How To Choose the Best Font for Your CV (With Top 10 Fonts)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 7 September 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Picking the proper font for your curriculum vitae requires thought and careful consideration to ensure that your document meets the needs of the reader. There are many fonts you can access, each with its own unique qualities and stylistic characteristics. Selecting a font that is simple and easy to read can help the reviewer gather the information they need to make an informed decision about your candidacy. In this article, we discuss how to choose the best font for a CV in six steps and review the top 10 best fonts to use for your document.

Related: How To Write A CV (With Template and Example)

How to choose the best font for a CV in 6 steps

With thousands of fonts to choose from, it's important to decide on the best font for a CV that is likely to leave the best impression on an employer and increase your chances of moving forward in the interview process. Be mindful to choose a font that is basic in style and easy for the hiring manager to read. Many employers also use software called applicant tracking systems (ATS) to record and sort through job applications. Therefore, the simpler your font, the easier it is for these applications to scan your CV for useful information.

ATS programs can't always read and interpret intricate fonts accurately, causing ornate font options to convert into blank boxes or other illegible characters. If you're creating a CV for a creative field like graphic design or advertising, you may have more flexibility in the font style you can use. While some creative interviewers may view the CV as a showcase of your creative skills and abilities, ensuring your CV is easy to read is a top priority. Here are six steps to help you select the right font and font size for your CV:

1. Consider the purpose of your CV

The first step to choosing the proper font is to consider the purpose of your CV. Think about who the employer is and the type of job you're applying for, as this can determine the level of creativity you're able to express in your font selection. If you're creating this CV for an academic research position, then it's probably best to choose a minimalist font that doesn't have any distinctive flourishes or strokes. If your CV is for a creative job at an illustration company, then you may be able to choose a more stylised font.

2. Consider readability

The most important step to choosing a font is to ensure that the reviewer can read it without having to strain their eyes. Keep this concept at the forefront of your thoughts when you're deciding on the proper font. Sometimes the process is a matter of trial and error, so try out different fonts to see which ones are most readable while still maintaining professionalism. Even if you have really good eyesight and can see extravagant fonts with no issues, consider that other people may not have the same vision. Therefore, try to choose one that is universally readable.

3. Choose a standard font size for CVs

The optimal font size for your CV is anything between 10 and 12 points. The size you choose may depend on how the font size impacts your CV layout. Since it's best to keep your CV to two pages, begin with a size 10 font and experiment with sizing up if you think you have space. Find the perfect balance between font size and useable space. If there appears to be an excessive amount of white space in your CV, you can increase the size of your font in small increments or fill in your CV with more details.

The primary purpose of choosing an ideal font size is to ensure that it's big enough to be legible, but not too big that it disproportionately stretches your CV across too many pages. Whether you choose 10, 11 or 12-point font, ensure that 10-point is your minimum, as any smaller may become challenging for the reviewer to read. If your CV expands beyond two pages even with 10-point font, consider editing some of the content to the most precise information to bring the page count back down.

Related: 6 Universal Rules For Writing Your CV

4. Modify your CV for precision

While deciding on a CV font, consider the quantity of your content. If it appears too wordy, consider shortening some of your sentences to better fit the font style you've chosen. You can do this by using concise details and removing flowery language that doesn't add value to your CV. For example, Performed inventory audits on a monthly basis and discovered issues with over-ordering—executed an organisational solution across all teams which resulted in a 10% increase in revenue over the next two quarters can become Performed regular inventory audits, identifying and solving over-ordering problem to achieve a 10% revenue increase.

Here are a few other ways you can consolidate your resume:

  • Consider removing filler words such as like, as such, as well, and that.

  • Instead of listing each function of every job you've held, pick two to three key tasks you made in those roles.

  • If you have two points that are similar, consider combining them into one brief statement.

  • Include only your most recent 10 to 15 years of experience.

  • Use succinct bullet points instead of paragraphs.

Related: 139 Action Verbs To Make Your CV Stand Out

5. Review online CV examples

For more insight on choosing a proper font for your CV, review online CV examples. These resources can help you get an idea of the type of fonts that are generally acceptable for this type of document. You can reference an example CV and use it as a guide for how to format your CV, including the font and font size. There are also example templates you can download and modify with your own information and professional design choices.

6. Ask a resume or CV writer

For additional help in choosing the right font for your document, consider consulting a resume or CV writer for advice. These are professionals who understand the nuances of what is acceptable when writing a CV. They not only can guide you in choosing the best font for your CV, but they can help you write your entire document in the best possible manner, optimising the style, formatting and content details. For a fee, you can find a CV writer on an online job board or freelancing website.

Related: CV vs. Resume: Differences, Similarities and When To Use

Top 10 fonts to use for a CV

Here are the top 10 fonts you can use for your CV:

1. Calibri

Calibri is the ideal font to use for a CV. This font has a light style while still retaining its firm and clear texture for an even reading experience. This is especially useful for CVs that include significant technical details.

2. Garamond

Garamond font provides an elegant and polished look. This classy font has a serif typeface and is really useful for condensing a CV down to two pages. Even at smaller font sizes, it still retains its readability without causing overcrowding.

3. Gill sans

Gill sans is a sans-serif typeface font that combines modern and classic aesthetics. It's a simple font that makes reading really easy for the recruiter or hiring manager. This font allows you to add a bit of style without becoming too excessive.

4. Cambria

Although slightly less formal than some other fonts, it's got a traditional styling with modern elements. This font has a unique typeface, but not so much that it's unprofessional. Consider this serif font if you want your CV to stand out a little more.

5. Constantia

Constantia is a unique serif font with rounded letterforms. This gives it a somewhat friendly and less restrictive appearance compared to other typefaces. Due to its distinctively round nature, it's really easy to read, even at smaller font sizes.

6. Didot

Didot is a serif font with a distinctively upscale styling due to the distinguished swish marks at the end of many of the letters. This is a very classy typeface that's excellent for CVs. Its delicate details are most notable with a larger font size.

7. Lato

This font has a very corporate style to it. Lato has neutral details that come in various widths and shades. Despite its fairly universal appearance, it's most visible with a larger font size, especially for its thinner and lighter variations.

8. Helvetica

Helvetica is a sans-serif typeface and one of the most popular fonts. This is a font that has universal usage due to its clean and modern lines. This simplistic style gives exceptional readability and clarity at all legible sizes.

9. Georgia

Georgia is a distinctive serif font with thicker letterforms, making it really easy to read, even at smaller sizes. This font provides exceptional clarity when viewed on a computer screen. Choose this font if you want a comfortable reading experience.

10. Avenir

Avenir is a very versatile font. It has crisp and clean lines, giving any CV a contemporary appearance. There are multiple weights to go darker or lighter.

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