Fonts to Use on a CV

“Which font should I use when writing my CV?”

This is a very common question and there are no strict rules on what can / can’t be used. The key here is to use any font that is clear and easy to read.

We recently asked a recruiter their opinion of a selection of fonts from CVs we had reviewed and this was their feedback:

Times New Roman: “Boring…suitable for someone who is applying for a role where they don’t need to take a risk or try anything new.”
Arial: “Not bad. Very common but is easy to read…bit like Times New Roman in that the candidate probably likes to, ‘play it safe’.”
Verdana: “Too big and cheesy…looks like something you’d expect to see created by a teenager.”
Papyrus: “Yuk! Old fashioned and hard to read!”
Garamond: “Nice; quite like this! Looks very professional.”
…and thrown in for good measure; Comic Sans: “Urgh! Unprofessional…this has been created by someone who thinks cartoon ties are cool”.

Arial and Times New Roman are, without a doubt, the 2 most commonly-used fonts we see. Although they can be considered ‘safe’ to use, a little judicious use of formatting options can bring your CV alive and make it more inviting to read.

Following conversations with a number of recruiters (from different industries), serif fonts were consistently recommended for CVs wanting to maintain a ‘traditional’ look and sans serif fonts for a more modern look.

Your questions:

What size font should be used on a CV?
Again – a common question! Size 10 – 11 is what we usually work with. 10 can sometimes seem too small and 12 too big. It really depends on the font you’re using as some fonts display larger than others. Years ago, when computer monitors were small, a font size of 12+ was common – that isn’t the case now.

Can I use coloured text on my CV?
No. Avoid using anything that isn’t black! In addition, steer clear of what we refer to as ‘wacky’ fonts. The most common culprit here is Comic Sans (see above!)

Should I use different fonts for section titles and content?
Yes, this is a good idea and should help in distinguishing between the sections of your CV. In addition, remember to make use of other formatting, such as bold text to try and highlight section titles.

What’s the difference between sans serif fonts and serif fonts?

To keep things simple, sans serif fonts are “without (sans)”, the “tails (serif)”.

Example Sans Serif Fonts for use on your CV, include:


Example Serif fonts for CV use, include:


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