The best fonts for your CV
What is the best font to use for my CV?
A good choice of font for your CV will ensure that it looks professional, and recruiters can read it with ease.
The wrong choice of font could make your CV look sloppy, and give readers a headache.
Your industry could affect the choice you make too. For example, if you are in banking or law then you may opt for a very traditional font – whereas a trendy tech or media CV might require something a little more exciting.
Here are our top 15 fonts that we recommend using on your CV, along with who they might work for, and examples of how they look on a CV.
Arial is probably the most popular choice for CVs and it’s easy to understand why. It’s a simple no-frills font, which is easy to read and keeps your document looking clear and crisp. If you’re having trouble deciding on a font for your CV, Arial is definitely a safe bet.
Best for: All industries and career levels
Calibri is a nice light font, which is still clear and firm enough to provide a pleasant reading experience. It’s ideal for a CV (curriculum vitae) which needs a lot of technical detail, like IT or engineering, because it will allow you to get more text on the page without it looking bunched up.
Best for: IT and technical CVs
Tahoma creates a bit more of a cool trendy impression on your CV without going overboard. It’s strong and rigid lines make it extremely easy to read, with just the right amount of curvature to create a fresher impression than some of the more classic fonts – ideal if you're applying to quirky firms, and want to work in an office with table tennis and hammocks :)
Best for: Digital marketers and tech firms
Times New Roman
Times New Roman was the CV font of choice many years ago, mainly because it used to be Microsoft Word’s default font. It creates quite a formal traditional look for the CV due to the classic looking serifs (flicks at the end of words). Some recruiters find Times New Roman a little hard to read, so make sure you have the font sized at 12 or more to combat this.
Lucida Sans creates very clear and crisp text, so you certainly won’t have any complaints from people not being able to read your CV. It certainly has a more modern feel to it, so best used for junior roles or roles in the creative space.
Cambria is often described as a slightly less formal version of Times New Roman – it’s still traditional, but has a touch of modernism. If you’re looking to go for something slightly more daring without going too far from the beaten path, then Cambria could be the font for you.
Best for: Project managers, finance managers
If you’re looking to create a classy elegant CV, then Garamond is certainly the font to go with. It provides a touch of class without ruining the reading experience for recruiters and hiring managers. A good choice for professionals who want to give their CV some character.
Best for: Doctors, Accountants
Despite it’s exotic sounding name, Browallia is actually one of the simplest and most down-to-earth fonts out there. If you’re looking to create an incredibly easy reading experience and aren’t too worried about jazzing the CV up stylistically, then opt for Browallia.
Best for: Data analysts, surveyors
If you want to create a CV with a very modern feel, then Abadi provides a very sleek and stylish appearance that will resonate well in trendy industries like media and fashion. It’s not just style over content though – it also makes the text nice and easy to read and digest.
Best for: Media and fashion
Georgia gives your CV a look that is halfway between trendy and classic, and is very popular in the writing and editorial space.
Best for: Writers, bloggers, editors
Trebuchet us a good impactful font which ensures that your writing jumps off the page and captures the readers attention instantly. If you’re looking to stand out amongst the competition with a lesser used font and hook recruiters to your CV, then trebuchet could be a good differentiator for you.
The Verdana font has a very solid dependable feel to it, whilst still remaining stylish and simple. It has a very heavy bold option which is great for creating impactful headlines.
Best for: Construction and engineering CVs
Berlin Sans FB
Berlin Sans is probably as cool-looking as you can go, without going too far. It will give your CV a bit of an edgy look, but won’t make it unreadable. Only use to apply for really modern forward thinking firms like Facebook and Google – don’t use it for traditional organisations.
Best for: Applying to Facebook and Google
For a font that’s crisp, clean and easy-to-read, you can’t go wrong with Century Gothic. This font can be used for a CV in any industry without looking out of place.
Best for: All industries
If you need to focus on readability, but also want to add a splash of modern style without going wild, opt for Gill Sans. Its a very simple font, with a tiny bit of new era styling added.
Best for: Admin and business support CVs
Best font size for your CV
Once you’ve selected a font that suits your personal style and industry, you need to think about the size of font you will use.
Depending on the type of font you use, you should ideally use a font size between 10-13.
Too big and your CV will look basic and unprofessional.
Too small and recruiters will struggle to read your CV.
Black text on a white page may seem boring, but it works.
If you want to experiment a bit – some blues or dark colours in your headings are about as far as you should go in order to stay professional.
Going overboard with too many zany colours will give readers a headache and have recruiters doubting your professionalism.
Headings and subheadings
Recruiters will want to scan through your CV quickly and pick out the information they need. Make this easy for them by enlarging and embolding your headings and subheading like below.
Keep your fonts consistent throughout the CV to ensure it looks uniformed and neat.
Fonts that are best not to use on your CV
Now that we’ve covered the best fonts for your CV, it’s worth mentioning the fonts which should never be used on a CV.
Hopefully it’s clear to see why from the examples…
Some candidates use Impact in an attempt to make an impact on readers - but it doesn’t make a positive one. It looks very harsh and kills the professionalism
Courier is a very old fashioned basic font, and may cause readers to doubt your IT skills.
Comic Sans is the closest thing you will find to a rushed scribble – it shouldn’t be on a professional document.
Bradley Hand is both difficult to read and unprofessional looking – avoid at all costs
CV font matters
Although CV font may seem like a trivial matter, it can have a huge effect on your ability to land interviews and job offers.
Readability and professionalism are the most important factors when deciding the best font to use for your CV.
When in doubt – just keep it simple.
Good luck with the job search.
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