What Font Should I Use for My Resume? This, and Everything Else About Fonts

Your resume is a very visual experience for an employer, so choosing the correct font can have more of an impact than you think. Hiring managers and recruiters spend a lot of time looking at resumes and documents each day, so you want your resume to be visually appealing at first-glance, as well as easy to read (both on-screen and when printed).

Consider serif and sans-serif fonts, and what you want to use for your headings versus your body text. In general, sans-serif are easier to read, so consider sans-serif for your body text, and if you like serif fonts, perhaps use that for your name and/or headings.

Top two:

  1. Calibri – This is the Microsoft Word default, and is easiest to read
  2. Cambria – Another Microsoft Word staple, and also fairly easy on the eyes

Other fonts to consider:

  1. Helvetica – A font commonly used by designers for its modern look
  2. Arial – This font is good as long as the size used isn’t smaller than 10
  3. Garamond – Traditional looking but still relatively easy to read; consider using font size 12 pts
  4. Book Antiqua – A wider serif font that is more modern than Times New Roman

Maybe yes, maybe no:

Times New Roman – the former default of Microsoft Word. Consider your employer if choosing this font: Are they traditional? For example, law offices commonly use Times New Roman.

However… the business media company Bloomberg is quoted as saying, “Using Times New Roman is the typeface equivalent of wearing sweatpants to an interview”. Do you really want to take that chance?

Fonts to avoid on your resume: In short, anything that is hard to read or doesn’t look professional.

Fonts that are in cursive or scrunched close together make the text very difficult to read, and a hiring manager won’t want to spend the extra time trying to decipher your resume. Other fonts to avoid include ones that are unprofessional looking. Even if you are applying for a job that involves working with children, you still want to portray that you are a professional.

Here are some examples of fonts not to use:

Comic Sans                Curlz         Chiller         Mistral                  Any script font

What’s the difference between serif and sans-serif fonts, you ask?

Serif fonts are the ones that have small lines or “serifs” at the end of each letter typed (such as Times New Roman and Georgia). These fonts work well for printed documents and the serif helps each letter stand out clearly.

Sans-serif fonts are the ones that don’t have small lines at the end of each letter typed (such as Calibri and Arial). These fonts are simplistic, modern, and crisp, making them easier to read on-screen.

If you need assistance, an advisor from Student Employment Services is happy to help. Book an appointment via CareerCentral: www.nic.bc.ca/careercentral.