. 

     

    Georgia was designed specifically for on-screen reading and has a slightly larger x-height, making it more legible on digital displays. It has a classic and elegant appearance with its curved letterforms and moderate stroke contrast. 

     

    It has a professional and sophisticated feel that can work well for resumes in industries such as law, finance or academia.

    Mb Georgia Font
  7. Tahoma

    Tahoma is a sans-serif font that can be a good choice for resumes, particularly for those in the fields of technology, design or engineering. 

     

    It has a modern appearance with a narrower design and tighter spacing between letters than some other sans-serif fonts like Arial or Helvetica.

     

    Tahoma is highly legible, even at smaller sizes, making it ideal for resumes that require a lot of text to be presented clearly and organized. Its clean and professional look can work well for a wide range of industries, but it may not be the best choice for more traditional or conservative industries.

    Mb Tahoma Font
  8. Saira

    Saira is a versatile resume font. It has a distinctive appearance with a balanced mix of rounded and angular letterforms. Saira can be used in headlines, long texts, newspapers, magazines and resumes. 

     

    It is a unique and modern font that can be a good choice for resumes in creative industries or for those who want to stand out.

    Mb Saira Font
  9. Bodoni

    Bodoni has long established itself as a professional and sophisticated font type. First designed in 1798, it has a high contrast between thick and thin strokes that can help create a visually appealing and polished look.

     

    Bodoni is often used in design, fashion, and creative fields but can also be appropriate for more traditional or formal industries. 

     

    However, it’s worth noting that Bodoni can be a bit more stylized and may not work well at smaller font sizes or on certain digital platforms.

    Mb Bodoni Mt Font
  10. Palatino Linotype

    Palatino Linotype is an incredibly versatile and functional font that works well for many different documents. It’s a great resume font option if you want to make a resume with a unique flair.

     

    Palatino Linotype has a timeless and elegant appearance that can help communicate professionalism and attention to detail. 

     

    Its legibility and readability are excellent, even at smaller font sizes. The balanced mix of thick and thin strokes can help create a visually appealing and polished look.

    Mb Palatino Linotype Font

Why is resume font important?

When writing a resume, choosing a legible and professional font is essential to ensure that your qualifications and experience are effectively communicated, increasing the likelihood of being noticed and considered by hiring managers. 

Below are a few reasons why your resume font choice matters.

  • Readability: A legible font ensures that your resume is easy to read, allowing hiring managers and recruiters to quickly scan through the document. If the font is difficult to read, it may lead to confusion and potential application rejection.
  • Professionalism: A professional font choice conveys a sense of professionalism and attention to detail. It shows that you have put effort into presenting your information clearly and professionally, which can make a positive impression on potential employers.
  • Consistency: Using a consistent and professional font throughout your resume creates a cohesive and polished look. It helps maintain a professional appearance and makes your resume more organized and well-designed.
  • Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS): Many companies scan and filter resumes using ATS software. Choosing a standard and legible font increases the chances of your resume being correctly parsed and read by these systems. Some complex or decorative fonts may not be recognized by ATS, resulting in formatting issues or your resume being overlooked.
  • Industry Standards: Certain industries or professions have specific expectations for resume formatting. A legible and professional font that aligns with industry standards can help your resume appear more relevant and suitable for the desired role.

Remember, you want to keep the recruiter interested in your skills and experience. A distracting resume font will take away from your limited time to make an impression.

Let’s explore the favorite resume fonts of interview coach and career strategist Margaret Buj.

In my opinion, the best fonts are the classic ones, e.g. Arial, Calibri, Garamond, Cambria, Georgia, Verdana or Tahoma.Margaret Buj, Interview Coach

Buj continues, “All of these fonts look professional though, which one you use really doesn’t matter, as long as the resume is well written and has no spelling mistakes. The fonts mentioned above are spaced well, clean and easy to read.”

When choosing a resume font, Buj says, “I’d just avoid any more aggressive “in your face” fonts like Impact or Lucida Console.”

What are the worst fonts to use on a resume?

Remember, your resume is a professional document — treat it with care. These are the resume fonts to avoid.

Heavily stylized fonts

They might look pretty on paper, but applicant tracking systems (ATS) have difficulty reading fonts with too many curves and tails.

  1. Lucida Handwriting

    Lucida Handwriting is not recommended for resumes due to its legibility, lack of professionalism and potential compatibility issues. 

     

    It is a script font with cursive lettering, which can make it challenging to read, particularly in smaller font sizes. 

     

    This can be detrimental to the readability of your resume, and it may be difficult for a hiring manager or ATS system to quickly scan your qualifications.

    Mb Lucida Font
  2. Edwardian Script

    Edwardian Script is a decorative script font with elaborate and intricate letterforms. While it may look aesthetically pleasing, it can be challenging to read, especially in smaller resume font sizes. 

     

    This can make it difficult for hiring managers or recruiters to quickly scan and understand your qualifications, which can decrease your chances of getting called back for an interview.

    Mb Edwardian Font
  3. Vladimir Script

    Vladimir Script is a script font with decorative letterforms, which can make it difficult to read and comprehend, especially in smaller font sizes. 

     

    It is not widely recognized as a professional font, and its use in a resume can be unprofessional and inappropriate.

    Mb Vladimir Script Font

Unprofessional fonts

There’s a time and place for out-of-the-box font types — your resume isn’t one of them.

  1. Comic Sans

    Comic Sans is a casual and informal font that is often associated with a playful or whimsical tone. 

     

    This can give the wrong impression in a professional context and may not convey the seriousness and professionalism expected in a resume. 

     

    Comic Sans’s uneven letter spacing and irregular letterforms can make it difficult to read, especially in smaller font sizes.

    Mb Comic Sans Font
  2. Papyrus

    Papyrus has been used extensively in various contexts, including movies, advertisements and other commercial products. As a result, it has lost its novelty and can come across as outdated or clichéd. 

     

    It has a distinctive and ornate letterform that can make it difficult to read, potentially leading to misunderstandings or a negative impression.

    Mb Papyrus Font
  3. Courier

    Courier is a monospaced font, meaning each character takes up the same amount of horizontal space. 

     

    This can result in uneven and awkward spacing, making your resume appear less visually appealing and professional. 

     

    It is often associated with typewriters and code writing, giving your resume a dated or technical appearance. It may not convey the modern and polished image that most job seekers aim for.

    Mb Courier Font

How to choose the best resume font

With so many font options available, it can be challenging to choose the right one. Below we’ll discuss some key factors to consider when selecting the best font for your resume.

Readability

Choosing a handwritten or cursive font to stand out might be tempting, but this may backfire and encourage employers to discard your resume. It also runs the risk of being unreadable by ATS. 

Instead, go for a clean, straightforward resume font that’s easy to read and understand. Fonts like Arial, Calibri and Times New Roman are commonly used for their readability.

Professionalism

Select a font that conveys professionalism and seriousness. Avoid overly decorative or informal fonts. Serif fonts are generally considered more traditional and professional, while sans-serif fonts have a modern and clean look.

Serif font types have a decorative stroke that extends off of the letters. They evoke a sense of history, tradition and integrity. Some popular serif fonts include Times New Roman and Georgia. They’re an excellent option for traditional industries, for instance, accounting resumes, business operations resumes or nursing resumes.
Sans-serif fonts don’t have a decorative stroke at the end. They’re modern, minimalistic and readable. Some well-known sans-serif fonts include Arial, Helvetica and Verdana. They can be used for many jobs and industries, from artist resumes to teaching resumes to engineering resumes.

ATS-compatibility

Many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to filter out applicants who may not be a great fit for a job. Fancy fonts and design elements might confuse this software, resulting in your resume being sent to the “discard” pile and never reaching the recruiter’s hands.

Ensure the font you choose is widely available and compatible across different devices and software. Using uncommon or obscure fonts may cause formatting issues when employers view or print your resume.

Match the font you use in your resume with the font you use in your cover letter. This gives your application a cohesive and polished look. We recommend using one of our cover letter templates to make a matching resume and cover letter.

Industry and company culture

Consider the industry and company culture you are applying to. Some industries may prefer more creative or unique fonts, while others may expect more traditional choices.

Research the norms within your target industry and align your font selection accordingly.

Here are some tips to help you choose the right font based on your industry:

  • Creative industries: If you work in a creative industry, such as graphic design, advertising or fashion, you may have more flexibility in your font choice. Consider using unique or artistic fonts that reflect your creativity and personality. However, make sure the font remains readable and professional.
  • Traditional industries: For more traditional industries like finance, law or education, it’s best to stick with more conservative font choices like Times New Roman, Arial or Calibri. These fonts are easy to read and convey professionalism and reliability.
  • Tech industries: In tech industries like software development or IT, sans-serif fonts like Helvetica or Verdana can be a good choice because they are modern and easy to read.
  • Healthcare industries: For healthcare industries like nursing or medicine, serif fonts like Georgia or Cambria can be a good choice because they convey a sense of trustworthiness and reliability.
  • Journalism or writing industries: Serif fonts like Times New Roman or Garamond can be a good choice for writing industries like journalism or publishing because they are classic and easy to read for long periods.

Personal branding

Choose a font that aligns with your personal brand and the image you want to portray. If you’re in a creative field, you may opt for more unique or artistic fonts that reflect your style and personality.

Think about the fonts you use in other aspects of your branding. If you have a personal website or portfolio, consider using the same fonts in your resume to create consistency across your brand.

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What is the best font size for a resume?

The standard font size for a resume is typically between 10 and 12 points for body text, between 14 and 16 points for secondary headings, and 18-24 points for your name in your resume header.

Your name: 18-24 point size
Secondary headings: 14-16 point size
Body text and contact information: 10-12 point size

This range ensures that the text remains legible and professional-looking. Font sizes smaller than 10 points can strain the reader’s eyes, while larger sizes may make the resume appear cluttered and unprofessional.

If the resume font size is too small or if there are too many italics, underlines and other creative design choices, the person reading your resume may give up.Career Contessa experts

However, it’s important to consider the font you’re using, as different fonts have varying heights and proportions. For instance, Arial tends to appear larger than Times New Roman at the same font size.

Remember to maintain consistency in font size throughout your resume, using the same size for headings, subheadings and body text to create a cohesive and visually appealing document. Test printing your resume to ensure the font size remains legible and consistent when printed.

Resume font style and size considerations

When it comes to selecting the right font style and size for your resume, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind.

Balance

A well-balanced resume is visually pleasing and draws the reader’s attention to the important sections and information. 

When there is a good balance between font size, spacing and white space, the resume looks clean, organized and professional. Striking the right balance can help you effectively communicate the information hierarchy in your resume. 

For example, using a slightly larger font size for headers helps to distinguish them from the body text and gives them more emphasis. This allows the reader to quickly scan and locate important sections.

Consistency

Consistency in font size and style is crucial for creating a professional-looking and readable resume that effectively presents your qualifications and experiences to potential employers.

Your resume needs to look cohesive. Ensure that the section headings, body text and contact information are the same font size throughout your resume.

Deliberate and consistent formatting choices ensure that the content of your resume is easy to read and comprehend. 

If the font size or style changes from section to section, it can disrupt the reader’s flow and make the content difficult to understand.

Resume length

Determine the resume font size for each section based on the amount of information you want in your resume. You can adjust the font size to fit all of your content onto one or two pages.

For example, if your work history is extensive and you have a two-page resume or more, you might want to consider keeping your section headings at a font size of 14 and body text at 10 to fit everything within two pages. 

If you have less content to include and want to create a one-page resume, you may be able to use a larger font size, such as 12 points for body text and 16 points for headers. 

You can also adjust the spacing between lines and paragraphs to make the most of the space available or test out alternative template options, such as a two-column resume, which can help you fit additional information on a single page. 

What color font should you use for a resume?

Black print on white paper has long been the standard for resume font colors, and it remains the most common, safe and acceptable layout. However, black type is not your only option!

The use of color on a resume has become more tolerable by hiring managers, so deciding whether to use color is not a hard ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Instead, the use of color versus the standard black-and-white theme should be approached situationally.Kenyetta Nesbitt of Ambition Evolve Career Services

Start by considering the industry in which you are seeking employment. Creative fields tend to be more accepting of color on resumes, whereas more conservative jobs may be less tolerant.

Take a look at the expertly crafted examples below to see how color is strategically used for headers and design elements. 

We also have a library of 800+ resume examples for additional ideas on how to format your resume.

copywriter resume

In this copywriter resume, the name and section headings are larger than the body text. The resume font in these sections is also bolded and uses a different font color to stand out.

patient coordinator

This patient coordinator resume has muted colors and is written in mostly black. The header is the only portion of the resume with some color, but it remains understated.

Store Manager

The resume font size and color in this store manager resume example show a perfect balance of professionalism and charisma. By pairing industry-appropriate colors, the candidate comes across as reliable without compromising their personality.

How to build a resume with the best resume font

Choose the best resume font to land your next role! Our Resume Builder can help you get there. 

Play around with the fonts until you find one that works for you. Change the font and layout as many times as you want. 

If you have an existing resume you’d love to refresh, you can easily edit it with our builder!

We make it easy to create a resume with the following features:

  • Job-specific phrases and skills: We provide ready-made content written by Certified Professional Resume Writers tailored to your job title. 
  • Step-by-step guidance: From the resume summary to the work experience section, we give you the advice you need to put your best foot forward.
  • Easy customization: Choose between the most popular and recruiter-friendly resume fonts. Switch fonts anytime as you write to see which one fits your style. 
  • Multiple download formats: You can easily save and download your resume as a PDF, DOCX or plain text from your desktop or mobile device.

Ready to get started? Choose an ATS-friendly template in the right resume format for your career and add your information.

Key takeaways 

  1. The best resume font is legible, easy on the eyes and ATS-friendly, such as Arial, Helvetica and Verdana.
  2. Avoid fonts like Comic Sans, Lucida Handwriting or custom ones downloaded online.
  3. It’s best to stick with a 10-12 point size for resume body copy, 14-16 points for section headings, and 18-24 points for your name.
  4. Using some colors on a resume font is acceptable, but be judicious. Use color only for key headers or areas that you want to highlight.
  5. Using a resume builder eliminates the guesswork involved in choosing the best resume font, saving you time and energy.

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