Best and Worst Resume Fonts For Your Next Job Application

best resume fonts

First impressions last. That’s why it’s important for job seekers to prepare a perfect resume that will not only get them hired but also make the employers think that they’re passionate about the job.

Applying for work likely won’t start with a face-to-face conversation with the employer. If you’re applying for a particular job, the resume will be one of the primary ways that the company owner or HR executive will look at you. What kind of impression will the company executives have of you if your resume looks like it was created in a rush or without utmost care? Your chances of getting hired are probably going to be slim to none.

In creating your resume, a lot of things need to be considered. Content should come first – without enough information about you, the company wouldn’t have an idea if you’re a right fit for the job. The next thing that you need to focus on is the design and layout. Aside from making your resume look clean and professional, it must also be presented in a good font.

Here are some of the best fonts to use in your resume, and a few bad ones that you should avoid, for your next job application:

Best Resume Fonts

Best Sans-Serif Font: Helvetica

best resume fonts - helvetica

Probably one of the cleanest sans-serif fonts in the world is this typeface created in 1957 by Swiss designer Max Miedinger. The character details are crisp and well-balanced, and it definitely comes across as professional and honest.

Runner-up: Calibri

best resume fonts calibri

Microsoft’s staple font since 2007 works well on long documents because it can be read very clearly in 12pt font size. Calibri carries just the right amount of edginess to make your resume look modern.

Honorable mentions: Lato and Avenir.

Best Serif Font: Garamond

best resume fonts garamond

Although Times New Roman is more popular especially for users of Microsoft Office, Garamond is cleaner and much more elegant. It’s not as formal as Times New Roman, and so its slight stylistic angles inject some life into your text.

Runner-up: Didot

best resume fonts didot

This serif font exudes a European appeal to instantly give your resume an international flavor. Make no mistake, though: Didot isn’t an artsy font but more of a stylish professional typeface. If you’re applying for jobs in the fashion industry, this font could work well for you.

Honorable mentions: Georgia and Cambria.

Worst Resume Fonts

Unless you want your resume to be sent directly to trash, stay away from these typefaces:

Comic Sans

worst resume fonts comic-sans

Fonts come in many forms and are applicable in specific niches. Never make the mistake of using funky fonts like Comic Sans in applying for a job. Aside from being deliberately childish in appearance, Comic Sans has also earned a bad reputation among designers and even common folk.

Courier (or Courier New)

worst resume fonts courier

If you use this font, you probably just want to mimic a standard typewriter font. In that case, you might as well use a typewriter to make your resume! This font will make your resume outdated, which may not sit well with the company.

Times New Roman and Arial

worst resume fonts times-new-roman

To be honest, there’s nothing wrong with these fonts stylistically or professionally. The only problem with Times New Roman and Arial is that they have been used over and over again. As a result, your resume will probably look like the rest of the applications. Make your application papers stand out by choosing a unique typeface.

Any script font

worst resume fonts brush-script

This category of fonts may range from the outdated Brush Script to the more modern (but totally inappropriate) Zapfino. Script fonts don’t display well in small fonts, and they don’t convey a professional tone.

Any stylized font

worst resume fonts papyrus

A lot of typefaces have been released in the market to cater to just about any kind of printed document. Some fonts are so stylized that you don’t need to use image editing software to make the text look unique. Having said that, stylized fonts really don’t fit well in resumes. Some of these fonts may have jagged or rough details (Papyrus), while some are just too stylish (Pacifico or Amatic).


The bottom line

Using the right font for your resume is just like wearing appropriate clothes for your first job interview. Make sure that your resume font gives the right message and doesn’t show wrong side of you.