recommended font for resume

3 Reasons Calibri is the Recommended Font for Resumes

Do you want to know if there is a recommended font for resumes?

Yes, there is — not just one, but many. So what should a job seeker do? How can you decide which font is right for your resume?

3 Considerations for Picking a Font

I think about these three factors when choosing and recommending fonts for resumes:

1. Reader Experience: You want to choose an easy-to-read font so recruiters and hiring managers will want to go beyond the infamous six-second resume scan.

2. Mobile Friendly: Your font needs to be easy on the eyes on computers and mobile devices. While some people still print resumes, most recruiters and hiring managers read them on screens.

3. Font Size & Word Counts: Go with a font that will let you write about 700 words on two pages, the ideal word count and number of pages for most resumes.

Recommended Font for Resumes

When I consider those factors, there’s only one font I recommend for resumes — Calibri.

Calibri was made to be read on computer screens (more here) and it’s Microsoft’s default font. Thus, it’s not difficult to read and it’s familiar to your resume’s viewers.

In addition, 11-point Calibri produces a two-page, 700-word resume. That’s perfect, according to research (more here).

Beyond that, because it’s Microsoft’s default font, it comes with MS Word.

Best Font Size for Resumes

Notice that I referred to 11-point Calibri above. I’ve tried 10-point Calibri and 12-point Calibri. I like 11-point for producing that research-proven, 700-word resume document.

(If you use a font other than Calibri, you will want to test which size lets you write a 700-word, two-page resume. That’s the best font size for resumes. It varies by font.)

I mostly use 15-point Calibri for headings.

I always use 10-point Calibri for company descriptions.

Resumes Written in Calibri

Do you want to see some examples? You can find links to four resumes written in Calibri here.

More

You might also like one or more of these five additional posts about fonts for your resume.

Featured by Business News Daily
Image Courtesy of Andrew Neel

Updated February 2019

© 2013 – 2019, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.

Comments 15

  1. Donna,

    How well does the Calibri font work with optical scanners and company applicant tracking systems.

    I understand that Times New Roman, for example, does not scan well even at 12 pts. with some resume scanners.

    Denis,

    Because it’s in such common usage, fine. I’ve never had a complaint.

    Donna

  2. I suppose that the version of Microsoft Office Word default of Calibri, is probably at least Word 2007 or 2010. It seems silly to me, to value the formatting and style of a resume, more than the actual content — and then again, I don’t believe in traditional resumes as being very effective other than just being a fancy “business card” with details — and my belief that the traditional jobs are not very efficient or effective in the 21st Century.

    Hi Aaron, Thank you for commenting. You’re right — 2007. Recruiters do value content most, but format second. I love resumes and marvel at how much explicit and implicit information they contain. Traditional jobs aren’t for everyone but they’re perfect for many people. I’m glad to see a variety of options opening up for people. Kind regards, Donna

  3. It’s silly to even talk about content vs. format in this way. A good format will allow the content to shine through. In that sense, format should be subordinate to the content, but format supports content; it should not be an afterthought. I sometimes have to plow through piles of resumes when I’m hiring someone, and believe me, format matters a lot to me. My time is valuable, and a poorly-formatted resume that forces me to reread it multiple times to find what I need to know is, to my mind, an indication of what kind of work that person would produce in general.

  4. I have found great difficulty seeing the difference between similar looking sets of letters when reading on a 10.1 inch tablet. If they just put a little more space between letters to more clearly delineate them I wouldn’t mind. Otherwise I forcefully assassinate Calbri and switch the default to Courier New. I can’t imagine it would be easier to read on the smaller standard 7 inch tablets or even smaller phones.

    Hmmm, I wonder if a font has been developed for readability on tablets? Thank you Kyle. Donna

  5. Did Microsoft pay you to say this? Cause really, Calibri is a weak, narrow and not confident (rounded forms) typeface compared to Helvetica or Gill Sans, which I find far more visually appealing, particularly if you need both and on-screen and printable typeface. Helvetica looks great on the phone and the tablet. It just works.

    And if you want a perfectly designed typeface for the screen, try Veranda.

    Hi Rob,

    I wish. Yo, Microsoft, are you listening?

    Thank you for the tips. I like Verdana for websites but not for resumes. Both Verdana and Helvetica, to my taste, are too bulky for resumes. I will play with Gill Sans.

    Kind regards,

    Donna

  6. Hi Donna,

    As someone who reads resumes all day long for a living, I do appreciate your insight and completely agree with you. Calbri is my choice too for resumes, and advise that to candidates whenever I get the opportunity.

    Another resume suggestion for your readers from an insider’s perspective is that ALL recruiters and HR departments use some form of Applicant Tracking System (database) to manage our resumes. The new trend appears to be to put Name and contact info into either a header or a footer – NO ATS can “read” inside of a header or footer. When the resume is imported, all that is visible is the body of the resume and even if this is the candidate of my dreams, I can’t contact them – don’t even know their name. Recruiters deal with large volumes of resumes, when they encounter one like this they normally just delete it rather than fix it. A shame for both the candidate and the recruiter.

    Patty Martin
    President
    Talent Finders

    What a shame! Thank you for highlighting this Patty. Donna

  7. “The new trend appears to be to put Name and contact info into either a header or a footer – NO ATS can “read” inside of a header or footer. When the resume is imported, all that is visible is the body of the resume and even if this is the candidate of my dreams, I can’t contact them – don’t even know their name.”

    So, is it better not to write the name and contact information within the header or footer? Thanks.

    Hi Lish,

    I don’t use headers and footers on resumes for precisely this reason. Thank you for the reminder!

    Donna

  8. Dear god, no. Calibri looks like a slightly more sophisticated Comic Sans to me. It is definitely not easy on my eyes.

    Beauty IS in the eye of the beholder. 😉

  9. Denis,

    Great question and a sixth lovable point! It’s believed that Calibri scans well.

    Thank you,

    Donna

  10. Hi. I’m Sainath. I have a query like, “what would be best subheading’s to be used in a resume to describe a profile.”

    for example: few people use Career Objective at the first, and later summary etc.,.
    few people use only summary than career objective.

  11. Hi Sainath,

    Where are you located? Resume conventions vary by country. In the US, summaries rule and objectives are out.

    Donna

  12. Do you prefer a two page resume with a 12 point calibri or a narrow margin 11 point calibri resume? I’m stuck with that decision and the panel is split on whether two pages are fine or one page is the norm! I’m a graduate student with a 1.5 year work experience.

  13. Spot on! I agree with you! I found my resume looking ‘clean’ and ‘concise’ with the Calibri. Also, even if the line spacing is narrow, like 1-line spacing with no gap between them, calibri letters tend to make their own space and distributes well, making it pleasing to the eye of the beholder.

  14. I start with one-inch margins all around and 11 point Calibri for most of the text. It works well almost every time.

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