What is the most professional font

Arial, Calibri & Co. - Which font for your application?

The perfect application is not only convincing in terms of content, it also looks great. An appealing application image, a beautifully designed title page and of course the right font are just a few of the design points that you have to pay attention to in your application. But which is actually the right font for cover letters, résumés, etc.? Which font looks particularly modern, which is an absolute no-go and how big should it be? We'll tell you everything about the right font for your application.

1. Understanding the writing in your application
2. The classic fonts: Arial and Times New Roman
3. The modern: Calibri, Verdana and Helvetica
4. Garamond, Georgia, Cambria or Trebuchet MS for creative minds
5. What is the correct font size for your application?
6. These fonts are absolute no-gos for your application ...
7. Our insider tip for the font of your application

Understanding the writing in your application

Before you decide on a specific font, you should create a concept for your application. In the end, it should be possible "To be of one piece", i.e. convey a uniform appearance. Are you applying for a clerk position in industry? Then keep your application serious and classic. For the application as a web designer for an agency, however, it can be a little more colorful and extravagant. Therefore, always coordinate the selected colors, design elements, the application image as well as the font and size of your application with the overall concept. Note:

  • Always use the same font in all of your application documents.
  • Select the font color black.
  • Do not make a final decision for or against a font until you have already formulated your cover letter. This is the only way to fully assess their effect.
  • It doesn't always have to be the pre-installed fonts in Word or OpenOffice, you can download numerous other fonts in seconds and free of charge from the Internet (for example here).

The classic fonts: Arial and Times New Roman

The most frequently used, but now also called "boring" afflicted, fonts are

  • Arial (Dear Sir or Madam, ...)


  • Times New Roman (Dear Sir or Madam,…).

Opinions are currently divided on these two fonts. What some as "Classic and professional" praise, rate other HR managers as "Old-fashioned and boring". Times New Roman in particular is still clear and legible, but has a rather bad reputation. Brian Hoff from "Brian Hoff Design" designated "Times New Roman" in a recent interview with the Huffington Post even as that "Jogging pants under the fonts". How so? Because they express that the applicant hadn't given any thought to the font, the expert said. You should therefore choose Arial or - even better - one of the following alternatives, if you want your application to stand out positively.

The modern: Calibri, Verdana and Helvetica

The fonts are just as clear and legible, but much more modern:

With these fonts you look modern, professional, well structured and the HR manager will see that you have given some thought. For a more conservative job advertisement, we therefore recommend one of these three fonts for your application. If, on the other hand, you work in the creative field, you are welcome to use even more unusual alternatives:

Garamond, Georgia, Cambria or Trebuchet MS for creative minds

Depending on the concept of your application, one of the following fonts could be the right choice for you:

You can already see that, depending on the font, you also have to adjust the respective font size. Because 12 point is not always the same as 12 point ...

What is the correct font size for your application?

You have certainly noticed that the different fonts that can be used for your application are not always the same size. Here are a few examples:

It is therefore not possible to make a general statement about which font size you should choose in your application. Generally, the following applies:

It is imperative that the font is large enough to be read without difficulty or effort. In principle, you usually choose a font size of 11 or 12 points.

Small fonts, such as Garamond, can be set a little larger. You can also try out a little what works best on your cover letter and résumé. To shorten a two-sided cover letter and reduce it to one page, you can, for example, choose a different font or reduce the font size a little - always within the legible range, of course. Use the following table as a rough guide:

font10 point11 point12 point13 point
Times New RomanNoNoYesYes
Trebuchet MSYesYesNoNo

Always choose a synchronous gradation in steps of two for the headings, for example 11-13-15 or 12-14-16. Here you can also use Fat- or Italics work. Find your own, suitable and, above all, comprehensible system for this, for example

  • all data in the résumé in italics and
  • all headings in bold.

These fonts are absolute no-gos for your application ...

Standing out from the crowd is the most important goal of your application, but not at any cost. Because if your design, content, font or size is wrong, it can cost you your chances of getting the job. You should therefore exercise caution when choosing the fonts and never use playful, squiggly or other dubious variants. Would you like an example? We have several for you:

Our insider tip for the font of your application

If you really want to leave a lasting impression, instead of choosing one of these unsuitable fonts, we have a really useful insider tip for you: Take a look at this Corporate design of the company to which you would like to apply. What font is used here? Would this or a similar font be suitable for your application? In this way, the HR manager sees straight away that you have dealt with the company and is hopefully actually positively impressed ...

Photo credit: GaudiLab / Shutterstock.com


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