Finding the best font to use for a resume can be the difference between catching a recruiter’s eye and landing your dream job, or getting overlooked in a sea of other applicants. The right resume font will make your resume legible to recruiters and the applicant tracking systems (ATS) that most companies use to filter resumes.
To help you find the best font for your resume, this article will:
- Show you the best resume fonts for 2023.
- Advise you on which fonts to avoid.
- Teach you how to choose the right font.
- Explain the importance of resume font size.
- Show you the advantages of using a Resume Builder.
What is the best font for a resume?
This resume font is the most accessible. Arial is contemporary and features soft and fuller curves, making it easily readable.
Helvetica is arguably the most popular font available. It is used by big apparel brands, in public signage and tech companies for a reason. Its letter width, uniformity and spacing make it a highly legible resume font.
Times New Roman
Times New Roman has been around since 1931. This font was first built for newspapers but has since transformed into the preferred resume font for candidates in traditional or more conservative industries.
Verdana is a modern font created to improve readability, so it’s no wonder we consider it one of the best resume fonts. Its round edges make it a breeze for recruiters to read.
Trebuchet MS is an excellent resume font for resumes that are packed with information. Its narrow letterforms are designed not to take up a lot of space.
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 be assured that Georgia will make it pass ATS.
Tahoma is a resume font type that screams power. It’s strong and, when bolded on your name, it can make a statement that will help your resume stand out from the rest.
Saira is a versatile resume font. It can be used in headlines, long texts, newspapers, magazines and resumes. It’s ideal for candidates who work in creative or modern industries.
Bodoni has long established itself as a professional and sophisticated font type. First designed in 1798, it features thick and thin strokes and a geometric construction well-suited as a resume font.
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.
What are the worst resume fonts?
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.
Designed to look like cursive handwriting, Lucida Handwriting isn’t a suitable resume font type because ATS and recruiters might have difficulty distinguishing words.
Edwardian Script is a calligraphic font that looks straight out of a handwritten letter — but it’s not ideal as a resume font. Similarly to the point mentioned above, it’s hard to read.
Designed in the 1990s, Vladimir Script resembles a love letter from the 1700s. Beautiful, yes, but not as a resume font. It isn’t ATS-friendly.
There’s a time and place for out-of-the-box font types — your resume isn’t one of them.
It might catch the attention of hiring managers, but it would be for all the wrong reasons. It’s best to leave Comic Sans to school flyers.
Papyrus has no space in your resume. Hiring managers and recruiters won’t take you seriously if they see your name and section headings written in this font.
You might think Courier’s typewritten aesthetic might look nice on your resume, but we’re willing to bet that the hiring manager disagrees.
How do you choose the best resume font?
Now that you know the best and the worst, let’s talk about how to choose the best resume font.
From design to presenting information, the general rule for resume writing is to tailor your resume to the job and industry you’re applying for. The same goes for fonts. Ask yourself these questions before choosing a font for your resume:
Is it readable?
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 and straightforward resume font that’s easy to read and understand.
Is it professional?
Use readable serif and sans-serif fonts that are universally good for resumes. What’s the difference between serif and sans-serif?
- 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 perfect resume fonts for traditional industries like accounting, business operations and nursing.
- Sans-serif fonts don’t have a decorative stroke at the end. They’re modern, minimalist and designed to be readable. Some well-known sans-serif fonts include Arial, Helvetica and Verdana. They can work across many jobs and industries, from arts to teaching and engineering.
Is it ATS-friendly?
Many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to filter out applicants that 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.
Match your resume font type and your cover letter font type.
What is the best font size for a resume?
Readability matters — and goes beyond choosing the best font for your resume. Consider font size, resume length, headers and more to determine whether a recruiter can read your resume easily.
“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,” say Career Contessa experts.
Let’s break it down.
The font sizes of each part of a resume can vary, but they need to balance each other. Your name should have the largest font size, while section headers can be a point size larger than resume fonts in the body text.
Your resume needs to look cohesive. Ensure that the section headings, body text and contact information all have the same resume font size throughout your resume.
3. Resume length
Determine the resume font size for each section by how much information you want in your resume. For example, if you have an extensive career and your resume is on the verge of running beyond two pages, 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.
Second headings: 14-16 point size
Body text and contact information: 10-12 point size
Avoid graphics in your resume. Like unreadable fonts, graphics can make it difficult for ATS to read your resume. Why not take away the guesswork with our Resume Builder? You can choose from dozens of ATS-friendly resume templates and fonts.
What do experts think about resume fonts?
“In my opinion, the best fonts are the classic ones, e.g. Arial, Calibri, Garamond, Cambria, Georgia, Verdana or Tahoma,” says interview coach Margaret Buj.
“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,” added Buj. “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.”
Remember, you want to keep the recruiter interested in your skills and experience. A distracting resume font will take away from the limited time you have to make an impression. If you are in a creative industry, direct the recruiter to your portfolio or professional website that shows off your work.
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Can I use color on my resume font?
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,’” says Kenyetta Nesbitt of Ambition Evolve Career Services. “Instead, the use of color versus the standard black-and-white theme should be approached situationally.”
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 these resume examples to see how color is used:
The resume example above is for a copywriter job. 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.
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.
The resume font size and color in this store manager resume example show a perfect balance of professionalism and charisma. By putting together industry-appropriate colors, the candidate comes across as reliable without compromising their personality.
Incorporate color to emphasize content you want to bring to the employer’s attention.
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.
Ready to get started? Choose an ATS friendly template in the right resume format for your career and add your information. Once you’re done, 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:
- Job-specific phrases and skills: No matter the job, we provide phrases and skills you can include in your resume with just a few clicks.
- 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.
- Multiple download formats: Save and download your resume as a PDF, DOCX or plain text.
Best resume font key takeaways
- The best resume font is legible, easy on the eyes and ATS-friendly.
- Avoid fonts like Comic Sans, Lucida Handwriting or custom ones downloaded from the Internet.
- Using some colors on a resume font is acceptable, but be judicious if you do.
- It’s best to stick with a 10-12 point size for resume body copy and 14-16 for your name and section headings.
- Resume templates, when used with our Resume Builder, ensure that applicants use appropriate fonts in the correct font sizes.
- Using a resume builder takes the guesswork out of choosing the best resume font, saving you time and energy.
Resume fonts: FAQ
Why does choosing the right resume font matter?
The resume font is the vehicle to share your skills and experience. When it is a good choice, it will show your information without a second thought, but a bad resume font will be a distraction from your skills and experience.
Choosing a good resume font:
- Determines if your resume is legible by people and the ATS system.
- Improves and makes the most out of your content layout.
- Creates an aesthetically pleasing document.
Fonts like Helvetica, Calibri and Arial keep the attention on your skills and experience. The same can’t be said for fonts like Comic Sans or Papyrus.
What are the most common fonts used in resumes?
The most common resume font is Times New Roman. However, it is not the easiest font to read for people with visual and learning disabilities. In January 2023, the U.S. Department of State started phasing out the font for its official and internal documents due to this issue. Other commonly used fonts include Calibri, Helvetica and Arial.
What are the best colors to use for a resume font?
The best resume font color is black. It’s elegant, goes well with every industry, and is easily readable by humans and ATS. If you want to make your name or headings pop, you can use colors like blue, green, beige or even pink — just keep the body text black and make sure it fits your industry.
Can you use more than one font on a resume?
Yes, but proceed with caution and use no more than two complimentary fonts. You can choose one resume font as the primary and another font as the secondary. For example, mixing fonts would be a good way to use two fonts. You can use a serif, like Georgia, for your name and headings, and a sans-serif resume font like Verdana for the body of the resume.
Is it okay to use bold, italics and underlining on my resume font?
Bolding, italicizing, underlining, or using all caps can make your name or headers stand out. Just make sure not to overdo this type of formatting, as you’ll lose visual appeal and may even contradict your purpose.
Should I use different font sizes on my resume?
You can use different font sizes for your resume. The largest font should be used in your name, no bigger than 16 points. The smallest font should be no smaller than 10 points. Using different font sizes can help separate sections.
Can I use a non-traditional font on my resume?
There are no rules when it comes to choosing a resume font, just recommendations. But, just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Recruiters look at resumes for 7 seconds. You want your resume content to make it through without any distractions.
Can I use a custom or downloadable font for my resume?
Maybe you found a beautiful and readable font on the Internet and you might want to use it as a resume font, but it’s best not to. Keep it professional with a font that is recognizable, ATS-friendly and readable.
If you’re a graphic designer specializing in typography, place your custom fonts in a portfolio.
How we reviewed this article
Since 2013, we have helped more than 15 million job seekers. We want to make your career journey accessible and manageable through our services and Career Center’s how-to guides and tips. In our commitment to bring you a transparent process, we present our Editorial Process.
- Margaret Buj, Career Coach, https://interview-coach.co.uk/ HR Dive, DIVE BRIEF. Eye tracking study shows recruiters look at resumes for 7 seconds. https://www.hrdive.com/news/eye-tracking-study-shows-recruiters-look-at-resumes-for-7-seconds/541582/
- New York Times. Citing Accessibility, State Department Ditches Times New Roman for Calibri. Victor, Daniel https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/19/us/politics/state-department-times-new-roman-calibri.html