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How To Choose the Best Cover Letter Font

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

Last Updated June 29, 2021

Guide Overview

What are cover letter fonts?Why are cover letter fonts important?What are the best fonts for cover letters?Tips for choosing a cover letter fontHow to choose a cover letter fontHow to choose a cover letter font size

Guide Overview

An overview of cover letter font choices

The font you choose for your cover letter can have a significant impact on the hiring manager because it effects the readability and appearance of the document. There are several fonts you can choose from when developing your communication. Learning about suitable fonts for this document and how to choose one that complements your job application can help you make a positive impression on the recruiter. To learn about cover letter fonts and how to choose the best one for your job application, consider this article.

What are cover letter fonts?

Cover letter fonts are the type styles used to communicate the content of documents introducing your interest in a job and your suitability for it. There are thousands of fonts you can use for these communications, and each has unique characteristics. These type designs differ based on shape, look, and size. As a font showcases all the content in your cover letter, it’s very important to choose typography that suits what you have said, industry norms, and employer expectations. These type styles can be categorized based on several typography elements, including:

  • Serif: The serif element refers to the augmentation designed for each letter, which involves decorative lines attached to the top and bottom of a letter’s stems. You can use certain serif fonts for your cover letter for a fresh, contemporary look. Serif fonts are often best to use when your cover letter is delivered in a physical format.
  • Sans serif: A sans serif font has a streamlined style that lacks the extra lines on a letter’s stem or stroke, which distinguishes it from serif fonts. These fonts can be suitable for cover letters. Candidates who prefer a sleek, minimalist presentation can opt for sans serif styles. Sans serif fonts are also highly appropriate when your cover letter is sent via digital copy.
  • Script: Fonts that resemble handwriting are script fonts. While these type styles are suitable for many different types of publications, they are typically not appropriate for cover letters because they can look informal and be more difficult to read than serif or sans serif fonts.

Learn more: How to Write A Cover Letter

Why are cover letter fonts important?

There are several reasons that make cover letter fonts important, including:

  • Font choices significantly impact the cover letter presentation. While a recruiter will select a resume to read what it says, the type style used to showcase the text is the first thing they see. Using a poorly designed font for your cover letter can negatively impact how the document is perceived.
  • Cover letter fonts communicate its content. All the text in a cover letter that introduces the skills and experience of a candidate is showcased through the selected font style, so the style is a factor in how the content is conveyed to a reader. Choosing a font that is difficult to read is likely to have a negative impact on the way in which content is communicated. To optimize what you have written in your cover letter, you should choose a font that is readable and supports the content.
  • The font can impact a hiring manager’s impression of a candidate. For example, choosing a suitable font can help a hiring manager to easily evaluate your content and form a positive impression regarding your application, but using an unsuitable font for your cover letter can prevent your content from being evaluated and result in a negative impression of your eligibility for the position.

Learn more: Best Font for Resume

What are the best fonts for cover letters?

There are several fonts you can use for your cover letter, such as:

  • Helvetica: This font is a sans serif font with a concise design. When utilized for a cover letter, it does not distract a reader from the content. If you’re applying to a contemporary workplace, Helvetica is a suitable choice.
  • Times New Roman: A classic serif font, Times New Roman is widely used in job applications. If you’re targeting an employer in a more traditional industry such as government service, this can be an appropriate choice.
  • Trebuchet MS: This is a bold and versatile font, which can be used in most industries, Additionally, it’s offered on most word processing programs, which makes it easy for job seekers to access. However, its design takes up relatively more space than other recommendations, so consider Trebuchet MS if you’re writing a short, entry-level cover letter instead of a lengthy document for a senior position.
  • Garamond: This can be a great choice if you want a classic serif font with a modern look. Garamond is a popular cover letter font, and it can work well in applications for most jobs.
  • Arial: This type style is widely available on most writing programs, and it’s a familiar font for most hiring managers. Arial is a suitable option for your cover letter if you’re unsure of employer preferences in relation to typography.
  • Calibri: This font is well-designed, and it showcases cover letter content effectively. You can use Calibri if you’re looking for a modern, elegant font for your letter.
  • Cambria: If you want a serif font with great cross-platform readability for your introductory letter, Cambria is a suitable choice.
  • Didot: This is a beautifully designed font that is suitable for contemporary fields or innovative employers. If you’re looking for a job in industries such as fashion, graphic design, or architecture, Didot could be a great option.
  • Tahoma: A modern and readable font, Tahoma works well for most jobs. You can use this no-frills type style for entry-level, mid-level, and senior level positions.

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Tips for choosing a cover letter font

When choosing a cover letter font, you can use the following tips:

  • Keep it simple. Your font should facilitate the communication of all the points you made in your cover letter. However, the hiring manager should not pay more attention to the type style than the content. It’s best to choose a readable, simple style that does not have a lot of unnecessary augmentation to complement the content.
  • Try a few type styles on your cover letter before selecting one. It’s easy to change your cover letter font to another that is available in your word processing software. As most standard writing programs already have most of the best fonts for cover letters, see how your document looks in different fonts before choosing the one you like most.
  • Use a recommended font. Your cover letter is one of the most important documents in your job application, so use a tried-and-true type style for this kind of communication.

Learn more: How Long Should a Cover Letter Be? (With Tips)

How to choose a cover letter font

You can use the following steps to choose a great font for your cover letter:

  1. Research fonts used for cover letters. There are standard fonts that are used for cover letters. Select a few fonts that best suit your cover letter from these recommended styles as options.
  2. Pick a font that suits the company. Use your research skills to learn about the company. Look at the fonts a prospective employer has used on their website, press releases, and the job description. It’s likely that the same font or one that is similar will resonate more with the hiring manager than a completely unfamiliar style. Find matches or similar options to these type styles among the recommended cover letter fonts.
  3. Choose a standard font that suits the employer. From your options, find a font that is both similar to a type style used by the employer and is recommended for cover letters.
  4. Get feedback on selection. Once you choose the font, show your cover letter to a friend whose opinion you trust and get their feedback. Change the font using the same selection criteria you used before if necessary based on the feedback.

How to choose a cover letter font size

You can choose a size that works for your cover letter with the following steps:

  1. Defer to the standard 12 point format. You may choose to set your font size to 12 points because this is the standard size for cover letters. However, the spatial dimensions of a type style are influenced by its design, so certain fonts can seem too small at 12 points, while others can appear too large.
  2. Check the readability of your letter. Read the letter to determine if it’s readable. The font should be easy to read. If you have no visual impairments and find it difficult to read any section of the letter, increase the font size.
  3. Double-check the font size. Get feedback from a few people in different age groups on the readability of the cover letter, and make any necessary changes to the font size based on the preference of the majority of your reviewers.

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