Resume Colors: How to Make Your Resume Stand out with Colors

Choosing the best color for your resume is a challenging task, because the colors directly catch the eyes at first sight. Also, colors can bloom a positive impression throughout your resume if you use them correctly. Here is the perfect guide to understanding how to choose the most suitable colors for your resume.

Why Do the Applicants Use Colors in Resume?

Sending a colorful resume has more advantages than just submitting a black and white resume to a job vacancy. But there is no rule to create a colorful resume or black and white resume. It depends on your desires. Here are some points that explain how the colors boost your job searching.

To give a positive first impression

The colors can draw the attention of the recruiters and make their first impression positive. But you must select a relevant color theme. That means the colors that you select must match with the position, the skills, or the brand of your potential employer. Then the use of colors enhances the worth of your resume.  

To show your creativity

Showing your creativity is dependent on the job vacancy you are applying for. That means some job positions such as graphic designer, artist, interior designer, and animator expect creative skill as a requirement. In such situations, you can build up your resume to showcase your creativity by using relevant colors. 

But if the job position is more professional and does not require creative skills, you must avoid showing your creativity through resume colors.

To highlight specific areas of resume

The recruiters just spend 6-7 seconds reading a resume. Within that tiny time period, they tend to scan the professional details. That means they quickly scan the key sections. So you can use relevant colors to break up and highlight the sections of the resume. Then the scanning of the recruiters will be quick and they can fully grab your details. 

Recruiters Taste in Resume Colors

As the recruiters also humans they may have different tastes in colors. But the applicants lose their job opportunity very rarely if their resume colors are not tally with the recruiters’ personal taste. Also without knowing who will be reading your resume, how do you match your resume color with their taste?  

The purpose of your resume is to win the interview. So you must try to make your resume stand out enough to fulfill your desire. If the colors disturb the readability of your resume, there is no purpose in using a colorful resume. So make sure the colors do not bring up a reading difficulty before submitting your resume. 

Does Color on a Resume impact ATS Test?

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are designed to grab the applicants’ information into a database and filter the best resumes according to the requirements of the position. So the software is customized to catch the grammar mistakes, spelling mistakes, and qualification availability of the resumes. Also using colors never has an effect on the ATS test. 

But as the ATS absorbed the text of the resumes from an electronic scan the colors must not affect the digital visibility of the resume. Because the bright colors will disturb the scan and miss the text. Then the ATS will gain the wrong details about you. So you need to consider that when you select the colors.

Meanings of Different Colors

The color usually affects mood, emotions, and imagination. So the colors you use can give the judge board a good feel. The color chart below will help you to identify which impressions each color evokes.

Warmth, positivity, energy, joy, vigor,intellect
Compassion, courage, wisdom, jealousy, luxury
Foundation, wholesomeness, security, flexibility
Sophistication, self-sufficiency, soothing, richness
Calm, nature, life, safety, fertile, harmony, peace
Sophistication, self-sufficiency, communication
Ambition, independence, mystery, magic, wisdom
Trust, emotional balance, friendship, good luck, feminism
Youth, vitality, devotion, justice, imagination
Passion, energy, romance, sensitivity, willpower, leadership
Abundance, warmth, determination, success
Strength, ambition, creativity, excitement
Glamour, grace, modern technology
Elegance, power, mystery, classic

How to Choose the Perfect Colors for Your Resume?

There are some facts that you need to consider when you choose a color or theme for your resume. To understand what is the perfect color for your resume you can refer to the following bullet points.

  • The resume colors you select must match your profession. 
  • The colors of your resume should not disturb the readability and clarity of the resume.
  • The colors should make the resume look attractive and easy-on-the-eye
  • Avoid using bright colors and High contrasting colors.
  • Avoid using light colors against the white background as it is difficult to read.
  • Don’t turn your resume into a rainbow.
  • Pick a maximum of three colors for your resume but not more than that.
  • Place the colors consistently. 
  • Try to balance the color theme between creativity and professionalism.
  • Do not forget to use black text for your core resume content.

When to Use Black & White Resumes?

According to the industry, the colors on the resume have restrictions. For example industries such as tech, marketing, and media accept colorful resumes. But the industries such as finance and law are often considered as the fields that reject the colorful resumes. So do not forget to submit a black and white resume if you are applying for such an industry. 

Also if you have never submitted a colorful resume before, you may feel like you have no experience to choose relevant colors to design your resume. In such a situation, it is better to send a black and white resume. Because taking risks is not possible in your job search.

How to Avoid Drawing Negative Attention with Colors on a Resume?

Though colors can enhance the value of your resume if you use a number of color combinations will make your resume look odd and gimmicky. That will lead to building up a negative impression among the hiring managers. So do not use more than 3 colors in your resume. 

Sometimes the color you choose will display on the recruiters’ computer or laptop in a different variant. So if the color disturbs the readability of your resume, that will negatively impact on your job search. So make sure you have selected a cool color that never distorts the readability.

One advantage of using colors is highlighting the areas or information of your resume. But if you use many colors for different information the resume will look like a rainbow. Therefore just select 3 colors. You can use the first one as a primary color, another one as a secondary and the third one as the accent. In other words, the common content color is the primary color, the section headers can decorate with the secondary color, and sub-section headers or titles can arrange in the accent color. 

Using the heavy graphics on the resume is another fact that draws the negative attention of the recruiters. If they feel like the applicant has given priority to the decorations of the resume rather than adding the content and qualifications on it, they will think the owner of the resume is disqualified. So never make that bad impression among the recruiters.

Should the Applicant Use Colors Only for the Resume?

The resume is not the only document that supports the color themes in the job search. Here are other occasions you can use a perfect color theme and impress the recruiters. 

Cover Letter

The job application is a collection of different documents such as a resume, cover letter, portfolio, and CV. However, a resume and cover letter are a perfect combination in the job applications. So you can use the same color theme or other relevant themes to your cover letter. 

Business Card

As a job seeker, you may usually carry business cards. That provides you new connections with employers. So serving a well-designed colorful business card also positively impacts you. If your business card is able to place a memorable impression on company owners, you may receive many interview chances.