Best Fonts for Resumes and Cover Letters: Your resume and cover letter are often the first impression you make on a potential employer. While the content itself is the most important factor, the formatting and design also play a role in how your materials are perceived. Choosing the right font is an important piece of optimizing your resume and cover letter to make a great first impression.
The ideal fonts for resumes and cover letters are legible, professional, and enhance readability. Classic serif and clean sans-serif fonts are best suited for resumes, as they provide clarity and are easy on the eyes. Fonts with personality or stylized appearances can distract from the content. Instead, it’s wise to stick to simple, straightforward font choices.
Here are the top 10 best fonts to use for resumes and cover letters in 2023-24:
Calibri provides an excellent default font choice for resumes and cover letters. This modern, sans-serif font has a clean, crisp appearance that is highly readable at all sizes. The neutral letterforms make for great use in body text. Calibri is a safe option that works for any industry or position.
Cambria is a simple serif font that adds a more refined, sophisticated touch to resumes than a sans-serif. The thin serifs help guide the eye through the content without being overly styled. Overall, Cambria provides great clarity and legibility while giving off a professional vibe.
Arial is arguably the most commonly used font for resumes, meaning it’s easy on the eyes and blends in without distraction. This widely available sans-serif font has crisp, straightforward letterforms. While Arial is a bit overused, it remains a solid, safe option for resumes.
Garamond’s classic old-style serif design gives resumes a subtle sophistication. This font originated in the 16th century yet retains an elegant, modern quality. Garamond is easy to read at small sizes and provides a refined touch. Just avoid stylistic variants with thicker serifs.
Georgia is very similar to the ubiquitous Times New Roman, but with slight differences that give it a more modern, stylish feeling. This versatile serif font has excellent clarity. It’s ideal for text-heavy resumes and cover letters thanks to strong readability.
Helvetica is the quintessential clean, Swiss-designed sans-serif font. It has a simple, neutral appearance that is highly legible. The modern, minimalist look of Helvetica adds a polished touch for contemporary resumes. This versatile font works for just about any industry.
Tahoma provides a sans-serif option with a bit more personality and stylistic flair than classics like Arial. This font has nicely rounded letterforms and good clarity. Tahoma offers a great balance of professionalism and approachability for resumes.
Verdana was designed specifically for legibility on screens, making it a smart choice for resumes crafted for digital submission. This wide, sans-serif font has an open appearance that maximizes readability. Verdana helps ensure your resume remains crisp and clear.
9. Open Sans
Clean, neutral and optimally legible, Open Sans is an ideal font for resumes and cover letters. This highly readable sans-serif has a simple appearance despite its fun, geometric influences. Open Sans comes across as warm and welcoming while retaining professionalism.
For a font with a bit more character, Lato is an excellent choice. This contemporary-feeling sans-serif has a touch of rounded, unique style while maintaining strong clarity thanks to its simple letterforms. Lato keeps things professional yet approachable.
Key Takeaways for Picking the Best Fonts for Resumes and Cover letter
Focus on simple, straightforward fonts that provide strong clarity and readability. Serif fonts like Georgia and Garamond add sophistication while clean sans-serifs like Arial and Helvetica give a modern, neutral look.
While personal preference does play a role, stick to universally legible fonts without styling that could distract. Avoid handwritten or display fonts, instead choosing readable options like the selections above.
Remember that content is still most important, but font can make a strong first impression. Experiment to see what feels best to you. Using one font for headers and another for body text can provide contrast.
And don’t forget to pay close attention to font size! Body text should be between 10-12 points for optimal readability. Keep your fonts consistent across sections. A cohesive design is key.
With these top font recommendations and tips in mind, you can craft perfectly professional resumes and cover letters tailored to make just the right impression. Don’t let poor font choice detract from your stellar qualifications.
Frequently Asked Questions About Resume and Cover Letter Fonts
Should resume fonts be serif or sans-serif?
Sans-serif fonts like Calibri, Arial, and Helvetica tend to provide the cleanest, most modern appearance. But serif fonts like Cambria and Georgia can add sophistication, visual interest, and improved legibility. Either serif or sans-serif fonts can be ideal options for resumes. Focus on picking a simple, straightforward font for maximum clarity.
Is Times New Roman a good font for a resume?
While Times New Roman is common, it can be a bit overused and dated for modern resumes. But it remains highly readable if you prefer a serif. For a slightly cleaner, more contemporary look, good alternatives to Times New Roman include Cambria, Georgia, or Garamond.
Can you use creative fonts on a resume?
Fonts with creative, stylized appearances can distract from resume content. Fancy script, handwritten, or display fonts could potentially hurt your professional image for traditional roles. Stick to classic, readable fonts like the selections covered above to maximize legibility.
What font size should you use for resumes?
10-12 point size is optimal for resume body text. Any smaller and content becomes harder to read. Font sizes between 10-11 points keep your resume clean and scannable. For headers and subheadings, bump up font sizes slightly to 14-16 points to make these sections prominent.
Should you use multiple fonts on a resume?
Using one primary font helps maintain consistency and keeps your resume cohesive. But pairing one font for headers with another complementary font for body text can provide visual contrast. Just make sure the fonts work well together by choosing simple, similarly styled options with strong readability.
Choosing the optimal font is a key piece of designing resumes and cover letters that make a great first impression. Focus on legible, professional fonts that enhance readability rather than distract from your qualifications. With this list of top font recommendations, you can pick options tailored specifically to highlight your credentials.