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6 Best Fonts for a Cover Letter (And How to Choose One)
When it comes to job search, every small detail can play for or against you. Spelling, layout, stylistic highlights, fonts — the tiny design tweaks can amplify or muddle the first impression you are to make.
All of the above is true for cover letters too. The easiest way to make the wrong first impression is by using a terrible cover letter font. OK, but which ones are good ones and which ones are bad?
I’ve talked to our graphic design team (the one behind all our resume templates !) to get their scoop on the best fonts for cover letters.
What is the Best Font for a Cover Letter?
The best font for a cover letter is Times New Roman . It’s a classic serif typeface that’s been in use for over 85 years. Times New Roman uses space economically which makes it easier to fit your cover letter into one page. This font looks equally great in print and in digital documents, plus it is supported by all major word processors and email apps. So your cover letter will be 100% readable!
What is the Best Font Size for a Cover Letter?
The best font size for a cover letter is 12 points . This is a standard font size for most business documents — not too big, not too small for different screen sizes. You can also opt for 10 or 11 points cover letter font size if you need to fit more information into one page, but this can affect the readability of your letter.
Best Fonts for a Professional Cover Letter: Overview
Times New Roman is a clear leader, recommended for use by career advisors from MIT , Purdue University , and Boston University among others for both resumes and cover letters.
But because Times New Roman is a serif font, it might be hard to read for people with dyslexia or other types of reading disorders . So if you want to be extra mindful, you can look for another professional cover letter font.
Just make sure it is:
- Serif or sans serif (avoid calligraphic typefaces)
- Readable (i.e. don’t have too many fancy elements)
- Widely supported by word processing apps
- Not Comic Sans (which is universally deemed unprofessional)
To help you narrow down your choice, here are several more best fonts for a professional cover letter we recommend using.
Arial font has been around since the 1980s. You are probably well-familiar with it if you are a Windows user. Arial has been the default font for this operating system since the 1990s. It’s a web-friendly sans serif typeface. However, many graphic designers suggest avoiding Arial in print as it ends up looking somewhat plain, especially in bigger sizes.
But since most of us dispatch email cover letters these days, it shouldn’t be much of a concern.
Helvetica is a Swiss-born typeface as its name indicates (Helvetia is the Latin word for Switzerland). Originally created by a freelance designer for a Haus foundry, it became hugely popular thanks to Apple. While Microsoft chose Arial as the main font for its OS, Apple picked Helvetica for the same purpose.
Helvetica is also a sans serif font and it’s very readable. That’s because it has even kerning in any variation — bold, italic, or skinny — which gives the reader a sense of clean spacing.
Calibri is a digital-native sans serif post. It was created specifically for online documents in the early 2000s — and presented to the general public with Microsoft Office 2007 and Windows Vista releases. Up till today, it remains the default font in MS Office.
It has a pleasant rounded feel to it, paired with a tight layout. Thanks to it, you can flexibly change text size without losing resolution. So if you need to fit a longer cover letter into one page , try using Calibri in size 11.
Don’t let this name trick you — the Georgia typeface was designed in the US in the 1990s for Microsoft corporation (again). But it was introduced only in 2006 as one of the standard fonts.
Georgia was originally envisioned as an alternative serif font to Times New Roman, which would look better on smaller screen sizes. Times New Roman becomes hard to read in small sizes.
Overall, Georgia is a great cover letter font option for those who want to add some extra “personality” to your cover letter, while still maintaining professionalism.
Garamond is another fine example of a time-tested font. It was modeled after an old-styled Latin typeface, used by a 16th-century engraver Claude Garamond. But don’t let its age deter you, Garamond looks fresher compared to other popular serif fonts like Times New Roman and Georgia. So if you want to give your cover letter a subtle creative flair, go for this option.
Verdana typeface family is another ‘brainchild’ of Microsoft Corporation, released in the late 1990s. It was modeled after humanist sans serif fonts such as the ones still used by the London Underground.
Yet Verdana has a more modern feel to it and touts generous width and spacing between letters. It also has a prominent distinction between frequently confused letters just as lowercase i j l, the uppercase I J L, and the number 1.
Making Cover Letter Font Selection Easier
If you feel that typography isn’t your forte, go with a “safe” choice of Times New Roman. Yes, it’s somewhat overused, but this fact doesn’t make it less professional. Alternatively, opt for popular sans serif fonts such as Ariel, Helvetica, or Verdana. There you go — you now have no more excuses for not working on your cover letter !
Elena runs content operations at Freesumes since 2017. She works closely with copywriters, designers, and invited career experts to ensure that all content meets our highest editorial standards. Up to date, she wrote over 200 career-related pieces around resume writing, career advice... more
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Best Fonts to Use On Your Cover Letter
Get to writing.
Recruiters and human resource specialists look for reasons to keep or throw away cover letters from the second they see them. Your writing style and content of your letter may be the most important factors of whether you make it to the next round or not, but do not overlook the importance of appearance.
You can have the best-crafted cover letter that truly sets you apart from your peers, but if you write it in Comic Sans, someone will likely toss it in the trash before being read. In this article, you’ll learn about some of the best fonts for cover letters.
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There is no single best font for your cover letter, but you cannot go wrong with the options listed below. Whether you are looking for something classic, safe, or professional while still being fun, you will find something that works for you.
Arial is a sans serif font, meaning without strokes at the ends of letters, and is always a safe choice. This classic font is clean and easy to read, making it the standard choice for most business uses — including cover letters. Arial is also a standard sans serif choice for many commonly used applications such as Microsoft Word and Google Docs.
Times new roman
Times New Roman was the standard font for printed work before documents, including cover letters, were primarily read on computer screens and tablets. This is one of the best fonts for cover letters due to it being a serif font, meaning letters have strokes that help make them easier to identify and read.
Calibri has served as Microsoft’s default serif font for nearly 15 years from its creation to today. The software giant is in the process of moving on to new options, but Calibri is still a popular and safe choice for your cover letter. The design consists of more defined lines and curves for lettering, which increases readability.
Lato is one of the best fonts for cover letters for job seekers who want to be professional but add some style. This sans serif font comes in a variety of typefaces from thin to ultra-bold. This modern font was created by Polish designer Łukasz Dziedzic in 2010.
Exo 2 is a redesigned geometric sans serif font created by Portuguese designer Natanael Gama while he was doodling glyphs. This contemporary font grabs attention in the right way while still maintaining professionality. Exo 2 would be one of the best fonts for a cover letter for anyone applying for a creative or non-corporate position.
Helvetica is a classic font that has been a favorite of the business and art worlds since the 1950s. This sans it specifically designed serif font to be neutral, making it one of the best fonts for cover letters as it will not distract the reader from what you have written.
You cannot go wrong with any of the choices mentioned here. Some fonts like Arial and Times New Roman are used more than others, but all are safe options that will not turn an evaluator off from your cover letter on sight. So check them out, make your choice, and write that cover letter!
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How to Choose the Best Font and Font Size for Cover Letters
Alison Doyle is one of the nation’s foremost career experts.
Keep it Professional
Choose one simple font, pick an appropriate font size, how to make your font selection, include plenty of white space, sending email cover letters.
Lechatnoir / iStock / Getty Images
When you are writing a cover letter , it's important to use a font—or type style—that is clear and easy to read. Consider that hiring managers have to review dozens, if not hundreds, of applicants for a position. They may immediately pass over a cover letter and resume that isn’t instantly legible.
Be sure to make your font large enough so that the reader doesn't have to squint to read your letter, but not so large that your letter doesn't fit well on the page.
When it comes to choosing a font to use in your cover letter, your best bet is to keep it simple and professional. You want your words and message to stand out, not your font choice.
Avoid using unprofessional novelty-style fonts such as Comic Sans, handwriting, or script-style fonts.
Ideally, the font used in the cover letter will be both the same size and style as the one used in your resume, to help you present a cohesive package.
Review these tips for determining the right font for your cover letter, as well as what size it should be, and which styles are and are not appropriate to use in a cover letter.
Using a simple font will ensure that your cover letter is easy to read. Basic fonts like Arial, Courier New, Calibri, Verdana, and Times New Roman work the best. Most word processing and email programs will default to a professional and easily readable choice.
Limit yourself to one font in your cover letter; it's best not to mix several fonts in one document.
There is no need to use different styles in a cover letter. Avoid underlining or italicizing, and use boldface text only when emphasizing quantifiable achievements that need to “pop” on the page.
Depending on how much content you have in your letter, select a 10- or 12-point font size.
It's best if you can format your cover letter so it fits on one page, with margins that are no larger than 1” and no smaller than .7”.
If your letter includes a heading with your name and contacts information, you may choose to make this font slightly larger.
When you are using Microsoft Word, you can select a template for your letter or start from scratch with a new document. If you're using a different word processing program, the process is similar.
- Select a font from the list at the top of your document before you start writing your letter, or:
- Type your cover letter.
- Highlight the content of your letter.
- Either select the font from the pop-up window or select the font from the list at the top of the document.
- Select the font size you want to use the same way.
- Proofread your cover letter.
- Print your cover letter, even if you are going to upload it online, to make sure that it is formatted, properly spaced, and looks the way you want it to.
Regardless of the font size, you select, there needs to be space at the top of the letter and between each paragraph and each section of your cover letter . Here's how to space your cover letter .
You may need to try a couple of different sizes to make sure that your cover letter fits on a single page, and you have enough white space in between paragraphs. Review these formatting tips to be sure your letter will make the best impression.
The information above applies primarily to instances where you are sending a traditional cover letter by snail mail or when you are sending a formal cover letter as a Word or PDF attachment to an email message .
Copying and pasting a cover letter into the body of an email message may change the formatting, making it difficult to read for an employer who may have a different computer system.
The safest thing to do when you are copying and pasting your cover letter into an email is to remove the formatting and reformat it as plain text. Send a copy to yourself before you send it to an employer to double-check that it reads correctly.
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