CV’s and Cover Letters are often dull and boring when it comes to fonts, but they don’t have to be. Combining clean, easy-to-read typefaces that make headings stand out and draw attention to key information is essential when you are trying to get your message across. But which are the best fonts to use?
Let’s start by looking at the types of fonts available.
What is the difference between a serif font and a sans serif font?
Serifs refer to the little lines that stroke the end of a letter; these fonts are referred to as a serif, or serifed, typeface. Sans-serif fonts are fonts that do not have the lines at the end of each stroke.
Serif fonts are more traditional and are thought to be easier to read, whereas sans serif typefaces are considered more modern and contemporary.
Using a combination of both font types, one for headings and the other for body text will help highlight vital details, creating hierarchy and balance.
Compare these two images which both use the same font combination, Georgia and Verdana.
Georgia is a simple serif font that has small strokes, making it easy to read both on screen or when printed. Verdana is a sans serif font with a clean, professional look. Together they form a visually pleasing look with a gentle contrast.
In the first example, the headings were created with Verdana and Georgia was used for the body copy. In the second image, serif font Georgia displays the headings and the sans serif Verdana shows the body text.
Which one do you prefer? Which one is easier to read?
Another point to consider is the height and weight of a font as this can affect how much text you can fit onto one page.
Choosing the right font pairings, that are easy to read on a screen as well as on paper, is imperative.
Here are our recommendations for the best font combinations in 2019.
If you are a graduate or less experienced professional, you will want to use a wider typeface to fatten out the content of your CV so it looks stronger.
1. Source Serif Pro and Source Sans Pro
These two fonts are from the same family and were designed to complement each other. A classical serif typeface with a modern touch, Source Serif Pro is an optimal font for names and titles as its capital letters are not much taller than the lowercase letters. Source Sans Pro is a slightly wider font, designed to make longer texts easier to read. This combination is perfect for graduates or less experienced professionals that want to make their Resume look more substantial.
2. Garamond and Calibri
Garamond is a traditional style serif font and a great alternative to the overused Times New Roman. For the body of your CV use Calibri, a popular, universally readable sans-serif font, ideal for condensing the length of your CV as it allows you to fit more words on the page without sacrificing style or looking too overcrowded.
3. Raleway and Roboto
If you want to create a resume that looks more contemporary, consider using a sans serif font for the headings and a serif font for the body. Raleway is an elegant sans-serif typeface intended for headings and other large size usage. Pair this with Roboto, a font designed for digital use, so it’s perfect for reading on a screen. Use Roboto Regular which is a slightly fatter font to make your CV look more meaty, or Roboto Condensed if you need to place a lot of information onto one page.
4. Lato and Archivo Narrow
Another alternative is to use sans serif fonts for both the headings and the body. Lato and Archivo Narrow form a visually striking pair. A relatively new font, Lato has semi-rounded characters which create a serious but friendly effect, particularly when used in upper case. Archivo narrow uses space efficiently without affecting readability, an ideal choice for more experienced professionals that need to tighten up the body of their CV.
5. Merriweather and Montserrat
For a sophisticated modern style try using Merriweather and Montserrat. Merriweather was designed with screen legibility in mind, it is slightly taller and thinner than other serif fonts making it perfect for longer headings. In contrast, Montserrat has clean geometric lines which are versatile and simplistic. Together they form a clearly defined CV which enables recruiters to easily scan and identify the information they are looking for.
6. Oswald and Barlow
In this font pairing, for the headings we’ve chosen Oswald, a condensed sans-serif, well-suited to headlines, especially when set in capitals. For the body text we used Barlow Regular as it’s a slightly more rounded typeface. Although both fonts are sans serif, the contrast of the narrow heading with the fatter body text creates a striking effect.
Whichever font pair you choose, make sure you balance it out on the page with white spaces so that it is not only pleasing to the eye but also easy to read and find necessary information.
For more information read our article DESIGN THE PERFECT CV.
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