When it comes to writing the perfect resume, most people rarely think about which font to use.
As the CEO of a resume writing company, I review thousands of resumes every year. It’s also part of my job to speak with hiring managers and recruiters to understand what they’re looking for in candidates today – and many of them agree: it’s important to choose a readable font. .
In fact, the average initial review time of a candidate’s CV is only 7.4 seconds, according to a study by job search site The Ladders.
The “best resumes” – where recruiters spent the most time and focus – had “clearly marked section and title headers, all written in clear font,” the study notes.
The best fonts for your CV
The main factors to consider when choosing a font are professionalism, design, spacing, and most important of all, readability.
Additionally, many companies use an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) to streamline the hiring process, and there can be issues if the system does not recognize your policy. So if you’ve used something that’s too unique or unusual, it’s time to update your CV’s font.
Here are my seven favorite picks for 2021-2022:
This sans serif font is often used for branding and website or mobile design, making it a great option if you are in the creative field or applying for a marketing position.
Helvetica is generally considered to be more elegant and modern. Go for this font if you want to add flair to your resume while maintaining the same level of professionalism as some of the traditional fonts.
A narrower body structure compared to some of the other fonts on this list, Tahoma has a technical feel, making it an ideal option for those working in the software engineering field.
5. Times New Roman
It’s still my # 1 favorite. Still one of the most popular fonts in use today, Times New Roman is traditional, classic, and easily recognizable.
6. Trebuchet MS
Trebuchet MS has a thicker appearance, but its rounded sans serif typeface makes it ideal for newbie job seekers trying to fill out a single page resume with their experience, skills, and accomplishments.
Need to put more text on your CV? Go with Verdana, as it was designed to be easy to read in small print on computer screens.
If your font is too small, recruiters will have to squint to read your resume. If it’s too big, your CV will look bulky and end up being longer than it should be.
To avoid making mistakes when it comes to font sizes and formatting, here are my three general rules:
- Your name (top): 18 to 24 points
- Headers: 12 to 16 points
- Body: 10 to 12 points
You can still use font sizes to manipulate the length of your resume. For example, if your CV is 1.5 pages long when using a 10 point font, consider increasing the font size to 12 point to make your CV closer to two full pages.
Of course, it is ultimately your experience and skills that will appeal to employers. But using a light font in a size that makes sense will increase your chances of getting your resume the time and attention it deserves.
Pierre Yang is a career expert and CEO of Resume writing services, the parent company of Resume Go. Prior to that, he worked as a hiring manager and recruiter. Follow him on twitter @ThePeterYang.