Your resume shows who you are as a professional. It should tell a great story about your accomplishments and growth as an employee because it’s often the first thing a recruiter will read about you.
It should catch their attention, and by that, I mean it should catch their attention in the right way. Using job-related keywords, quantifiable accomplishments, and power words often does the trick.
Poor spacing, spelling typos, and unreadable resume font, on the other hand, leave a bad impression on recruiters and hiring managers.
This article will show you some resumes with good resume fonts. It'll also explain what fonts you should avoid so your application doesn’t get trashed.
Who’s Going to Read Your Resume?
The first question you should answer is who will read your resume?
For most entry-level and experienced (but not management-level) professionals, your resume will be read by a recruiter who scans hundreds of applications a week. These people don’t have time to go over your resume line by line.
Senior-management and executive-level applicants, however, have a bit of leeway but perhaps not so much. Fewer candidates qualify for senior level roles, plus the experience required for such roles are often very specific and stringent, so the executive recruiter handling their application is more likely to read their resumes carefully.
Either way, the font you use should be legible enough to read without squinting.
You'll find some good examples of professional resumes in this article:
7 Factors to Consider When Deciding What Font to Use for Resume
Not all fonts are created equal, as some are better for creative uses while others tend to occupy a lot of space. This section explains the different factors you should consider when deciding on a resume font.
1. Style: Serif vs Non-Serif
A serif refers to the little line or tail you sometimes see at the end of a font. Font types with this tail are classified as serifed typeface or just ‘serif’
These little ‘tails’ are said to date back to the Roman ages and make letters easier to distinguish from one another.
Sans-serif fonts are fonts without those little tails and are called as such because ‘sans’ means without in French. Sans-serif fonts are considered modern and fresh looking compared to their serifed counterparts.
There’s no right or wrong answer to this because each font type has its own pros and cons. If your resume is squeezed tight into one page with a 10-point font, however, it might be better to use a serifed font to make it more readable.
This quick tutorial with video from Design Tuts+ shows the difference between serif and sans-serif fonts and will hopefully help you decide the best resume font.
2. Avoid Thin Fonts
Thin or light font types have thin brushstrokes that sometimes make them harder to read on screen.
Examples of thin fonts include:
- Agency FB
- Arial Unicode
3. Resume Font Size
The best font size for resume, especially for the main text, falls between 10 and 12 points. If you’re not sure what the best size is, start with font size 10 then increase it if your resume has extra space at the end.
If you look at the resume template below, it’s obvious what the section headers are because the resume font size used is bigger than the text used for the body of each section.
Don’t use a 9-point font just to squeeze your resume into one page. That'll make your application hard to read and besides, there are better ways to make your resume shorter without giving the recruiter a hard time.
Check out the articles below for more information on making your resume shorter without sacrificing resume font size:
- ResumesHow to Make Your Resume Fit on One Single Page (15 Quick Tips)Charley Mendoza
- CareersHow to Make Your Resume the Perfect Length (+To the Point)Charley Mendoza
4. Font Kerning and Spacing between Lines
Vladimir Gendelman, Founder and CEO of Company Folders, an expert on print typography because of his presentation folder printing business, shared his thoughts about font Kerning – the space between letters— and how it affects your resume font on screen and print.
Gendelman says, “The best font uses an equal amount of spacing between each letter. In most cases, you won’t have to worry about kerning unless you’re designing a logo but certain letters are harder to read when put together such as ‘v’ and ‘w’ (vw) and ‘i’ and ‘l,’ which is why use of legible fonts are important.”
Line spacing is also important, especially if your bullet points are long and you’re using a 10-point font.
“In addition, you have to be mindful of the leading or space between lines. If your lines are too close together, your text won’t be legible. Set your leading level to 1.5 pt. for the greatest readability,” adds Gendelman.
The tutorial below explains more about kerning and other related topics:
5. Cursive Fonts
Resist the urge to use a cursive resume font even in your resume’s headers. You're writing a resume, not a scrap book or journal. Plus, cursive fonts are harder to read the longer the text is. Good resume fonts don’t have to look fancy; it just has to be readable.
Resume Fonts to Avoid
There’s no one specific answer to the question, ‘what is a good font for a resume?’
But it’s absolutely true that not all fonts are created equal so it goes without saying that there are fonts you must absolutely avoid. You probably have an idea of what some of these fonts are, but here’s a list just in case.
1. Comic Sans
People automatically associate this font with childishness or jokes. To be viewed as a professional, don’t use it.
The Courier font was designed to mimic the font you’d see using a typewriter. Unless you want to give recruiters the impression that you’re old and not used to working on computers, don’t use this font.
Courier is also a mono-spaced font, which means the all the letters are equally spaced. While that looks okay for a few words, it could look unnatural for a whole page. Not to mention, it'll waste a lot of your precious resume real estate.
Wingdings are not readable because they’re just symbols or icons. The recruiter will just throw your resume after seeing this font.
The Papyrus font reminds me of old scrolls you’d probably read if you went to a museum. It’s a cliché font meant only for history-related school projects.
7 Professional Fonts for Resume Use
Below are seven good resume fonts to choose from.
It was created by Dutch designer Lucas de Groot after he was commissioned by Microsoft to create a font that would replace Times New Roman as the default font for the Office suite of programs.
It’s a modern typeface that’s easy to read even when you use it as a 10-point font. Since it’s the default font for Microsoft Word, you can be sure that your resume will not have formatting, spacing or font-related problems when the recruiter reads it.
Roboto is an open-source serifed font created by Google. Unlike other serifs, though, Roboto is still easy to read when using a smaller resume font size because the letters are a bit rounded and have good spacing.
Verdana was designed to back in 1996 to appear well in small, low-resolution screens, which was common at the time. It was created by Mathew Carter, who worked for Microsoft at the time. It’s one of the good resume fonts that can be used if you think your resume will be read on a mobile device.
4. Gill Sans
Gill Sans was designed around 1920 as a simple yet elegant sans-serif font resume font. It’s the typeface used by the BBC and he British Railways system.
Gill Sans is available in Mac computers and in Microsoft as Gill Sans MT.
5. Book Antiqua
Book Antiqua is a classic looking serifed font that’s also a great option for job applicants who wish to pursue a career in humanities and arts. It’s said to be Microsoft’s version of the Palatino font.
Yes, using this font might make your resume look dated but it does work for some people and industries.
6. Source Sans Pro
Source Sans pro is a great font for headlines because its letters are well spaced and clear-cut. An article on Huffington Post shares that Designer Jack Harvatt thinks the Source Sans Pro is good for ‘large bodies of text.’
Georgia font is used by New York Times online, Amazon, and Yahoo. It’s not just for online publications though, it’s one of the best fonts for resume in 2019 because of its modern design.
As a serif font that uses thick strokes, it looks great and easily readable on a computer screen. Best of all, even if it’s a serifed font, it looks contemporary enough that it won’t make your resume look old.
Free vs Premium Fonts: What Font to Use for a Resume?
It’s true, you don’t need to buy a premium font to write a resume. Resumes that use a premium font that’s submitted using a word processor or an online job application form may not render correctly, especially if the recipient doesn’t have the resume font in their system. This is why most of the resume templates on Envato Elements use free fonts.
That said, don’t dismiss premium fonts just yet. You can use them if you’re submitting your resume on PDF or on the print version of the resume you'll carry to an interview. A readable yet unique looking premium font will catch the recruiter’s attention when they read your resume.
A Word on Creativity and Style When Using Good Resume Fonts
Applicants in creative fields don’t use wacky and cursive fonts just because they’re supposed to be creative. You can add style and creativity in your resume with standard yet beautiful looking fonts. You can even use colors, and emphasis (bold, italic, underline) to make your resume stand out.
For best results, pick two to three good resume fonts. Use the same resume font type for all your headings to give your resume an easy to understand structure as well. Consistent style makes your resume look professional and easy to read.
The resume template below uses the color red for contrast and bold formatting to emphasize key information.
Learn More About Resumes
Your resume is an important part of your job search. Learn more about how to create a professional resume in our ultimate guide to creating great resumes. Or, review one of the resume tutorials below:
- ResumesHow to Structure Your Resume to Use in 2019 (Organize it Right)Laura Spencer
- ResumesHow to Effectively List Professional Skills on Your ResumeCharley Mendoza
- ResumesHow to Write the Perfect Executive Resume for Managers and Senior-Level PositionsCharley Mendoza
Print Your Resume Before You Send
The recruiter or hiring manager reviewing your application will probably review your resume on a screen. But they'll print it just in time for your interview so it’s always a good idea to check how your resume looks like in print.
Once you’re done with your resume, print a copy and read it for yourself. Do you find it easy to find information when you’re just scanning it instead of reading word for word? If not, you might want to change your resume font to one of the options listed above.