One of the most important aspects overlooked when creating a CV or résumé is the font style used. The most common font chosen is Times New Roman, typically because it’s the default font setting when using programs like Microsoft Word – and it doesn’t look all that bad, right? But is this really the best résumé font or CV font to use if you want to stand out from the crowd? Employers can literally receive hundreds of applications from hopeful candidates hoping to land a shot at gaining an interview. So an eye catching and business like font may just give you that edge.
To help you decide which font to use on your CV or résumé, here’s our list of what we consider to be the very best – and the very worst:
Helvetica is probably a font you’ve never used or heard of, but is the best résumé font or CV font you can use. It can sometimes be hard to describe why a font is great, but we like to think that Helvetica stands out as one of the best, if not ‘the best.
It looks very professional and doesn’t lean in any one direction – basically a ‘no-frills’ business-like font – which is exactly what you need for your CV or résumé. Helvetica is also a ‘sans-serif’ font, which means that the font doesn’t have the small feet at the bottom like ‘Times New Roman’ does.
A sans-serif font like Helvetica will not only come across as professional, but it’s also very easy on the eye, honest and light-hearted. Simple and effective is the perfect way to describe this great font!
You can download Helvetica for free here (opens in new window).
Our most popular Helvetica CV template is here.
This font is certainly very easy on the eye, and if you are looking to cram as much information onto one page as possible, then this could be the one to go with.
This font allows the reader to easily move from one word to the next, so could be a good choice for a one page résumé that requires a lot of information squeezing onto one page, as the Garamond font doesn’t suffer too much when it’s quite small.
You can download Garamond for free here (opens in new window).
Our most popular Garamond CV template is here.
The most popular font of them all – but not necessarily the right one to use for your CV or résumé!
Although there is nothing really wrong with this font, you need to be careful when using it for a CV or résumé as it may send out the wrong message to a prospective employer. Times New Roman can sometimes be viewed as an unadventurous font, especially when it is used so often.
The hiring manager may be looking for something a little different which shows that an effort has been made for the application. Using another font like Helvetica certainly shows that you’ve took the time to think outside the box.
Our most popular Times New Roman CV template is here.
Sometimes referred too as the cousin to Helvetica, Proxima Nova is very similar but with a slight less of an edge. Overall it has a softer approach, and is a little less stiff than Helvetica. However, it also has an expensive price tag, and you might want to consider Montserrat as very close (and free!) alternative.
You can download Montserrat for free here.
This type of swishy font is way too risky and bold to use on a CV or résumé. We’ve only included this font on our list to make sure you are not going to take a step too far with your creativeness and consider this as a viable font.
This style of font is better left for wedding and party invitations. It is difficult to read for large amounts of text, and an employer just wouldn’t take you seriously.
This font is a little bit more upmarket and has a certain class, elegance and charm to it. As it’s also very tall, it can come across a little feminine too.
You have to be careful when considering this font however, as it tends to be more suited to creative roles like fashion design as an example. If you know that your employer will be happy to see a little wackiness in the application, then go for it!
You can download Didot for free here although be careful which link you choose – some are adverts.
Courier is extremely dated and mimics the old typewriter font. This is certainly not something you should be using for a CV or résumé. There’s nothing wrong with trying to stand out from the crowd when it comes to creating your CV or résumé, and choosing this font will certainly do that – but for all the wrong reasons!
Courier New can be useful sometimes, however. This updated version of the Courier font can be used to create something that looks ‘typed out’. This can be useful when putting together a creative CV for design type roles. A good example of this is our typeface CV or résumé template.
We have a growing collection of free Word CV templates, with 94 designs for you to choose from – click here.