The Best Fonts for Your Resume in 2024, According to Recruiters and Hiring Managers

When it comes to crafting the perfect resume, content is king. But with recruiters spending an average of just 6-7 seconds scanning each resume initially, your font choice can play a crucial role in whether your resume makes it past that first glance.

In fact, a survey by Glassdoor found that recruiters look at resumes for an average of just 6.25 seconds before deciding if an applicant is a fit for a role. With dozens, sometimes hundreds of resumes to review for each open position, recruiters don‘t have the luxury of carefully reading each one in detail.

That‘s where your font choice comes in. The right font can improve readability, convey professionalism, and help your resume stand out from the stack. But with so many options out there, which fonts are the best for your resume in 2024?

We reached out to recruiters, hiring managers, and typography experts to get their insights. We also analyzed data on the most popular and effective resume fonts, and put together this comprehensive guide to help you choose the optimal font for your resume.

Why Font Choice Matters on Your Resume

Before we dive into the specific font recommendations, let‘s take a closer look at why font choice is so important on a resume:

Readability

Your resume font should be easy on the eyes. A recruiter should be able to quickly scan through your resume and pick out the key information they‘re looking for. Fonts that are too small, too elaborate, or have poor spacing can make this difficult.

Aim for a font size between 10-12 points for body text and 14-16 points for headings. Serif fonts (like Times New Roman) can be easier to read in print, while sans serif fonts (like Arial) are generally easier to read on screens.

Professionalism

Your font is one of the first things a recruiter will notice about your resume. It sets the tone and reflects your level of professionalism and attention to detail. Choosing a clean, modern font shows that you‘re serious about the opportunity.

On the other hand, using a wacky or childish font like Comic Sans can make it seem like you‘re not taking your job search seriously. Stick to tried-and-true professional fonts and save the creative options for other design projects.

Compatibility

It‘s crucial that your resume font is compatible and renders properly across different devices and operating systems. If a recruiter opens your resume and the font is unreadable or messes up the formatting, your resume is likely going straight into the rejection pile.

Opt for standard fonts that are installed on most systems. If you do use a more unique font, send your resume as a PDF to preserve the formatting.

Font Pairing

While it‘s important to keep your resume font consistent, you can use font pairing to create visual interest and hierarchy. For example, you might use a sans serif font for your name and section headings, and a serif font for your body text.

When pairing fonts, make sure they complement each other. Avoid pairing fonts that are too similar or too drastically different. A good rule of thumb is to pair a serif with a sans serif, or to use different weights of the same font family.

The Best Fonts for Your Resume in 2024

Based on our research and insights from hiring professionals, these are the top fonts to use on your resume this year:

  1. Calibri
    Calibri is a modern, sans serif font that has become a resume staple. It‘s the default font in Microsoft Word, so it‘s familiar to recruiters and easy to read on any device.

Calibri font sample

Pros:

  • Clean and professional
  • Easy to read on screens
  • Widely available on most systems

Cons:

  • Can be seen as a "safe" choice
  • Lacks distinctiveness

Best for: Any industry

  1. Cambria
    Cambria is a serif font commissioned by Microsoft that was designed specifically for on-screen reading. It has a professional, modern look with a bit more personality than standard resume fonts like Times New Roman.

Cambria font sample

Pros:

  • Sophisticated and modern
  • Easy to read in print and on screens
  • Less common than standard resume fonts

Cons:

  • Not as widely available as some other fonts
  • Serifs may not render well on low-resolution screens

Best for: Marketing, PR, communications roles

  1. Helvetica
    Helvetica is a classic sans serif font that has a clean, modern look. It‘s been a popular choice for resumes for decades and is a great option if you want a sleek, no-frills design.

Helvetica font sample

Pros:

  • Professional and modern
  • Easy to read at small sizes
  • Familiar to recruiters

Cons:

  • May be seen as overused in some fields
  • Not available on all systems by default

Best for: Business, finance, engineering roles

  1. Garamond
    Garamond is an elegant serif font that can give your resume a classic, polished look. Its timeless style makes it a great choice for more traditional industries.

Garamond font sample

Pros:

  • Sophisticated and timeless
  • Makes efficient use of space
  • Distinctive without being over the top

Cons:

  • Can be harder to read on screens, especially at small sizes
  • May not be installed on all systems

Best for: Legal, academic, nonprofit roles

  1. Verdana
    Verdana is a modern sans serif font that was designed for optimal on-screen readability. It has a clean, simple look that works well for digital resumes and online job applications.

Verdana font sample

Pros:

  • Highly legible on screens
  • Professional and straightforward
  • Widely available

Cons:

  • Can appear too casual for some industries
  • Takes up more space than some other fonts

Best for: Tech, sales, customer service roles

Fonts to Avoid on Your Resume

Just as important as knowing the best fonts to use on your resume is knowing which ones to avoid. These fonts are commonly seen as unprofessional, outdated, or difficult to read:

  • Comic Sans: This whimsical font has no place on a professional resume. It‘s childish, informal, and can make it look like you‘re not taking your job search seriously.

Comic Sans font sample

  • Papyrus: While Papyrus can work well for more creative projects, its distinctive style is too casual for a resume. It can also be difficult to read at smaller sizes.

Papyrus font sample

  • Trajan: This all-caps font is often used for movie posters and signage. On a resume it can come across as shouty and aggressive rather than professional.

Trajan font sample

  • Script or Handwritten Fonts: Fonts like Lucida Calligraphy or Brush Script may look pretty, but they‘re incredibly difficult to read, especially for ATS systems. Stick to standard, easy-to-read fonts instead.

Script font sample

Ideal Resume Font Sizes

In addition to choosing the right font, it‘s important to use proper font sizing on your resume. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Name: 20-24 point size
  • Headings: 14-16 point size
  • Body text: 10-12 point size

Keep in mind that some fonts run larger or smaller than others at the same point size. For example, Garamond tends to run small, so you may want to use 11 or 12 points for body text rather than 10.

The key is to choose a size that‘s easy to read without taking up too much space. You want to fit all your key information on one page if possible.

Here‘s an example of a resume with well-executed font sizing:

Resume sample with ideal font sizing

Conclusion

While the content of your resume is paramount, don‘t underestimate the impact of good font choice. By using one of these recruiter-approved fonts in the proper size, you‘ll create a great first impression and improve your resume‘s chances of passing that initial 6-second scan.

Remember these key takeaways when selecting a font for your resume:

  • Use a clean, modern, easy-to-read font like Calibri, Cambria, Helvetica, Garamond or Verdana
  • Avoid unprofessional, outdated or hard-to-read fonts like Comic Sans, Papyrus and script fonts
  • Use 20-24 point size for your name, 14-16 for headings, and 10-12 for body text
  • Send your resume as a PDF to ensure compatibility

With these guidelines in mind, go forth and create a resume that doesn‘t just tell recruiters you‘re the perfect candidate – it shows them through every thoughtfully chosen detail, starting with your font.