I used to care way too much about fonts on resumes.

After palling around with recruiters over the past few years, I’ve realized that fonts really don’t matter as much as we make them out to.

I’ve literally never heard a recruiter say – I stopped reading because they used Times New Roman.

But fonts DO matter. Just not for the reasons we might think. 

In this video, I’m spilling the tea on resume fonts and  going to tell you why fonts matter, what types of fonts I recommend, and what font sizes I strongly suggest. 

Why Do Fonts On Resumes Matter?

So when we’re thinking about fonts, two things are important for us to consider.

First and foremost is readability by a human.

Second is aesthetic, style, look, feel, brand – whatever you want to call it.

First let’s talk about readability. 

We know that most resumes are being read on a digital device. Computer, phone, tablet. 

So what that means is we want a font that will support readability on these devices.

And when I’m referring to fonts, I’m only referring to fonts that are built into Microsoft Word. Microsoft Word is the industry standard for resume writing.

Resume Font Size: What’s The Best Resume Font Size?

First, let’s knock out the question about font size. 

Different fonts can look differently at different sizes. So I always encourage you to test out different fonts and play around with them.

But as a rule, fonts should be no smaller than 10 points for the content of your resume.

For headers and subheaders, I’d recommend larger than that, maybe a 12 or 14.

And if you want to get that really nice aesthetic you see on my resumes, I use an 18 point font most of the time for names.

Yes, people can zoom in to read smaller fonts, but remember that we don’t want to create work for readers.

Resume Font Style: What Is the Best Font For a Resume

Now let’s talk about font styles.

Sans serif fonts read better digitally, and resumes aren’t being read on screens, not paper. 

If people were still in the business of printing resumes off, serif fonts, like Times New Roman, would still be appropriate.

Aside from readability, the font we use can give an instant impression.

Just think of how people feel about Comic Sans, which is, yes, a sans serif font, but it gives an instant feel of being juvenile.

When switching it to it’s cousin, Calibri, the aesthetic of the document is instantly elevated.

Now what if you want to get really interesting with your fonts and are considering using an after-market font that you download from the internet. Yes, you could do this and I used to. I no longer do.

The reason I don’t is because it adds an extra step to all those involved in reading the Microsoft Word version of the resume.

If the reader doesn’t have the after-market font on their computer, the resume will look a whole lot different than what it was intended.

How Many Fonts Can I Use On My Resume?

So while we’re talking about fonts, I’d be remiss if I didn’t address having a variety of fonts on resumes.

The danger of having a lot of different fonts is that it does impact readability of resumes. 

Using too many fonts can make your resume look cluttered like your Aunt Susan’s curio cabinet. 

A few guidelines on fonts:

Go for no more than two font styles: 1 for your headers and subheaders, the other for the body of your resume

Don’t feel the need to bold strategically to make metrics or results pop off the page. People who review resumes for a living are proficient in getting the info they need without extra bolding, and that extra bolding can actually disrupt their reading.

Same goes for italicizing. Not necessary.

Where I like to bold is:

Position and Role Titles

Date Ranges

Degrees, certifications, and other credentials

Volunteer Role TItles

Categories of Accomplishments – to know what I mean, check out my recent video on categorizing accomplishments

Resume Fonts Recommendations From an Executive Resume Writer

So now, let me show you my favourite fonts that I use regularly across my resumes.

First, I’ll show you my all-time favourite font selections of Microsoft Sans Serif for the headers and subheaders, and Calibri Light for the body.

But you don’t have to use a font for your headers and subheaders that is different than what you’ve used for the body of your resume.

If you recall the Calibri resume we looked at before, this is 100% Calibri.

I also like Arial, which is tried and true.

I’ve used Segoe recently.

As well as Franklin Gothic Book, Candara, and Corbel.

Tahoma too.

As I’m going through these fonts in the video, you can see that they do vary in width and spacing.

All the content in these resumes has remained the same at 11 points, but as you can see, different fonts have different effects. So you’ll want to make sure to be mindful of that.

So as you can see there are a variety of fonts for you to choose from for your resume, and that different font choices can give a different look and feel to your resume. 

But aside from look and feel, the most important consideration when choosing a font is readability for humans.

After watching this video, what are your feelings about fonts? Will you be changing yours or are you happy with what you have? Tell me in the comments below.

Kamara Toffolo

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