Best Resume Font Size for a Professional Resume [Updated 2020]

best resume font size

It’s not an uncommon thing to question which resume font size is best suited for your new resume. Picking a font size is about knowing when and where your interviewer or hiring manager might be reading your resume. And how you can facilitate easier comprehension and readability of your work history and general information.

Font size choices contain a certain element of readability. For most humans, readability means larger font sizes. But it doesn’t necessarily mean you should do that on the resume.

For example, the Kindle, has a fairly large font size. But it is intended for extended periods of reading time. And reading during multiple conditions, like dark, sunny, and other lighting sources.

Table of Contents

Assuming The Two Places Your Hiring Manager Will Read Your Resume

There are two places where your hiring manager is going to read your resume. The first is on their desktop computer when they are looking through your resume to ensure you are a good fit for the position.

The second is when they print it for your future job interviews. Resumes are often printed and referenced during an interview but aren’t always read.

These are the two primary areas where your resume is going to be consumed. And you can presume that the conditions the user will be reading it will be well let or with the ability to zoom if they need to (on larger monitors).

Why Does This Matter

The environment of which your resume will be consumed can drastically help to determine which font size to pick. Too large of font size and your resume could look childish. Additionally, it could make the resume difficult to read. It might make the resume far too many pages, make it difficult for the reader to scan your work history and get a comprehension of your background.

Ideally, you should make your resume easy to comprehend, easy to scan, and easy to digest. This includes the number of bullet points you include in each work history mention.

Popular Font Size Choices

Most resume writers feel as though they should choose an 11-point font. While writing your resume on your computer, this font size will feel the most readable to you at the time.

This can be deceptive and a fatal mistake. The best way to show you an example of why its a mistake is to ask you to print your resume. Print your resume with the 11-point font and you’ll see that while the font looks small on your computer screen when printed onto paper it’s quite cumbersome.

10 point font is another popular choice. But this is too large as well. If you select the entire body of your resume in Google Docs or Microsoft Word, then set your font size to 10-points and print your resume— you’ll see it’s not much different than 11-points.

The ideal size? 9-point font size. If you can use a 9-point font, you’ll make your resume legible, readable, while also having enough space to make your resume impactful.

If you decide to use a sans-serif font, something like Helvetica, 9-point font might seem too large still. Ideally, you should pick a serif font, to appear more professional. Something like a font family of Georgia, Calibri, Garamond or other.

These three font choices will make the 9-point font appear legible and the proper sizing. It’s advised to stay away from a sans-serif font as it appears childish and less formal.

The Best Font Size For Your Resume

The best font size for your resume is a serif font (Georgia, Calibri, Garamond, Palatino) at 9-points. This is going to be the most legible, the most professional, and the easiest for your reader to scan.

Serif and Sans Serif

A serif typeface are those like Times New Roman, Georgia, and Calibri. These are decorative typefaces that you might expect to see in business letters. A sans-serif typeface is like Helvetica, Arial, Open Sans, and other typefaces that you see on the web. When you type something into Google, the typeface is a sans-serif.

Which one is best for your resume? Calibri is a wonderful choice. But Helvetica is great, too. Truthfully, your resume font is less important than the size you choose. The font size you choose will greatly impact the ability to read your cover letter and resume details for your hiring manager.

The best font choice: Calibri or Helvetica. Each of these is considered a good resume font to use. These are not usually the default font that's set when you start writing your resume in Microsoft or in a Google Doc. They are a standard font that is included in your computer, so you should have no issue accessing and using these fonts.

The worst font to use would be something like Book Antiqua, Verdana, or something like Palatino. Anything that seems childish and unprofessional is not acceptable. For example, a cursive font would be something you may want to choose initially, but should reconsider.

These fonts should be used for your resume heading as well as your body text. You want your fonts to match, meaning you should be using the same font for all of your resume and cover letter. Having these sections be a different font can immediately send a signal to the reader that this is not a professional resume.

Line Spacing & White Space

Line spacing is also very important to consider. If you're writing your resume in Google Docs, you should pick the 1.15 line spacing. Do not use line spacing that's too large or too condensed. Your goal should be readability.

Line spacing is important because it adds necessary white space in order to make the resume easier to scan, comprehend, and digest. The spacing of your text can be critical. Be sure to consider how many spaces you're putting between sections, as well.

Bottom line, don't be afraid of white space. But use it sparingly. Like when you want to draw clear lines between your resume sections.

Picking the right font and the right line spacing can be very impactful as a job seeker. Using a resume builder may be able to help you get started in the right direction. They can help save you time as it immediately provides you with the right resume format and font style library you need to make a professional resume.

Resume Resources

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.

Share

Help us by spreading the word