Top 5 easy-to-read fonts for your CV

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Recruiters are busy people. They often have mountains of CVs to read through. As a result, some of them spend as little as six seconds scanning through them! So, doing everything you can to make your CV stand out from the rest is very important. Every detail is important. The content, the layout, and even the font you choose!


Picking the right CV font can be difficult. With over 600 different font types to choose from it’s easy to suffer from choice paralysis. It’s like looking at Netflix for hours unable to choose a film or TV programme to watch. The struggle is real.  


Keep in mind your CV font choice can be make or break in those first 6 seconds. It might seem insignificant, but it does matter. Below is a list of the top 5 CV fonts, reasons why font type matters, and a guide to choosing the right font for your job sector.


1. Times New Roman

2. Calibri

3. Arial

4. Helvetica

5. Garamond


Why do recruiters prefer these fonts?


Recruiters prefer these fonts because they are the easiest to read. Recruiters have to read through 100’s of CVs. So, they don’t have time to waste trying to decipher more cryptic fonts.


It may be tempting to choose fonts like Chiller or Playbill because you think these might make your CV stand out. However, these typefaces can be very difficult to read. Instead of making your CV stand out, recruiters will dismiss it immediately.


Many of the fonts found on Microsoft word are included to add visual interest to posters and signs and not designed for use in regular text. Fonts like Arial were specifically designed to make text easy to read. The option listed above might seem boring. But they are a safe bet if you don’t want you CV to be immediately discarded.


What are the recruiters saying?


Lewis Blades, Senior Recruiter at Venturi says, “When it comes to CV fonts, I think the simpler the better. I believe the best CV fonts are the classics, like Calibri and Times New Roman. Whatever the candidate can do to make my job easier will always work to their benefit.”


Additionally, we asked Jamie Rogers, Head of L&D at Venturi, for his thoughts “There is nothing that frustrates me more than when I see a CV with a font that I can’t read. I’m sure that the candidate has a lot to offer. But none of that matters when I can’t read their CV. When in doubt, stick to Calibri. It’s one of the easiest fonts to read. It’s the default text for a reason,” he said.


Choosing the right font for the role


From our top 5 fonts certain typefaces are better suited to certain jobs than others. For instance, the classics like Arial, Calibri and Times New Roman are perfect for corporate jobs or large organizations. This is because these fonts are easy to read and look very professional.


However, in smaller startup companies where creativity is greatly valued, choosing some of the lesser known fonts can work to your advantage. In these cases it may be a good idea to choose Helvetica or Garamond. These fonts can give your CV a more chic look but are still perfectly readable. But if you are in any doubt over which font to use just stick to the classics.


Font size matters


As well as the type of font, the size of the font also matters. Using very large font sizes can make it look like you don’t have a lot to say on your CV. It looks like you are trying to fill the blank space on the page. However, choosing a font that is too small can also look messy. It looks like you are trying to cram in as much writing as possible.


“I think the best font size is either 10 point or 11 point. This font size is easy to read and allows you to fit in everything you need to say on a CV. If you are struggling to fit everything you want to say onto two pages with 10 point or 11 point, it means you have too much content. Consider trimming your CV down to just the bare essentials. Cut out irrelevant details like a list of all your GCSEs,” said Lewis.


Jamie Rogers added “Even if you are the perfect candidate – if I have to get out a magnifying glass to read your work history, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. You’re increasing the chances you CV will simply fall through the cracks. It is always better to cut content from your CV to condense it rather than reduce the font size”.