The Best Resume Fonts for Conveying Professionalism and Credibility
Studies show that, psychologically, fonts can evoke strong emotions.
What kind of impression does the font you use on your resume convey?
You know your resume is an important part of your personal marketing materials and often makes up your first impression.
As such, it's a question worth thinking about.
A strong font choice can increase your credibility.
It can also make your resume easier to read, influencing recruiters to spend more time on it.
In this post, we’ll explore the best resume font options by analyzing brand logos and discussing how a font affects brand image and perception.
We’ll also provide recommendations for the best fonts to use on your resume.
Serif Fonts: Professional, Trustworthy, Credible, Traditional
We always recommend using a serif font on your resume for two key reasons:
- They are easier to read.
- They convey a stronger sense of professionalism.
1) Serif fonts are easier to read
Serif fonts have letters that slightly curl like the one shown on the right below (Calibri vs Times New Roman):
Research shows that serif fonts are easier to read even at a smaller font size, as Madeline DeCotes explains in an Adobe InDesign article on the topic:
“Serifs often lend a bit more legibility at smaller scales,” she says. “When you're reading a 9.5 font in a printed book, serifs help you distinguish the letterforms and create flow as you’re reading.”
By using a serif typeface for the body text of your resume, you'll be able to decrease your font size without materially affecting readability, allowing you to fit more information onto the page.
We don't recommend using a resume font size of less than 10 points, however.
To give you further comfort that a serif font could be the best option for your resume, think about which font style the latest book you read was written in.
You'll notice that most books are written in serif fonts, helping you read them quickly and with less eye strain - and that's precisely how a recruiter should be able to read your resume!
2) Serif fonts convey a strong sense of credibility
In addition to being easier to read, serif fonts tend to be perceived as more credible and trustworthy.
Let’s take a look at some brands who use serif fonts in their logos:
You’ll probably agree that these are classic, timeless organizations that have built up a credible, authoritative reputation.
By using a similar professional font on your resume, you'll convey these characteristics as a job applicant as well!
Serif fonts for your resume
Our favorite serif fonts for resumes include:
- Book Antiqua
- Times New Roman
Sans Serif Fonts: Modern, Casual, Informal, Friendly
Serif fonts tend to be perceived as younger, more modern, and approachable.
What emotions do the logos below evoke for you?
In Microsoft Word, the default font is now sans serif. This typeface is appropriate for most documents you prepare, but it may not be the best font choice for your resume.
While using a sans serif font on your resume isn't wrong by any means, we always recommend erring on the conservative side as a job seeker.
When recruiters are reviewing hundreds of documents, a serif font may just be a bit easier to read and work in your favor - whether that's in print or on their computer screen.
Sans-serif fonts for your resume
If you choose to use a resume template with a sans-serif font, we recommend:
- Open Sans
- Trebuchet MS
The font type you use may not ultimately be a deal-breaker for recruiters.
However, there are definitely a few "wrong" fonts that we recommend avoiding such as fancy cursive and playful options.
By sticking with the standard fonts we outlined above and avoiding very small sizes, you'll be on your way to crafting a resume that makes a strong first impression.
About Resume Pilots
Resume Pilots is an award-winning executive resume writing, career coaching, and outplacement firm. Our previous clients include CEOs and senior executives at the world's leading companies.
Here's how we can help you:
Resume, Cover Letter, and LinkedIn Writing: After a one-hour phone consultation, one of our expert writers will prepare your top-quality personal marketing materials from scratch.
Career Transitions: A powerful combination of our document writing and career coaching services helps position you to secure a new role.
We're a proud member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches. All of our writers have studied in the Ivy League and other top-tier universities and have solid industry experience.