My website and most my social media accounts have a distinct style with a specific color palette.

When sending a cv, should I follow this style, or should I keep it plain?

I am a backend developer, and I'm not looking for a job involving design.

marked as duplicate by The Wandering Dev Manager, gnat, Community May 31 '15 at 18:27

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  • You can also expect that at least some of the more technically astute people will have figured out how to replace your website's style & colors with their own preferences, because they find them a pain. (Not picking on you in particular: I do this for just about every website.) – jamesqf Jun 1 '15 at 5:28

Would you make a hiring decision based on whether someone turned up to interview wearing a colour scheme that matches their website?

Expect your CV to be printed black and white on a machine with none of the same fonts as yours and possibly also photocopied. Don't expect that hiring managers will visit your website, social media account, though make sure they are presentable.

The main thing should be that your CV is clear, legible and professional-looking under these conditions, highlighting the most important headers and sections. If you can do that while picking up some of your 'personal brand', great, if not, don't worry, it's highly unlikely that anyone will notice.


My website and most my social media accounts have a distinct style with a specific color palette.

When sending a cv, should I follow this style, or should I keep it plain?

Keep it plain.

Just as many websites have "print friendly" pages, your website and social media can have distinct style and color, but your CV must be "print friendly".

CVs are copied, faxed, reprinted, and handed out. You will not be in control of the end result, and anything other than fairly plain could easily end up losing the intent of your style and color, get in the way of the reader, or worse - could end up unreadable.

Unless your primary role involves creative design, stick the the plain, boring, standard look you see most, and let your knowledge and background work for you.


Developing a "personal brand" can be advantageous if you're involved in many communities or groups, and if you're blogging or doing any kind of independent, freelance, or consulting work.

Since your resume/CV will be photocopied multiple times, colors are only important to the extent that they copy well to grayscale or black and white. Don't rely on color to convey important information on the page. If you can, provide your resume in a ready-to-print format, such as PDF. If you must provide a Word document, expect that your special fancy font will not be installed on anyone else's computer, and your resume may look bad if they print it from their computer.

Things like whitespace, fonts, and alignment are important. I had what I thought was a pretty good looking page until I saw what my graphic designer brother did to it. He said he hit it with a "pretty stick" and I have to agree the result was better.

Ultimately, a well designed page won't win you as many points as a poorly designed page will cost you. But it's worth it to have someone who knows what they're doing look it over and tap it with a "pretty stick" if needed. It will help ensure you don't get cast aside based on an ugly page.

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