Looking to give your CV a splash of creativity? Read our advice first!

To create an interview-winning CV, you need to use everything in your arsenal. While looks aren't everything, the design of this document matters more than you might expect. Since recruiters spend a matter of seconds looking at each CV that comes their way, you need to work hard to make an impression. Have you thought about using colour on your CV? In this short and sweet guide, we'll explore what you need to know first. 

Should you use colour on your CV?

If you want to make your CV stand out, you may consider adding some colour into the mix. A decade or so ago, using colour in an application was considered unacceptable and unprofessional. However, times are changing. Modern-day employers are used to seeing CVs that include some colour, so you have some room to play around here. 

However, before you decide to use colour on your CV, consider whether it suits the role for which you're applying. If you are going for a traditional role, such as a lawyer, you may want to refrain from using anything other than black and white. On the other hand, if you're applying to be a graphic designer, it may make sense to use colour.

What is the best colour for a CV?

Not sure what the best CV colours are? There's no definitive answer. However, before you decide on a design, it's worth looking into colour psychology. 

While more scientific research is certainly needed in this area, some experts have theorised that each colour represents a different emotion. Let's take a look at some commonly-used connotations within the realms of colour psychology.    

Red: Health, passion, energy, and power. This colour is often considered to signify trust and is used by big brands including Nintendo, Coca-Cola, and Lego. 

Orange: Curiosity and arts. Orange catches attention quickly but has a softer approach than red. It can be related to discovery, knowledge, and exploration. 

Green: Generally thought of as a positive colour, green can be used to represent peace, eco-friendliness, and nature. It is used by major brands such as Starbucks.

Blue: Seen as a conventional and traditional colour, blue is linked to honesty, trust, and loyalty. It can also be read as a creative and ambitious colour. 

Purple: This colour can represent luxury, romance, beauty, and harmony. The colour is often used in marketing, for instance in Cadbury's signature purple tone.

Pink: Often considered a feminine colour, pink is associated with kindness, tenderness, and maternity. It may be linked to being outgoing and creative.

There is no universal answer for what each colour means. However, when you're using CV colours, it pays to consider how your choice may impact a recruiter emotionally. 

How to use colour on your CV

Ready to start using some CV colours? Now that we've looked at the possible meanings of various colours, let's talk about how you can get it right. 



  • Choose a colour that represents your professional attributes 

  • Select a maximum of three complementary CV colours 

  • Make sure that using colour on your CV is appropriate for the role

  • Highlight certain parts of your CV by using splashes of colour

  • Include too many different colours on the same CV

  • Use coloured text for the body of your CV - stick to black instead! 

  • Choose garish or over-the-top CV colours 

  • Pick a CV design with a bold or dark colour in the background

Of course, there are exceptions to some of the above rules. Keep in mind that the aim of the game is to make your CV attractive and easy to read. When you're creating this document, always consider how it will look to a recruiter. A simple approach is the best! 

The takeaway

Using colour to add some pizazz to your CV is easier than you think. Within this guide, we've given you some basic guidelines and colour meanings that you can use. Armed with this information, why not revamp your document today? After all, there's no time like the present when it comes to supercharging your job search. 

Getting your CV job search ready doesn't have to be challenging. TopCV's professional CV writing service can help you to get ahead of the game. Set yourself apart from the crowd with a keyword-optimised application written by a professional - it may help you to land more jobs and get hired faster than ever!

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