Every job candidate wants to put their best font forward, particularly when it comes to their CV.
While certain things are always true – like the fact that experience, skills and ability trump more superficial aspects like your CV style – your CV should still impress across the board. That means keeping look-and-feel in mind, especially when considering CV fonts.
Choose the font strategically, as you would consider how it's organised or how long it is. Just like you shouldn't begin your CV with your "Activities and Interests" section or allow it to creep onto five pages, the best CV font is one that covers a few bases.
A strong CV font should be
Easy on the eyes: This means it doesn't cause strain or confusion. Being "easy to read" is less subjective than it may seem. In fact, once the internet became a thing, fonts were designed specifically for readability on computer screens, which is important to note because the majority of CVs are viewed at least initially on a computer screen.
Clear no matter what: Some fonts lose their cool when you switch to italic or seem more bubbly than bold. Make sure your CV font can hold its own no matter how you format it. Others have symbols that can appear distorted, especially at smaller sizes.
Non-distracting: This is of utmost importance when choosing a CV font. When your resume lands in the hands of a hiring manager, you want your experience and skills to shine through, not the font. Just like a glaring typo, a distracting CV font will take away from what you're trying to sell – yourself.
Take your pick… The best font for your CV
Remember that with CV fonts, the effect is subliminal. Focus on ones that will subtly impress rather than obviously detract.
- Arial – This is a standard CV font, but it's not particularly sophisticated. It's a sans serif font that many of us are familiar with, especially when browsing the internet, but it may border on banal. Nonetheless, Arial is a safe bet.
- Times rather than Times New Roman – Like Arial, it is tried-and-true. But if you want to go with Times, try Times minus the New Roman. The letters appear less awkward and condensed, especially at smaller sizes, thus making it ideal for digital use.
- Georgia – If you're looking to stand out from the Times New Roman crowd, Georgia is a nice option. It was designed for computer screen reading, so it's both easy and pleasant to read.
- Garamond – It has a simple elegance that looks polished in print or on screen.
Take a look at our CV tips page for more advice on how to write a CV.