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Best Fonts for Resumes

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Your Resume is not the Place to Show Off Your Massive Font Collection
Basic serif and sans serif body text fonts work best for resumes.

Basic serif and sans serif body text fonts work best for resumes.

© Jacci Howard Bear; licensed to About.com
As a designer armed with a massive arsenal of typefaces it can be tempting to really dress up all our work with eye-catching typography, including a resume. Don't do it. Save the fancy font work for the brochures, ads, business cards, and newsletters you create.

Your resume doesn't have to be boring but it's not the best place to use your collection of grunge, Blackletter, dripping blood, or beautiful script fonts. Basic serif and sans serif body copy fonts will serve you better.

"Choose a typeface that is readable at body text font sizes of 14 points or less.  … Choose a font that blends in and doesn't distract the reader with oddly shaped letters, or extremes in x-height, descenders, or ascenders." How to Choose Body Text Fonts

Consider the virtues of:

Let your artistic flair show in your graphic design portfolio and stick with the facts and less fearsome fonts in the resume.

Best Font Choices

So, which fonts should you choose? Some of the classic serif fonts such as Garamond and Times or classic sans serif fonts including Frutiger, Helvetica, or Univers are good choices for printed resumes. For electronic submissions where the recipient will need to have the same font installed (or else your resume may not appear the way you intended) then you'll probably want to stick with more universally shared fonts such as Times New Roman or Verdana.

  • One classic combination that works well is to pair a serif font for most text with a sans serif font for section headings. If your serif font is strong enough, you could reverse that and use sans serif for most text and serif for headings.

  • If you choose to use a single typeface, make headings bold and/or in a larger font to provide a bit of contrast. Be consistent and judicious in your use of bold type.

    "Don't overuse capitalization, bold, italics, underlines, or other emphasizing features. Again, basic works best. Do be consistent in your formatting. For example, if you bold one section heading, bold them all. If you bold the company name, be sure the others are all bold, as well." Resume Font at About.com Job Searching
  • The general guideline for resumes is to use a font size of between 10 and 12 points for the main text, slightly larger (14-18 points) for headings or for your name at the top if you like. For most fonts suitable for body copy this size works well. Some decorative and specialty fonts may appear much smaller (in comparison) at 12 points but those are not the types of fonts you should be using in your resume.

  • Depending on the job you are pursuing, you may be able to dress up your resume with more color, creative kerning, and reversed type than those applying for non-designer jobs. Even then, keep the fonts and the fancy formatting to a minimum.
    "Typically, you should use a readable, bookprint font such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri. However, if you are applying to a position in graphic design or advertising (where resume layout and design might be part of your assessment), employers might be open to alternative fonts."Resume Font Size at About.com Job Searching

Related Font Choices for Job Seekers

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