How do I choose the best resume font?

Best resume font?

One of this week’s big news headlines that relate to job search was this article from BloombergBusiness entitled The Best and Worst Fonts for Your Resume. I saw it in my Facebook stream but when Mark Kellner, a friend and national reporter for the Deseret News, tagged me on Facebook and asked me to respond, I felt I had to weigh in:

Fonts on resumes must change depending on the delivery system and what is commonly loaded in your software. Most resumes are delivered electronically today. I use fonts common to Microsoft Word, which is still the industry standard in most corporate offices.

What is the best resume font?

In my early resume writing days, it was easy to pick the best resume font. I bought the fonts that I liked. I was working with a primarily local central Wisconsin client base and I printed their resumes in-house. At the time, most people were either mailing their resume to the employer or dropping them off.

Today, delivery is electronic. You need to make it easy.

Though you can embed fonts into Microsoft Word documents, embedding increases the document file size and could impair your ability to upload the document onto websites. By using the fonts that come with Microsoft Word, you increase the likelihood that the fonts will translate well when they reach the employer’s computer.

Should you send a PDF or Word Document?

One of the questions posed in the questions on Facebook was why we were worried about fonts if the job seeker could just send a PDF. I believe in following directions. Some job postings request the resume in Microsoft Word. If they welcome PDF files, send them but when they specifically ask for the Word format, you should comply.

Name the best resume font

Resume fonts I use:

  • Century Gothic
  • Arial
  • Palatino Linotype
  • Cambria
  • Calibri
  • Garamond
  • Segoe UI
  • Segoe UI Symbol

How you use the resume font matters

I offer two variations when I start a client project. One is to do a totally Sans Serif resume – fonts in this category look like Arial. The second choice is to use what I call the Combo – I would use Serif fonts that look like Garamond or Cambria for the name and headline fonts and use an Arial-type or Sans Serif font for the body.

You can see examples on my sample page.

My font choices changed over time depending on their availability. Helvetica is a great-looking font, but you don’t find it on most Windows computers.

MAC users can use Helvetica but when it reaches an employer’s computer that is Windows-based, there may be a substitution to a font that is loaded on that machine.

Select clean resume fonts that are easily read

Size does matter. Your resume font size should be 10 or larger depending on the overall size of the font. Some fonts (like shoes) run large, others run small. Make sure you check to make sure it is readable.

One of the other issues when talking about resumes is the one-page myth. When I was reading comments on Facebook, multiple people bragged about keeping their resume to one page.

Very few people create a valuable resume that actually sells their ability to do the job using a one page format. Either they must leave out most of the value or they squish it together.

Most of the job-winning resumes I write are at least two pages and often three pages long. Be more concerned about the value in your resume than the number of pages.

Land your next role!

I am the pioneer of unique resume writing services and strategy. I use interactive live writing and coaching sessions to capture your value. This positions you for success in your resume, on LinkedIn, and throughout your job search.

I help bring out your passion and stories to dig deep into your experiences with you. Learn more here

Design Resumes Free Job Search Tips by email

Tips on LinkedIn, Resumes, and Job Search to help you better navigate your career journey

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

How do I choose the best resume font?

Resume Design and Job Seeking Tips

Here are Design Resumes' latest articles on job search, resume design, resume writing, and Linkedin optimization articles I've written.

FREE Resume and Job Search Tips by email

Get free tips and strategy direct to your inbox. just add your name and email below. I respect your privacy.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Julie Walraven, Design Resumes

Julie Walraven

Professional Resume Writer

Here are ways I can help you land your dream job.

You may be halfway across the country or the world. When you work with me, we share coffee, laughs, and concerns. This turns the scary job search into creative, consultative writing and learning sessions.