What is the Best Color for Your CV? Study Reveals Most and Least Attractive Colors to Recruiters

What is the Best Color for Your CV? Study Reveals Most and Least Attractive Colors to Recruiters

Now days you need to stand out amongst the crowd, and even more so in a Recruiters Inbox. Wanting to know how to make your CV stand out is important, but understanding colours will make you stand out even more. Find out some interesting studies on what each colour says about you and which one is the best.

Lets start with the basics:

What is a colour CV? A colour CV is a CV that is printed in full colour, rather than just black and white.

Why should you use a colour CV? There are several reasons why you might use a colour CV. First, it can help you stand out from the pile of black and white CVs. Second, it can show that you are a creative thinker. And third, it can help to show your personality.

How can you make sure your colour CV is professional? That’s where the recent studies show what colour works best!!!

Heugten (2019) says research has shown that first impressions are often made within 100 ms. Adding the right colour to a CV might then be very important. With several studies showing that specific colours can be related to specific personality dimensions of the Big Five model of personality dimensions and looking at colour psychology. Let’s see what the colours say about you:

The Main Colours

Red – has been found to be linked to Extraversion. These are the people that like people, who are social and mix well with others – generally they get their energy from other people. Often linked to passionate types who are also determined. We list brands as many studies work on which brands speak to your colour, so when you think red Vodacom or Coca-Cola?

Blue to Introversion, this is the people that get their energy from being alone, are on the quieter side compared to extroverts. Often linked to level-headed and calm with research showing ‘competent’. Brands like HP and Visa are blue.

Green is linked to growth and development. We often link green to earth, clean and new. Think Land Rover and Spotify!

Purple is linked to luxury and a good life (often linked to royals) but actually research says purple is exciting! Think Cadbury, Hallmark and Yahoo

Yellow always knows to link to happy and easygoing types, cheerful, communicative and loves a challenge (so they say). Think Pokemon and Yellow Pages.

Pink immediately says femine, kind and sensitive (says research). Think Avon and Cosmopolitan.

Grey – believe it or not but linked to grace and tech (all in one colour), but research goes it is passive and dull. But who said Mercedez Benz was dull or even Apple?


Regardless of the colour you choose some rules:

  • Text (majority of it) should be black – easier to read
  • No more than four colours (we would actually say no more than 2)
  • Make sure the colours are contrasting
  • Use the white background (many people still print CVs and you don’t want someones colour cartridge to be used up cause you had a bloack background)


So overall it does depend on what you want to “say” in the first few seconds when opening a CV. We find Blue is used more often than any other colour. Does that make it a safe bet or one that does not stand out?

While writing this I went to go and look at my CV and yes, its blue! I must say we don’t see allot of CVs with red, so maybe if you want to stand out and be loud – this may be the colour for your CV? The most attractive seems to be blue, the least brown … but seems if you want to stand out why not go red!

*Should you wish to read more on the study go to https://theses.ubn.ru.nl/handle/123456789/8210

To see more CV examples go to www.jobcrystal.co.za/blog