Acceptable Resume Paper Colors


A resume is the first impression that a potential employer will have of you. This means you must do your best to make it a good first impression to earn an interview and a chance to prove yourself. It is essential to create a resume that will stand out from all of the other resumes an employer receives. One way to do this is to present a resume with a professional look using appropriate paper colors.


  • White resume paper has long been the acceptable, professional color for resumes. Most offices use white paper for a majority of their work. Especially when you are applying for an office position, using white paper gives you the impression of belonging in the office environment. If you do not want to use plain copier or printer paper for your resume, it is acceptable to use heavy stock paper.

White Derivatives

  • White is not your only option when it comes to presenting a professional image. Cream, ivory and light beige are acceptable variations on the typical white resume paper. These colors are still very close to a more traditional white color, yet are different enough that your resume will look different and may have the potential to catch the employer's eye.

Light Colors

  • Certain light colors may be more acceptable in some fields than in others. Conservative fields such as banking or law may require employees to meet specific standards in the work place, especially in terms of portraying a serious and professional image. But, many creative fields allow for variation. For these types of jobs, it may be acceptable to use colored paper for your resume to reflect your creativity. However, these colors should be light, such as slate blue, gray or granite.

Unacceptable Colors

  • Some colors are simply unacceptable for a resume. Any color that is excessively bright or bold will definitely catch the attention of the employer, but not in a good way. Bright colors may make it hard to read the words on the resume. These bright and bold colors can also create eye strain, which is a turn-off to someone who has to dig through a pile of resumes. It is best to avoid these colors and stick with something more subtle if you do not want to use white. You should also avoid any paper that has a design or print on it, which can are generally unprofessional and can detract from what you are trying to get across about yourself in your resume.

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