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What font to use for a cover letter: top choices

What font to use for a cover letter: top choices

  • 3 Reasons font type matters on a cover letter
  • What is the best font to use for a cover letter?
  • 1. Times New Roman
  • 2. Arial
  • 3. Helvetica
  • 4. Garamond
  • 5. Georgia
  • 6. Calibri
  • 7. Veranda
  • Fonts to avoid using for your cover letter
  • Choosing a font size and spacing for your cover letter
  • Key takeaways

Selecting the right font for your cover letter is important because it can impact the first impression your letter has on potential employers. Learn what font to use for a cover letter and some of our top tips in this article.

The font you choose for your cover letter is an important aspect of its overall design. It has the power to portray your professionalism and can improve readability. When deciding what font to use for a cover letter, there are several options to choose from.

In this guide, we will cover:

  • 3 reasons font type matters on a cover letter

  • Best fonts for a cover letter

  • Choosing a font size and spacing for your cover letter

3 Reasons font type matters on a cover letter

The font you choose for a cover letter may seem like an unimportant choice, but you’ll be surprised how much of an impact it has. For starters, it’s the first thing a potential employer is going to notice. So, if you choose an unappealing font or one that is difficult to read, a hiring manager may not even read your cover letter.

Choosing the right font can benefit your cover letter in many ways. Here are some of the top benefits to keep in mind:

  • Displaying attention to detail. When you choose a professional font and keep that font consistent throughout your cover letter and resume, you show a hiring manager you have great attention to detail skills. A hiring manager will know you are organized and care about your work. 

  • Keeping the reader’s interest. Your cover letter’s font also has the power to either distract the reader or keep their attention. Since you want to focus on the content rather than the design of your cover letter, choosing a clean and simple font is the best option.

  • Favoring compatibility. Another important benefit of being strategic about the font you choose is that not all fonts are universally available. That means a potential employer may not be able to read your cover letter at all if you choose an obscure or uncommon font. You may also run into formatting issues if a hiring manager doesn’t have the font you chose installed on their computer.

Selecting an appropriate font allows you to enhance your cover letter, make it more effective, and leave a positive impression on employers.

What is the best font to use for a cover letter?

Now that you understand why choosing a professional font is so important, let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular options. Remember, the goal is to select a simple and easy-to-read font best suited for your resume. 

Here are some of the top font choices to consider for your cover letter:

1. Times New Roman

This font is a classic serif font used in many professional documents. It is a more formal font, so it works best for conservative industries, such as finance, law, or education. Thanks to its use of space, Times New Roman is easy to read. It is a good option when you want to choose a traditional font.

2. Arial

Arial is another popular font that is clean and easy to read. A highly versatile, sans-serif font used widely in digital media, it gives your cover letter a modern look. One of the great things is that you can use it for a wide variety of industries. 

3. Helvetica

Also a sans-serif font, Helvetica is seen as a clean and neutral font. It’s used in most professional and corporate settings and works well for advertising, design, and technology cover letters. It is simple but contemporary and won’t distract from your cover letter’s content. One benefit of Helvetica is that while it is a professional choice, it isn’t overly formal, which is important for some jobs.

4. Garamond

Garamond is a more delicate design, but it is still a classic serif design that works well for formal cover letters. Its design is based on those from the 16th century, which gives it somewhat of a timeless look. It’s also a versatile font that can look great regardless of the size of the font you choose.

5. Georgia

Georgia is a font that was designed to be easy to read on screens. Since many applications happen online these days, this could be a great font for you to choose for your cover letter. It still has a traditional look, but the spacing is a bit wider to make the text more legible. It is a serif font that works great for industries in the creative realm where tradition and readability are important.

6. Calibri

Calibri is currently the default font for Microsoft Word. That means it should be compatible with just about every device. It’s a sans-serif font known for its readability on both papers and screens. It does have a contemporary look, appearing modern and fresh but still professional.

7. Veranda

Veranda is a great font choice for cover letters that require a lot of text. It’s designed to be legible and easy to read even when the font size is smaller, which makes it perfect for longer cover letters.

Fonts to avoid using for your cover letter

Just as some fonts work well for cover letters, there are some you should avoid altogether. Since readability is the most important factor, avoid fonts that are in cursive or have additional flourishes and special characters.

Any type of script or decorative font should be avoided. Some examples include Comic Sans, Papyrus, Brush Script, Vivaldi, and Zapifino. Not only are these fonts distracting, but they might not be compatible with every document reader.

Choosing a font size and spacing for your cover letter

Along with the font style itself, you should also be strategic when choosing a font size and spacing for your cover letter. Here are some tips to keep in mind when making these selections:

  • Font size. Regardless of the font type you choose, select a font size that is easy to read. Typically, 10 to 12 points are the standard sizes for most cover letters.

  • Industry standards. Some industries have particular standards regarding the font sizes and format of a cover letter. 

  • Line and paragraph spacing. Single or 1.15 line spacing works best for cover letters because it keeps the text from being too cramped. On the other hand, double spacing can spread the text too much and leave some information on a second page.

  • Margins and alignment. The standard margin for a cover letter—one inch on all sides—is typically recommended because it gives the document a professional look. If you have smaller margins on your resume (such as .5), you can adjust to align with those margins as well. 

When you finish your cover letter, complete the print test. Print out your cover letter and see how it looks on paper. Not only can this help you catch any design issues, but you’ll be able to see if there are spacing or font issues as well.

To make the cover letter writing process super simple, check out Career.io’s handy cover letter builder!

Key takeaways

  1. The font you choose for your cover letter should be professional, easy to read, and non-distracting.

  2. Some of the top fonts to consider are Times New Roman, Arial, Helvetica, and Veranda.

  3. Choose a font size between 10 and 12, use proper line spacing, and maintain even margins to ensure your cover letter looks professional.

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