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What’s the Best Font for Your Resume?

Hint: It’s not Comic Sans

Person sharing their resume with a hiring manager
Photo courtesy of Sora Shimazaki

Does it really matter if you use the classic Times New Roman or try out an underrated, bold curlicue font on your resume? Yes. One hundred times, yes. A misused, hard-to-read, inappropriate font could be the deal breaker when a recruiter is skimming your resume—it could come off as unprofessional and inexperienced.

Plus, recruiters spend only about 7 seconds looking over your accomplishments. Appearance goes a long way (would you give your boss a report written in neon-yellow highlighter?), so put your best font forward.

Read more:16 Free Resume Templates That Make Writing Easy

What are the best fonts to use on your resume?

Your goal is to ensure your resume is clean, simple, and legible—especially on a mobile device. Since you don’t want a recruiter to struggle to decipher letters when scanning your resume, your best bet is to stick with a serif or sans serif font (serif’s are those little extending features on the end of strokes).

These fonts are good sans serif examples:

  • Arial

  • Roboto

  • Calibri

These fonts are good serif examples:

  • Times New Roman

  • Cambria

  • Garamond

What fonts should you avoid?

In general, avoid script, bold, and cursive fonts. Ironically, although you might want your personality to shine through your resume to catch the recruiter’s eye, you don’t want your font to have too much personality.

Stay away from fonts like these:

  • Papyrus

  • Corsiva

  • Courier New

  • Comic Sans

  • Impact

Read more:19 Dos and Don’ts for Crafting Your Best Resume

How else can you prevent complicating your resume?

  • Avoid overcrowding your resume with graphics . Complicated, colorful graphs and charts might show off your aptitude for design, but will make your resume appear cluttered. It’s best to stick to text when listing your professional experience .

  • Remove common skills that aren’t relevant to the job you’re applying to . Yes, that means taking off Microsoft Office unless the job description specifically lists it in the job requirements.

  • Be smart about formatting . Play with the margins and font size to ensure the spacing and readability are juuust right (AKA, Goldilocks approved). Font sizes 10–12 are best, but you might be able to get away with a 9.5.

  • Include a summary or objective only if it’s specific and quantifiable . Vague, general statements like, Accomplished marketing professional seeking a new job , don’t add to your case and take up room you could be using to prove your qualifications. If you must include one, make it more distinct, like, Copywriter with seven years of experience developing award-winning campaigns for Fortune 500 clients seeking new leadership role in healthcare advertising .

Read more:Psssst...Do Employers Care About My GPA?

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