9 Best Resume Fonts: Size, Color, & Fonts to Avoid

9 Best Resume Fonts: Size, Color, & Fonts to Avoid

Are you looking for the best resume font to impress your future employer?

Do you want a font for your resume that is ATS friendly and likely to land you an interview?

Believe it or not, there are good fonts and bad fonts when it comes to your resume.

Not only is the font type important, but the size and color of the font are equally important.

Since the average recruiter spends 6 seconds reviewing a resume, it's never been more important to choose your resume font strategically.

Despite the opinions of many bloggers (who are not professional resume writers), common fonts like Times New Roman and Arial are not great when it comes to your resume.

In this article, we will share the best resume fonts, the worst resume fonts, the best font sizes, and the best font colors. 

"Not every resume font is created equal. When it comes to your resume font... stick to the basics! This is NOT the area to show off your "creativity".

-Mike Podesto (Founder & CEO - Find My Profession)

According to Quora, there are roughly 300,000 fonts in the world that fall into 60,000 font families.

Narrowing down the 9 best fonts for a resume was not an easy task.

Luckily, our team of resume experts collectively has more than 20 years of resume writing experience allowing us to present to you the tried and proven resume fonts for 2020.

Here are some of the best fonts for your resume:

  1. Calibri
  2. Cambria
  3. Garamond
  4. Helvetica
  5. Georgia
  6. Tahoma
  7. Verdana
  8. Trebuchet MS
  9. Book Antiqua

It’s a common misconception that Times New Roman and Arial are great resume fonts.

While they are some of the most popular fonts in general, they are not the best for your resume.

Be careful what you read online. If a company that has never written a resume before is advising you on the best font types for your resume, you probably want to consider other sources.

We have taken all 9 of the best resume fonts mentioned above and provided samples of what these fonts look like on a resume.

Each sample follows a precise uniformity which allows you to see the font in its standard form, bold, and bold + italic. Use the resume font key directly below for reference.

Resume Font Key

Resume Font Key

1. Calibri

Calibri Font on Resume

2. Cambria

Cambria Font on Resume

3. Garamond

Garamond Font on Resume

4. Helvetica

Helvetica Font on Resume

5. Georgia

Georgia Font on Resume

6. Tahoma

Tahoma Font on Resume

7. Verdana

Verdana Font on Resume

8. Book Antiqua

Book Antiqua Font on Resume

9. Trebuchet MS

Trebuchet Font on Resume

Maybe you have a font in mind that you like that didn’t make our list of “best resume fonts” above.

That’s ok. While we believe our top nine fonts above are the best, there are other fonts that will get the job done.

If you listen to one piece of advice in this article, it should be this:

Here are some of the worst fonts for a resume:

  1. Times New Roman
  2. Courier
  3. Comic Sans
  4. Papyrus
  5. Impact
  6. Futura
  7. Lucida Console
  8. Arial

With so many fonts, it’s hard to list them all.

As a general rule of thumb, you want to avoid fonts that appear to be italic, bold, in cursive, or overly playful (see samples below).

Italic Font

Bad Resume Font (Italic)

Bold Font

Bad Resume Font (Bold)

Cursive Font

Bad Resume Font (Cursive)

Playful Font

Bad Resume Font (Playful)

Adjusting your resume font size can be crucial to making a neat, compact, and fully optimized resume.

The ideal resume font size is between 10-12 pt.

You might notice that some fonts take up more space than other fonts, even if they are the same font size. This is one of the reasons that resume font size is not a one-size-fits-all approach.

If you choose to go with a font like Helvetica, Georgia, Tahoma, Verdana, or Trebuchet MS, you may want to reduce your font size since these fonts are naturally larger.

If you choose to go with a font like Calibri, Cambria, Garamond, or Book Antiqua, you may consider using a larger font size since these fonts are naturally smaller.

In any case, do what you can to play around with font sizing on your resume so that everything fits concisely on either one or two pages.

If your resume does not fill up at least ½ of the second page, your goal should be to fit it all on one page.

Font size does not have to be consistent throughout the entire resume.

It is perfectly acceptable for your resume to use, for example, size 11 font for the main body and size 10 font for less important sections such as your address, email, phone number, etc.

If you are going to use various font sizes, make sure the most important resume sections (work experience, education, etc.) use the larger font size.

The short answer is…. Yes!

While you don’t have to use color on your resume, it’s something that we definitely recommend.

Question: Should I use color for my entry-level resume?

Answer: Yes.

Question: Should I use color for my executive-level resume?

Answer: Yes.

Question: Should I use color for my federal/government resume?

Answer: No.

The one exception would be for federal or government jobs. For these types of positions, you can throw just about all the best resume font standards out the window.

Besides fed/gov jobs, regardless of the type of job you are going for, industry, or your seniority, color on a resume is generally preferred.

Quick Tip: Resume font colors should remain consistent throughout the resume and we recommend never using more than two unique colors (i.e. red and blue).

Below is a graphic with some good and bad resume colors:

Best and Worst Font Colors on Resume

Where to Add Color on Your Resume

If you are thinking about adding color to your resume, it’s important to have some consistency with the places you are adding color.

The purpose of adding color to your resume is to help key sections stand out.

Job titles, company names, headers, and subheaders are the most common places that people add color to their resume.

You might also consider adding color to the bullet points on your resume to match the overall theme (see sample below).

Where to Add Color on a Resume

Take a look at Find My Profession’s resume samples for more ideas on adding color to your resume.

Your cover letter design should match your resume design.

It’s best for your cover letter to use the same color schemes, font sizes, and font types as your resume.

This creates a uniformity that hiring managers appreciate and also makes it easier to know that your resume and cover letter belong together.

Use any of the recommended font sizes, colors, and types mentioned above and your cover letter will be a cut above the rest.

Wrapping Up

When it comes to resume font, size, and color, there is no one size fits all. You can use a variety of resume fonts and still have an amazing resume.

Here's what you should remember:

  • Acceptable resume fonts include Calibri, Cambria, Garamond, Helvetica, Georgia, Tahoma, Verdana, Trebuchet MS, and Book Antiqua. 
  • Bad resume fonts include: Times New Roman, Courier, Comic Sans, Papyrus, Impact, Futura, Lucida Console, and Arial.
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