How to Choose a Font for a Cover Letter (With Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 29 November 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.

Choosing a font that's simple and easy to read is essential to making a good first impression. A good font can help you demonstrate your professionalism. Choosing an appropriate font can improve the readability of your cover letter, increasing your chances of getting a job interview. In this article, we discuss how to select a font for cover letters and share several font styles that can help your cover letter stand out.

How to choose a font for a cover letter

Here are the steps you can take to choose a font for a cover letter:

1. Think about your goals

Before you choose a font, think about the goal of your job application. Creating a cover letter that stands out can make potential employers notice you and give you an advantage over other candidates. While selecting a unique font can help you stand out from the competition, it's important to use a font that makes your cover letter look professional. A cover letter with an appropriate font is more likely to communicate your qualifications without distractions.

2. Choose a simple, modern font

Perhaps the best cover letter examples include fonts that are clean, professional and highly readable. Consider using fonts that don't have special characters or stylistic flourishes. This is especially important because applicant tracking systems (ATS), which many hiring managers use to scan cover letters or CVs and rank them based on relevant keywords, work best with simple fonts.

You can stand out by picking something other than standard fonts like Times New Roman. Even though this font looks simple and professional, it's not ideal for reading on a screen. Pick a font that is mature, modern and easy to read both in print and on screens, such as Avenir, Calibri, Arial, Veranda and Helvetica. Selecting one of these fonts can ensure your application is aesthetically pleasing to the hiring manager and can eliminate issues with an ATS.

Related: How to Choose the Best Font for Your CV (With Top 10 Fonts)

3. Use an appropriate font size

Use an appropriate font size for your cover letter, as it can affect both the format and readability of the document. Depending on the cover letter format you use, choose a font size between 10-point and 12-point. The best size is one that can make your cover letter readable and fit on one page. If you use a 10-point font but the document still exceeds one page, you can consider editing the content to make it more concise.

Related: How to Structure a Cover Letter (With Example)

4. Consider your industry

For most industries, using a simple, professional-looking font for your cover letter is ideal. There are special cases where experimenting with font sizes and font types can improve the visual appeal of the document. For instance, if you work in the creative industry, using a font with stylistic flourishes can demonstrate your design skills and creativity. Consider changing the typeface and its size in your cover letter's header, which is often 14-point or 16-point, while maintaining a formal and simple font for the body of your text.

Keep the overall look of your cover letter professional when adding personal or creative touches. Some industries or fields may also use a standard font. If this is the case in the industry you're trying to enter, you can use that font to conform with professionals in that industry. If you're not sure whether this applies to you, consider researching cover letter examples for the relevant job title of your application to determine the common style or font used.

Related: Cover Letter for a Graphic Designer (With Cover Letter Example)

5. Ask for a second opinion

When composing your cover letter and selecting a font, consider asking the opinion of your family members, friends or professionals within your network. This can help you gather support for your cover letter and give you confidence in your choices. Gathering second opinions can also provide you with new perspectives and help generate fresh ideas for the format, font and content of your cover letter. If you know someone working in a job similar to the one you're applying for, you can ask them which font they used in their cover letter.

6. Only use one font

Once you've chosen a font, consider using it throughout the entire document. It may also be a good idea to use the same font on both your curriculum vitae and cover letter. This can help you organise your job application, present a polished and uniform look and show hiring managers that you're consistent and detail-oriented.

Related: Examples of Cover Letters for Fresh Graduates

7. Review the application instructions

Some job advertisements have specific instructions for candidates who are submitting their CVs and cover letters. Consider reviewing the application instructions carefully to make sure you're following the guidelines for the submission of applications. Sometimes, employers may require CVs and cover letters to use a specific font. In these cases, it's important to use the required font to make sure employers don't disregard your application.

8 professional cover letter fonts

Here are some great fonts that you can use in your cover letter:

1. Helvetica

Helvetica can be a great modern font for your cover letter. Thanks to its clean and neutral design, it has quickly become one of the most popular fonts for companies. It's not only easy to read but also attractive without being distracting. Consider using Helvetica if you're applying for a job in a modern office setting, such as in sales or customer service.

2. Cambria

Cambria is a traditional and easy-to-read font style. It's often a great choice for cover letters of all types. Its basic design and serif face read well across all platforms, whether on a computer screen or in print. This font style may be ideal if you're applying for a position in a highly professional field, such as accounting or banking.

3. Avenir

This font style might be a less traditional option compared to other font styles because its unique shapes give it a lively appearance, but this can make your cover letter stand out. If you're a creative professional looking for a job in design, Avenir can help you demonstrate that you're the best candidate for the job. Using this font style on your application in combination with a unique CV design can help you capture the attention of hiring managers.

4. Georgia

Professional and clear, this classic font style is popular among major tech companies. This typeface was designed specifically to be read on mobile devices and computer screens, so it can be useful if you're composing an email cover letter. Consider this font style if you're applying for a job online, or if you just want to give your cover letter a basic yet professional look.

5. Garamond

With its delicate strokes and classic serif design, Garamond is a popular and pleasing font for a cover letter. Based on typeface designs from the 16th century, this font style's timeless appearance still holds up well and can look good at any size. Consider using this font style if you're composing a cover letter for a formal job, such as a legal assistant role.

6. Arial

Featuring minimal design and crisp lines, Arial is one of the most popular fonts for cover letters. It's also the standard font for major word processing software, which means that any computer can display it accurately. Some employers may see this font style as too basic, so if you're applying for a position at a forward-thinking or creative organisation, a font with stylistic flourishes may suit your needs better. Consider using this font style if you need a safe option for your cover letter.

7. Times New Roman

Much like Arial, Times New Roman is very popular among professionals because of its elegant look. This font style is also very common, so if you need one that can make your cover letter look unique, consider using other font styles. This font is a suitable choice if you just want to give your document a basic and formal look.

8. Calibri

Created to replace Times New Roman as the standard font for Word, Calibri has become a standard for cover letters and CVs alike. It's simple, and as the default font style for many email service providers, employers can quickly and easily open or read your cover letter online. Consider using this font style to give your cover letter a basic, friendly appearance. For instance, if you're applying for a job in hospitality or health care, Calibri might be an excellent cover letter font choice.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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