Best Professional Font Size For The Resume

It’s not an uncommon thing to question which font size is best suited for your resume. Picking a font size is about knowing when and where your interviewer or hiring manager might be reading your resume.

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.

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.

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