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Should You Add Color to a Resume?

Img Source - Dribbble

The job search process can be challenging, and your resume is often the first impression you make on a potential employer. As a job seeker, you want to create a resume that stands out and showcases your skills and experience in the best possible light. One way to do this is by adding color or images to your resume. However, is this a good idea?

While adding color or images to your resume can make it visually appealing and help it stand out, there are some potential downsides to consider, says

ATS Compatibility: Many companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to scan resumes for relevant keywords and qualifications. Some ATS systems cannot read images, which can lead to your resume being rejected before it even reaches the hiring manager’s desk.

Professionalism: Adding color or images to your resume can be risky, as it can give the impression that you are trying too hard to stand out. Additionally, some industries, such as finance or law, require a more conservative approach to resumes, which may not be compatible with colorful or image-heavy resumes.

Clarity: The main purpose of a resume is to showcase your skills, experiences, and achievements. Adding too much color or too many images can detract from the content of your resume and make it difficult to read and understand.

There are some situations where adding color or images to your resume can be beneficial. For example, if you’re applying for a job in a creative field, such as graphic design or advertising, a colorful and visually appealing resume may help showcase your skills and creativity.

However, creating a powerful and effective resume is a skill that not everyone possesses. It can be challenging to know what to include and how to present it in the best possible way.


In general, most employers do not want to see images or photos on a resume. While there may be some exceptions for jobs in industries such as modeling or acting, most employers prefer a clean and professional-looking resume that focuses on the candidate’s skills, qualifications, and experience.

Including images or photos on a resume can work against a candidate in some cases, as it can give the impression that they are trying too hard to stand out or that their appearance is more important than their qualifications, says TheMuse.

Additionally, some companies may view including a photo or image as a potential source of bias in the hiring process, as it could lead to unconscious biases based on factors such as race, gender, or age.

Overall, it’s best to avoid including images or photos on a resume, and instead focus on crafting a well-written, clear, and concise document that highlights your skills and experience in a way that is relevant to the job you are applying for (more info).

Whether to add color or images to your resume depends on the industry and job you’re applying for. In most cases, it’s best to keep your resume simple and professional, focusing on the content and ensuring it’s ATS compatible. If you do decide to add color or images, make sure they are relevant to the job you’re applying for and enhance the overall content of your resume. Ultimately, your resume should showcase your skills, experiences, and achievements in the best possible light, and a well-crafted resume can help you achieve that.

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