The resume font you choose will have an impact on your employer.
You have a few seconds to create a strong impression on your resume. That includes having a minimal aesthetic with a professional look to reel the recruiters into your job application.
It’s common knowledge that it needs to be sensible and formal. However, it also needs to overcome the HR software employers in small companies and large enterprises use to narrow down the list of potential employees.
The contents of your resume are important, and so is the way you present that information. If you only want to focus purely on resume writing without manually having to adjust the format settings, try using Rezi’s AI resume builder.
We remove the technical processes. You focus on the resume writing.
Here’s what Avi, one of our users and job seekers, said about Rezi after getting hired at Amazon:
“Rezi was a feature-rich minimal experience. Rezi helped me focus on content instead of resume formatting and that was exactly what I needed to successfully get my foot in the door”
Resume Font Recommendations
There are two different types of resume fonts: serif and sans serif.
Serif resume fonts hold a classic look with a small stroke in their letters. Sans serif resume fonts do not have the same small stroke, but it holds a more modern look. But, both are professional enough to use on your job application.
Each of our recommended fonts below is designed in a way that is easy to read and scan. Don’t pick something that’s too hard on the eyes when choosing your font.
We’ll get into our recommended resume fonts if you’re using the serif style. All are appropriate for beating the applicant tracking system and creating a strong first impression.
Times New Roman
Old but gold. This is a timeless font that’s good to use for your resume and work documents. While it’s not as modern as some of the others, it’s easy to read for both a human reader and the ATS.
Another great example of a simple yet visually pleasing typeface. With serif fonts in general, the added stroke in each letter improves the readability level.
Didot holds a great look in emphasising a clean, formal look. It’s elegant and a great choice to use especially if you’re applying for a creative job in the industry of arts.
This is also an elegant and classic resume font candidates can use. It’s also been used in many famous novels like Harry Potter.
Each of these resume fonts is perfect to use for a modern ATS resume in a modern workforce environment. We’ve listed our top 3 recommendations for every job seeker below:
It’s a good alternative to Arial that’s a standard font choice with a modern and sleek look. As it’s a versatile and safe font choice, it can be used for pretty much everything.
We also use this in Rezi’s ATS resume templates. It’s one of the best resume fonts out there for a sleek look. One thing you want to remember when you create a resume is to take a minimalist approach – the epitome of less being more.
Another great example of a modern resume font that candidates use today. All of the fonts listed have great readability and provide your job application with the first impression you’re looking to achieve.
Arial is another good default sans-serif resume font to use that’s versatile. Like Helvetica, it’s a safe readable font choice.
Compared to the other fonts listed, one of the main pros of the Verdana typeface is that each character is larger and wider. That means it’s easy to read, plus it evokes professionalism.
Is Times New Roman a Good Font for Resume?
Times new roman is one of the most common resume fonts used, followed along by the standard Microsoft Word document font size of 11 pt. It’s a serif and classic type of font, timeless and excellent for a neat, readable ATS resume.
Besides the format, the settings you choose should be for the purpose of an ATS-optimized resume.
Resume Font Format Settings
Being simple is often the best approach. As Leonardo da Vinci said:
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”
In order to reach the hiring manager, you have to overcome the resume scanners first. That means you need an ATS resume format. If it’s not ATS-friendly, the recruiter may not even get to see your resume.
Resume Font Size and Margins
The general rule of thumb is to have the resume font sizes no lower than 10pt and no higher than 12pt. If you need more space to include more things, go down to 10pt. Any lower than that will be too difficult to read.
To make more room, you can also adjust the margins. These should be one inch all around, but -0.5 inches is the lowest you can go.
With these format settings, you’ll be able to squeeze more content in. However, these should all be relevant. Don’t make the common resume mistake of trying to fill in your resume by adding fluff.
Using bold font is great for your resume section headers to highlight each part of your job application clearly for the reader. This makes it easier for them to skim through and find the specific details they’re searching for.
For example, they’re perfect for highlighting your previous job position in your work experience. Or for the dates of employment.
Double column resumes are common, and so is having lines in your resume to break apart the whole application for better readability.
But, you should never underline any of the text itself.
It can make your resume look messy and more difficult to skim through. While it highlights one part, it can affect the other parts of your application and they’re not always picked up by the applicant tracking system.
We don’t recommend you to use these at all. If you want to highlight a sub-header or heading, just use bold text and all caps.
Italics can be used to highlight key details too, such as your dates of employment or any other important information on your resume.
These should be used carefully and sparingly though. If you do use it for one part, e.g. your dates of employment on resume work experience, you’ll want to do it for every section to keep it consistent.
Even though this can be used to highlight certain things, if it’s vital information just use bold text instead.
The stuff in italics shouldn’t be as important as the things you have in bold.
This is great for including in your resume for the section headers and outlining each part clearly.
You can also use this with bold text for further emphasis, i.e. for your resume work experience, education, skills section, etc.
Using this, you can draw the recruiter’s attention into specific areas that are important details that show you’re qualified for the career. If they notice this first within those few seconds of skimming, you’ll have a good chance of landing an interview with them.
Keep it Consistent
Across your job application documents and resume sections, you’ll want to keep the format the same between each of them so that it’s consistent.
That means the font type style and size should be the same so everything flows well. This makes your application more neat, organised, and well-put together. If you use Arial size 11pt on your resume, then it should be the same for your cover letter too.
What Is The Best Font For a Resume?
At Rezi, we recommend using the Garamond font style. It has everything you’ll need and is perfect for a formal, corporate aesthetic.
Even so, you’re welcome to use the other serif and sans-serif fonts you like if that’s your preference. Just don’t pick anything inappropriate or unprofessional and be sensible with your resume font choices by taking the recruiter’s best interests into consideration.
ATS Resume Example From Rezi
Each resume section header in this resume template uses ALL CAPS and bold text so it’s clearly established. The sub-headers and dates of employment are also highlighted in bold as well.
Underneath to describe each section in detail are bullet points with mostly one-liners.
This is a good approach because it allows for the best readability so it’s easier for employers and hiring managers to skim. There’s a subtle difference but remember that most recruiters aren’t reading – they’re skimming.
Resume font is only one aspect of your resume that adds to your recruiter’s first impressions.
It’s your duty as a job seeker to communicate and sell your skills, work experience, and corporate background. How you present that information depends on the format settings you’ve chosen for your application.
Apply the steps we’ve discussed and pick your resume font settings carefully. Don’t forget to keep it consistent across your other application documents too.
This article's author, Astley, is an avid content marketer who specializes as an SaaS copywriter. Learn more at Minimalist Copy