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Is It OK to Have Color on Your Resume?

In today’s ultra-competitive job market, applicants want their resumes to stand out from the crowd. Working with professional resume revamp service is one of the smartest investments you can make for your career! You could also consider some other “out-of-the-box” ideas to help your resume catch the attention of prospective employers, like adding colorful text or visual elements.

However, color is often regarded as a big no-no in resume writing. For that reason, you might wonder if it’s safe to use it, or if you’re better off leaving your resume in black and white. This guide will look at arguments on both sides to help you make an informed decision about your resume’s color scheme.

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The Argument in Favor of Color on Resumes

Let’s begin with a look at the positives. There is most certainly an argument to be made for color adding something to a resume. Most importantly, it could even help you sell yourself better or appeal to recruiters.

Here are some of the plus points.

Shows Off Your Creativity

First, adding color or other kinds of visual flair to your resume is a clear demonstration of your creative abilities. It gives you a chance to use your imagination and show off your design skills. In many industries – like graphic design – this could be exactly what employers want to see, as opposed to a bland and boring black and white document.

Helps Your Resume Stand Out

Statistics show that over 1,200 people apply for the same job once the job announcement has been advertised and posted online. That’s a lot of resumes for recruiters to read. Often, those resumes all look the same, with more or less the same layouts, headings, fonts, and colors. Mixing things up with the color scheme will help your document stand out from the pack and get noticed.

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Reflects Your Personality

Ultimately, your resume isn’t just a list of your skills and qualifications. It’s a reflection of who you are, both as a worker and as a person. Many people identify with certain colors or like to use color to express parts of their personality. Adding a dash of green or red or some other shade of the rainbow could be a way to make your resume feel more “you.”

The Argument Against Color on Resumes

Of course, it’s not all positive. There are also plenty of arguments that can be made against the idea of adding color to your resume. This is why it’s such a controversial topic in the field of resume writing, with many experts and recruiters feeling so strongly about it, one way or another.

Distracting and Annoying

Unfortunately, while color might seem perfectly acceptable to the person submitting the resume, recruiters can have totally different views. For some, it can be distracting and off-putting. For others, it’s worse, and features on their own personal lists of things they hate to see on resumes. Given that every recruiter is different, you can never be sure if they’ll appreciate or dislike colorful resumes.

May Interfere With ATS

These days, a huge number of firms use applicant tracking software (ATS). For the unfamiliar, ATS is basically a type of computer program that scans resumes on behalf of recruiters, rejecting those that don’t fit the bill. Color shouldn’t usually bother ATS systems too much if the text is readable. However, using too much color or the wrong colors could make your resume hard to scan.

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Doesn’t Add Value

Many recruiting experts also argue that color doesn’t add anything of value to a resume. The content should be able to speak for itself, without needing to be highlighted or jazzed up with colorful shades. Some will therefore see it as a simple gimmick if you try to decorate your resume with colors.

Examples Of Perfect Resumes

How do you know if your resume stands out and looks better than most job seekers resumes? By looking at examples of professionally written resumes that not only impress hiring managers, but make the recruiters say, "Wow!". Compare your resume to a professionally revamped resume to help compare apples to apples. If your resume looks nothing like or as powerful as these resumes, it might be time to consider hiring the pros.

Should You Use Color on Your Resume?

Now we’ve heard the arguments on both sides, you might still be wondering about whether or not you should add color to your resume. The truth is this – it depends. It depends on what job you’re applying for, how much value you feel that color can truly add to your resume, and the mood and personality of the recruiter, too.

When to Use Color

In general, the best time to consider using color is when you’re applying for a creative, leadership, or high income earning roles. Executives, directors, media, artists, marketing, sales, etc. All those jobs are built around creativity, with recruiters that tend to be more welcoming and accepting of interesting or innovative resumes. In those fields, adding some color to your resume could help you get a call back or interview.

When Not to Use Color

In most other cases, color simply isn’t needed. This is especially true if you’re applying for more of a mathematical or scientific sort of role. Accountants. Researchers. Office jobs. Legal firms. Those fields of work are far less creative, and recruiters will typically be less receptive to creative or quirky resumes. For such jobs, a standard black and white resume should suffice.

Color Is Acceptable, But Only in Certain Cases

The big takeaway from the article is this: it can be OK and usually advisable to use some color on your resume, but not too much, and certainly not for every single application you submit. If you’re applying for a jobs in the creative/leadership/high income earner sector, there may be no harm in getting a little colorful with your text. But remember to make sure that everything is legible and that the colors you use aren’t distracting or annoying.

Remember, too, that even if you use color, it’s only one small part of your resume. The text itself – your lists of skills, qualifications, and experiences – is the most valuable aspect. That’s the part that will truly sell you to prospective employers and convince them that you’re the right fit for a role. If that’s not good enough, all the colors of the rainbow won’t be able to help you, but seeking the advice of a resume proofreading and critique service in Denver will drastically improve your chances of landing more job interviews.

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