The best CV fonts for conveying credibility and professionalism
Because your CV is a personal marketing document, it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on what kind of impression the font you choose to use conveys.
Studies show that, psychologically, fonts can evoke strong emotions.
A strong font choice will not only increase your credibility but 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):
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:
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
- 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?
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:
- Open Sans
- Trebuchet MS
The font type you use may not ultimately be a deal-breaker for recruiters - through there are definitely some "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.