Resume and Cover Letter Tips, Tricks, and Examples

Best Font for Resumes: How to Choose the Best Font and Size for Your Resume

Tristin Zeman

Copywriter, Human Resources Manager, and Marketing Expert

Landing your dream job takes work that starts long before you ever set foot in the door for an interview. Before job seekers begin practicing answers to interview questions or starting serious interview prep, having an exceptional resume is key. Knowing what to put in a resume and how to use the correct keywords is only half the battle. Job searchers who really want to stand out know that having the right resume font is critical.

Best Font and Font Size for Resumes

What is a font?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a font is, “an assortment or set of type or characters all of one style and sometimes one size.” In laymen’s terms, fonts are the design of the letters, punctuation marks, and other characters used to make up a printed document. Fonts can be copied by hand, but are most commonly used in computer-generated formats.

There are several different styles of fonts used to help writers and designers to create a certain look or feel to documents, posters, or other signage. Like most aspects of design, the general population rarely notice font choice unless is it inappropriate. However, even non-designers can often point out fonts that don’t “feel” right for their setting. 

Why selecting good fonts for resumes matters

According to research by Glassdoor, to fill one position, the average corporate job will receive 250 applications. From there, only four to six candidates get an interview. Resume font choice can play a large role in not only creating an intriguing and desirable first impression, but it can also impact how easy it is to scan the document to get important information quickly.

Choosing the correct font does more than making it easy for a hiring manager or recruiter to read a resume. The correct font projects an overall impression of the candidate. Think about it like this. Font is to writing as tone of voice is to storytelling. The way communication happens is just as important as the words used.

Resume Example:

Ideally, a resume should have a font that is aesthetically pleasing while remaining professional. It must also be quick and easy to read.

What is the best font for resume writing?

Best Resume Fonts

There is no single best font for every resume, but rather the ideal font for resume templates will depend on the job and industry. Traditional resume wisdom says that a font should be one of the classic font mainstays. Fonts like Arial, Times New Roman, or Calibri ensure compatibility and avoid upsetting traditionalists.

However, times have changed. While the classics might still be good resume fonts for traditional careers like law and finance, this safe approach may backfire in more innovative or creative industries like startups or design.

Picking the best font for a specific company or industry requires some background understanding. Fonts come in four main types: Serif, Sans serif, Script, and Display. Understanding more about each font type can help to determine which font style is best for a resume.

Serif Fonts

Serif fonts are the original Roman font style, created in the late 15th century. They are divided into six sub-categories. Primarily, the date of creation divides the categories. The categories are further influenced by the available technology, materials, and trends of the time. Each category has accented details called serifs on many letters. Because Serif fonts are easy to read, despite the font size, they are commonly used in printed body text.

Best serif fonts for resume: Times New Roman, Georgia, Garamond, Didot

Sans Serif Fonts

Sans serif fonts are more modern renditions of traditional serif fonts. As the name implies, san serif fonts are font types that do not have serifs. This gives many of the sans serif fonts a square, geometric look that comes across as very clean and modern. Unlike sans serifs counterpart, this uniformity can make fonts in the San serif family difficult to read at small sizes.

Best Sans serif fonts for resume: Open Sans, Helvetica, Montserrat, Raleway

Script Fonts

Script fonts are fonts that have been designed to look like calligraphy or handwriting. This font family encompasses everything from scrawling designs seen on formal invitations to blackletter typesets that are commonly seen on Medieval-themed merchandise. In general, Script-style fonts are not appropriate choices for resume body text. They should only be considered to provide a stylized flair to the name on a resume, which is not something done often.

Best Script fonts for resume: Pacifico, Great Vibes, Italiano

Display Fonts

Display fonts were created for advertising signage, so it’s not surprising that these fonts are meant to stand out and be noticed! These fonts are often thicker, bolder, and more eye-catching than other font faces. This fact alone makes them a controversial pick for resumes, as many can come across as unprofessional. Another challenge of using display fonts in a resume is that they can take up more space than serif or sans serif fonts. This limits the amount of information that can fit on a one-to-two page resume. Because of this, display font use should be limited to the name and section heading portions of a resume.

Best Display fonts for resume: Abril Fatface, Lobster Two, Passion One

Which resume fonts should be avoided?

When choosing what font to use for resume writing, there are certain fonts that should always be avoided because of the connotations associated with them. Here are a few of the most widely hated fonts for resumes.

Comic Sans was designed in 1994 for the cartoon dog that guided users through the brand-new Microsoft operating system. Today Comic Sans is widely hated and regarded as childish. Avoid using in any part of a resume. 

Chiller (A.K.A. Butcherman) is the type of font one would expect to see in a haunted house. This font is deemed inappropriate for almost any resume outside of haunted houses or horror-themed positions.

Papyrus, Syne Tactile, and other scroll-like fonts have a unique style that looks like they came straight from Ancient Rome. Most resume writing professionals agree that’s where they should stay! Avoid this style in favor of something easier to read.

The importance of font size for resume templates

In addition to selecting the correct font face, it’s important to choose the best font size for resume templates. Choosing the correct font size for a resume template allows template users to get the most use out of the template. Using a font size that’s too small will make any information too hard to read. Ultimately, it will result in formatting issues when font size is increased. A font that is too large will reduce the amount of information that can fit into a resume or force a resume to take up more than the recommended two pages. Keep in mind that the amount of space that fonts take up varies, so a change in font style may require a change in font size.

What is the best resume font size?

Generally, font type determines font size. While the name on a resume is the largest font, the exact size varies based on how much space is allocated in the design, how much white space is needed, and how long the name is. As a rule of thumb, resume section headings should be anywhere from 12 to 16-point, based on design and the amount of information in the resume, while body text should be 11 to 13-point font.

Should resume font size change?

On average, most resumes are viewed for just six seconds, which means it’s important that resume information can be easily skimmed by a hiring manager or recruiter. One way to make a resume easier to scan is by including some variations in font size. The job searcher’s name should be easy to see, along with the section headings and previous job titles. Previous job titles can be in a larger or bolder font, however, the font size and style should be consistent across similar sections of the resume.

Best resume fonts for AI or scanning programs

Many companies and HR departments use AI or other computer software to scan and process resumes. This technology scans the resume and looks for keywords indicated by the hiring manager so it’s crucial to use a font that allows the resume to be completely and accurately scanned. Choosing a font that is compatible with browsers across Windows and Mac platforms is a good way to ensure a resume will display correctly regardless of the type of computer it was created or view on.

Top 3 best fonts for resume compatibility

1. Open Sans

Google commissioned Open Sans to be used in print, web, and mobile in 2011. This font has excellent legibility characteristics and is available for free use through Google Fonts.

2. Georgia

Georgia is a serif font available standard for both Windows and Mac users. It is a classic font perfect for traditional professions and is a solid choice for resumes, CVs, and cover letters.

3. Verdana

Verdana is another san serif choice that works well for compatibility purposes. It is a clean, modern font without harsh angles making it great for creating the illusion of more whitespace.


Selecting the best font for resumes is a matter of striking the right balance of creativity and professionalism for a given industry. Clean, modern fonts that are compatible across devices and browsers are a safe bet for most job searchers. Meanwhile I encourage those in edgier or more design-focused fields to experiment with accent fonts that add personality and help applicants stand out in crowded job pools. 

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