What Is The Best Font For An Australian Resume?

Choose wisely.

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Irene McConnell
6 min read

June 8, 2022

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The wrong font will make your Australian resume look unprofessional, sloppy and difficult to read. The right font will give your resume a professional touch and leave a positive impression on the hiring manager.

Which one should you use?

While most job seekers know that Comic Sans is not the best font to use for an Australian resume, they often don’t know which of the hundreds of available fonts they should pick.

Let me help you out.

The 5 Best Resume Fonts For Australian Resumes.

My company has written about 500 resumes each year for the past 10 years. That’s a lot of experience in testing different font choices!

Below is my shortlist of five resume fonts that I have found to leave the most positive impression on Australian hiring managers.

1. Open Sans

As a simple, beautiful, minimalistic sans serif font, Open Sans keeps your resume looking modern and crisp.

Here’s an example:

Released by Google in 2011, it’s a relative newcomer to the font scene but has become wildly popular in web and print design. If you’re stuck choosing a resume font, Open Sans is a safe all-around bet.

Pros:

  • gorgeous
  • professional
  • easy to read

Cons:

  • fairly common
  • can be perceived as a tad generic (which is not necessarily a bad thing on a resume, unless you’re applying for a job in the creative fields)

Best For:

  • everyone

2. Calibri

Microsoft’s replacement of the classic Times New Roman, Calibri is my personal favourite font.

Here’s an example:

In fact, our executive resume writers use this font for all client work because it has a nice aesthetic and doesn’t look dense when used to present a lot of technical detail.

Pros:

  • professional
  • easy to read
  • clean and sleek

Cons:

  • fairly common
  • as with Open Sans, can be perceived as on the “flat” side

Best For:

  • Australian executives
  • Australian senior managers
  • Australian professionals with deeply technical backgrounds

3. Myriad Pro

Quite possibly the most readable sans serif font ever invented, Myriad Pro is the best resume font for job seekers with a creative streak.

Here’s an example:

Yes, it’s fairly common, and its clean lines make it easy to read, but its slight curvature adds a dash of elegance and softness that is hard to go past.

Pros:

  • professional
  • easy to read

Cons:

  • fairly common

Best For:

  • job seekers in creative industries

4. Helvetica Neue

A borderline victim of its own success, Helvetica is a gorgeous sans serif font that you see on every Australian street.

Here’s an example:

Dozens of hipster cafes, body care brands and clothes manufacturers have chosen it as their typeface of choice, and for a good reason. It’s easy on the eye, modern and clean.

Fun fact: it was originally named “Neue Haas Grotesk”. Nothing “grotesk” about it, in my opinion.

Pros:

  • professional
  • attractive
  • easy to read

Cons:

  • very common
  • you guessed it – everyone has seen it, so it can seem generic

Best For:

  • everyone

5. Cambria

As a serif font with a classy, traditional look, Cambria provides a touch of old school elegance without looking dated. It’s the only serif typeface that made it into my list of the top 5 best fonts!

Here’s an example:

When I see Cambria, I think of Dostoyevsky. It evokes feelings of history, tradition, honesty, and integrity. I can see it appealing to measured, calm folks in age-old professions.

Pros:

  • professional
  • elegant
  • classy

Cons:

  • hints of “traditionalism” will not appeal to younger job seekers
  • difficult to skim read

Best For:

  • Australian accountants
  • Australian lawyers
  • Australian doctors

Expert Tip: What Is The Best Font Size For A Resume?

Most career marketing documents are written using a 12 point font. It’s OK to vary font size to add emphasis, but don’t overdo it. Stick to a maximum of two font sizes throughout the body of your resume!

How To Match The Style Of Font To Your Industry.

Font choices don’t simply add style to your resume.

Just like suits, they subtly sub-communicate that you belong to a specific tribe and that you share their beliefs or values.

  • If you’re looking for a job in banking or law, opt for a traditional font that is associated with trust, old values, longevity and strength.
  • If you’re submitting a job application to a young technology startup that’s on the front lines of the battle against climate change, pick a minimalist, modern sans serif font.
  • If you’re applying for a role in PR or communications, pick a serif font that’s often seen in well-respected blogs like The New Yorker.

Expert Tip: Keep The Font Colours Simple.

Black text on a white background might seem boring, but it works. Resist the temptation to get creative with colours, as this will only serve to distract the hiring manager from the content of your resume.

Sans Serif Fonts vs Serif: Which Are Better For Resumes?

Sans serif fonts have no tails, while serif fonts do.

These little tails help your eye move from one letter to the next, making the text easier to read. Most classics, as well as professional blogs, are written with serif fonts.

Image Above: each letter of the serif font ends with an extra decorative stroke.

The downside of serifs is that they can make the page look more “busy”.

Sans serif typefaces, which literally mean “without serif”, have become highly popular since the advent of computers, as they’re easier to skim read.

Expert Tip: Sans Serifs Are Generally Better.

In the context of writing resumes, I generally recommend using a sans serif font. Apart from looking more modern, sans serifs are easier to read on small digital devices.

You can expect that a significant proportion of recruiters will be reading your resume on their phones or laptops, so it’s important to make sure that your font choice won’t get in their way.

(This explains why four out of my five best resume font recommendations above are of the sans serif variety).

What Are The Worst Resume Fonts?

There are five fonts that should NEVER be used on an Australian resume:

1. Comic Sans

This playful font is great for kids’ birthday parties and school projects – but not for resumes. Using Comic Sans sends the message that you’re unprofessional, immature and not to be taken seriously.

2. Papyrus

This font looks like it was plucked straight out of an ancient Egyptian scroll. While that might be fine if you’re applying for a role as a mummy in a museum, it’s not going to impress most hiring managers.

3. Impact

This is the “loud” font that is often used for memes. It’s highly readable, but it’s also loud, brash and in-your-face. Not exactly the qualities you want to convey in a job application.

4. Times New Roman

This is the default font in Microsoft Word for a reason – it’s dull and lifeless. Times New Roman says that you’re unimaginative and unoriginal. If you want to use a serif font, there are much better choices out there.

5. Arial

Arial is the go-to sans serif font for many people. But it’s also overused and generic. If you want to use a sans serif font, there are much better choices out there.

Final Thoughts On Best Resume Fonts For Australians.

Your choice of resume font says a lot about you as a person. Different fonts communicate different personal attributes, so be sure that you choose one that’s aligned with the professional image you want to project.

The best resume fonts achieve the difficult task of sending the right message while being easy to read. Style and substance, as they say.

– Irene

P.S. Want to know more about how to choose the best font for an Australian resume? Maybe you know a good resume font that I missed? Share your opinion in the comments. Let’s start a conversation!

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