If you are old school and you remember the days of flipping through the classifieds, snail mailing your resume to apply for jobs, and getting job interviews, then this blog post is for you! If you are new to the resume game and know nothing about what a quality resume should look like aesthetically speaking, then this blog post is for you too! Historically, color was never something that your average job seeker would add to a resume. It used to be reserved for only creative types in marketing and advertising or artists. But today, the integration of color and shading into a resume is highly recommended because it immediately modernizes your resume while making it stand out.
Standing Out From the Competition
When you apply to jobs, there are most likely going to be dozens of other people applying for the same job. In an effort to make yourself stand out and appear more modern, add color to your resume. When hiring managers see tons of resumes that all contain black text and type, it tends to get very tedious to go through resumes and they tend to all look the same after a while. In an effort to really grab hiring managers’ attention, try integrating a pop of color into your header or in the form of a shaded box. While still being mindful of your resume being applicant tracking system (ATS) friendly, keep in mind that color will not effect your resume’s readability at all. As long as you are just adding in simple color or shading, you will still comply with ATS.
What Colors Should You Use in the Resume?
When it comes to selecting your color palette, try to keep your audience in mind when selecting your palette. Overall, your goal should be to select colors that go together and work well together from an aesthetic perspective on the resume. If you are in a more creative field, you can go as bold as you like. For example, you can pair together lime green / purple, orange / electric blue, or red / yellow. If your goal is to really showcase your artistic and creative talents, the bolder the better! Anything will work in this realm as long as you like the look and feel overall of the boldness.
If you fall into the traditional business population, then the boldness factor will not work for you. Keeping your audience in mind–a conservative financial services executive, Certified Public Accountant, or Pharmaceutical Sales Executive sending a resume containing hot pink and purple coloring all over the place would never appeal to hiring managers in those fields. The goal is to think about who will be reading your resume and what might appeal to hiring managers as a good fit for the job you are applying to. If the jobs you are applying to are more conservative, then your color palette should follow suit and be on the conservative side. For the general business population, color is still highly recommended to make your resume stand out, but the key is subtlety. You should use more earth tones like blues, greens, and gray scales so the resume has a very subtle pop to it aesthetically. Color is your friend on a resume because it will help your resume generate a lot of attention and it will generate job interviews for you while still being ATS friendly. As long as your Professional Value Proposition (PVP), personal branding, and keywords are optimized and your color palette fits with the types of jobs you will be targeting, color on your resume is a positive thing that yields results.
So the next time you update your resume, remember to add in a pop of color to help it stand out!