How to Select a Professional Letter Font and Font Size

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What's the best font to use for a business letter? When writing formal letters, of course, you want to make sure the content of your letter is clear and easy to understand. However, you should also think carefully about the font and font size. The font is the style of the text you use in your letter or email message. It's important to make sure the font you choose for your correspondence, both printed and emailed, is clear and easy to read.

Otherwise, your reader might not take the time to read your letter.

This is particularly important when writing job application letters, such as cover letters. If an employer cannot easily read your letter because the font is too small or too difficult to read, they may not bother to look at your resume.

Your best bet is to keep your font and font size simple and professional. Make sure your message – not your font – stands out. Read below for advice on how to select the right font, and font size, for a professional letter.

What Font to Choose

It's important to select a font that is clear and easy to read. You should select a font that is large enough so that the reader doesn't have to squint to read your letter, but not so big that your letter doesn't fit well on a single page.

Using a simple font will ensure that your letter is easy to read. Basic fonts like Arial, Cambria, Calibri, Verdana, Courier New, and Times New Roman work well.

Avoid novelty fonts like Comic Sans, or fonts in script or handwriting-style.

What Font Size to Choose

Once you have selected your font style, select a 10- or 12-point font size. The size will depend on how much content you have; it's best if you can format your letter so it fits on one page.

If your letter has a heading (such as a heading with your name and contact information), you might choose to make the heading font slightly larger (14 or 16).

However, this is not necessary.

Tips on Font Style

In addition, avoid writing in all capital letters when you format your letter. Letters and email messages in all caps make it seem as if you are yelling.

Also avoid underlining, bolding, and italicizing; these can make text difficult to read.

Include White Space

Regardless of the font and font size you select, there should be white space at the top, bottom, and sides of your letter. You also want to leave some white space between each paragraph. A squished letter without enough spacing is hard to read. Here's more information on how to space your letter.

Try a variety of font types and sizes to see which one allows you to fit your letter on one page, while still leaving some white space. You might also adjust the margins of the page to be slightly bigger or smaller to keep some white space while making the letter fit on one page. As a general rule, margins should be no wider than 1” and no narrower than .7”.

Proofread

Be sure to thoroughly proofread your letter for grammar and spelling errors. Even if your font and font size are clear and easy to read, errors will make you look unprofessional. If this is a cover letter, an error might even cost you a job offer.

Be sure to thoroughly read through and revise your letter. Consider asking a friend to proofread your letter as well. Read here for even more proofreading tips.

How to Select a Font

You may need to try a few font styles and size variations so your letter fits on a single page with enough white space so it's not crowded.

Below are steps to take when writing a letter and selecting a font size and style:

  • Select a font from the list at the top of your document before you start writing your letter, or:
  • Type your 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.
  • Try some different fonts and font sizes until the letter fits onto one page. Make sure there is white space on your letter. Consider playing with the spacing and margins as well.
  • Proofread letter.

After completing and proofreading your draft, print your letter (even if you are going to upload it online or email it) to make sure that it is formatted, properly spaced, and looks the way you want. 

Read More: Formatting Your Cover Letter | How to Select a Font for an Email Message