career-advice

Expert Opinion: What Font Should You Use on a CV?

Matt Glodz
Expert Opinion: What Font Should You Use on a CV?

The Best CV Fonts for Conveying Professionalism and Credibility

Studies show that, psychologically, fonts can evoke strong emotions.

What kind of impression does the font you use on your CV convey?

You know your CV is an important part of your personal marketing materials and often makes up your first impression.

As such, it's a question worth thinking about.

A strong font choice can increase your credibility.

It can also make your CV easier to read, influencing recruiters to spend more time on it.

In this post, we’ll explore the best CV font options by analysing brand logos and discussing how a font affects brand image and perception.

We’ll also provide recommendations for the best fonts to use on your CV.

Serif Fonts: Professional, Trustworthy, Credible, Traditional

We always recommend using a serif font on your CV for two key reasons:

  • They are easier to read.
  • They convey a stronger sense of professionalism.

1) Serif fonts are easier to read

Serif fonts have letters that slightly curl like the one shown on the right below (Calibri vs Times New Roman):

 Sans Serif and Serif Font Example

Research shows that serif fonts are easier to read even at a smaller font size, as Madeline DeCotes explains in an Adobe InDesign article on the topic:

“Serifs often lend a bit more legibility at smaller scales,” she says. “When you're reading a 9.5 font in a printed book, serifs help you distinguish the letterforms and create flow as you’re reading.”

By using a serif typeface for the body text of your CV, you'll be able to decrease your font size without materially affecting readability, allowing you to fit more information onto the page.

We don't recommend using a CV font size of less than 10 points, however.

To give you further comfort that a serif font could be the best option for your CV, think about which font style the latest book you read was written in.

You'll notice that most books are written in serif fonts, helping you read them quickly and with less eye strain - and that's precisely how a recruiter should be able to read your CV!

2) Serif fonts convey a strong sense of credibility

In addition to being easier to read, serif fonts tend to be perceived as more credible and trustworthy.

Let’s take a look at some brands who use serif fonts in their logos:

Company Logos Using Serif Fonts

You’ll probably agree that these are classic, timeless organisations that have built up a credible, authoritative reputation.

By using a similar professional font on your CV, you'll convey these characteristics as a job applicant as well!

Serif fonts for your CV

Our favourite serif fonts for CVs include: 

  • Book Antiqua
  • Cambria
  • Dante
  • Garamond
  • Georgia
  • Times New Roman

    Sans Serif Fonts: Modern, Casual, Informal, Friendly

    Serif fonts tend to be perceived as younger, more modern and approachable.

    What emotions do the logos below evoke for you? 

    Company Logos Using Sans-Serif Fonts

    In Microsoft Word, the default font is now sans serif. This typeface is appropriate for most documents you prepare, but it may not be the best font choice for your CV.

    While using a sans-serif font on your CV isn't wrong by any means, we always recommend erring on the conservative side.

    When recruiters are reviewing hundreds of documents, a serif font may just be a bit easier to read and work in your favour, whether that's in print or on their computer screen.

    Sans-serif fonts for your CV

    If you choose to use a sans-serif font, we recommend:

    • Arial
    • Calibri
    • Helvetica
    • Open Sans
    • Tahoma
    • Trebuchet MS
    • Verdana

    In Summary

    The font type you use may not ultimately be a deal-breaker for recruiters.

    However, there are definitely a few "wrong" fonts we recommend avoiding (such as fancy cursive and playful options).

    By sticking with the standard fonts we outlined above and avoiding very small sizes, you'll be on your way to crafting a CV that makes a strong first impression.


    About CV Pilots

    CV Pilots is an award-winning executive CV writing, career coaching and outplacement firm. Our previous clients include CEOs and senior executives at the world's leading companies.

    Here's how we can help you:

    CV, Cover Letter and LinkedIn Writing: After a one-hour phone consultation, one of our expert writers will prepare your top-quality personal marketing materials from scratch. 

    CV Content Review & CV Editing: A professional pair of eyes will look over your existing CV to catch any errors and advise on areas of improvement.

    Career Transitions: A powerful combination of our document writing and career coaching services helps position you to secure a new role.

    To learn more, book an introductory call here or email team@cvpilots.co.uk.

    We're a proud member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches. All of our writers have studied at top-tier universities and have solid industry experience.


    About the AuthorMatt Glodz


    Matt Glodz is the Founder and Managing Partner of CV Pilots and a Certified Professional Resume Writer.

    Based in London, he currently works with applicants ranging from CEOs to recent graduates and has been writing CVs for over eight years.

    At CV Pilots, Matt combines his solid business and writing background to craft CVs that give his clients the best chance of landing interviews. He has lived in the UK, US and Italy.



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