As you write or update your resume, you may think of adding an accent color for some extra pizzazz or a “wow” factor. And it may be okay. But tread cautiously and wisely.
The perfect resume is not about finding the perfect color. It’s about tailoring content to the job, showing an employer your best skills, qualifications and accomplishments, and highlighting your personal brand. An accent color should serve only to enhance and modernize its general look and feel.
What’s an accent color?
An accent color is a color used strategically on your resume to compliment your primary text color. The latter should be black or a dark shade of grey, to provide optimal readability and contrast with your background, which should be white, ivory or a light shade of cream.
- Stick to only one accent color. Use it sparingly; for instance, on resume headers, borders, job titles or key sub-headings. If you overdo it or use multiple colors, you may distract hiring managers or risk sabotaging your job search. Because the focus shouldn’t be on your colors, but rather on your content.
Which accent colors are acceptable, and when?
Your resume should say, “Color me successful” and “color me professional,” not “Ouch! This hurts my eyes.” But that doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be 100 percent black and white. Done well, accent colors can catch reader’s eyes in a good way and draw their attention to key details.
- Blue has been proven safe as a resume accent color. It can add a feeling of calmness or serenity.
- Dark or hunter green is another good option. It also has calming attributes and can portray abundance or growth.
Here are a few more considerations:
- If you opt for an accent color, be sure it’s appropriate to the industry and the role for which you’re applying.
- Avoid templates that use too many – or too bright – colors. You want the look of your resume to emphasize the text. That’s how you should approach its design.
- You don’t have to use an accent color at all. You can’t go wrong with a simple, well-written black and white resume.
- An exception to the general rule may be resume design for creative industries. If you’re applying to be a web or graphic designer, for example, you may want to incorporate a few more bright colors. If so, shoot for an interesting combination that shows you understand unique design elements and will help differentiate you from other candidates.
At PrideStaff Fresno, our best-in-class approach has helped thousands of job seekers find their next great opportunity, in Central Valley and beyond. We look forward to doing the same for you – from perfecting your resume to networking, interviewing, following up to seal the deal, and much more. Reach out to us today to get started.