Using Resume Icons — An Introductory Guide
Written by Sarah Edwards, Author • Last updated on July 10, 2024

Including Icons on Your Resume

Resume icons are a great tool for drawing a hiring manager’s eyes to critical sections of your application documents. For instance, using a phone icon for resumes makes it easy to find your contact details. Likewise, a location icon for resumes reveals where you are based, which can be important for remote roles. Here’s everything you need to know about using resume symbols to make your resume more skimmable and easier to read.

Rundown on icons

The trend of including resume icons has been growing in popularity — and for good reason. Icons can help you craft a creative resume that stands out. 

These icons can include simple images like a phone or computer for contact details, emojis to express personality, software logos to highlight skills, and company logos to showcase your previous employers. 

For instance, an email icon for resumes next to your email address helps hiring managers easily find your contact information. If you want to get fancy, you can make the icon clickable. 

Resume icons don’t only make your resume more appealing. They are also good for breaking up large sections of text and highlighting key information. 

Recruiters only spend about 6-8 seconds reviewing resumes on the first read-through. Resume icons can guide them to the most important information and help you make a good first impression during that initial review. 

Providing a quick visual reference can be particularly useful if you are applying for jobs in creative fields or industries where design skills are highly valued. 

Benefits and drawbacks of icons 

One of the biggest perks of using resume icons is that doing so can make your application stand out. 

Sixty-three percent of recruiters prefer resumes and cover letters that are personalized to the position they are hiring for (1).  Adding a resume logo for the company you are applying for can demonstrate that you’ve gone the extra mile and are serious about landing the job. 

Resume icons also make your resume visually appealing, which can help capture the attention of recruiters. A well-designed resume with thoughtfully placed icons can stand out in a sea of plain text documents. 

Icons can also improve the organization and clarity of information on your resume. You can make it easier for recruiters to navigate your resume and quickly find the information they need.

While there are certainly perks to using resume icons, they aren’t the ideal choice for every situation. If you are applying for a job in more traditional industries, like law or finance, a highly visual resume with lots of icons might be viewed as unprofessional. 

Using too many icons can make your documents look cluttered or too busy. Use icons sparingly and strategically. Incorporate them in a few key places to draw attention to the most important sections of your resume. 

Do you need a little extra help keeping your content structured and organized? Make sure to take advantage of our resume templates. We also have complementary cover letter templates that ensure both of your documents are uniform and consistent. 

Expert Tip:

Ensure that your resume icons are consistent in style and size to maintain a polished and professional look. Consistency will make your resume look visually cohesive. Conversely, a lack of uniformity can make the icons distracting and hurt your chances of landing a job interview.

Kinds of icons to include

Icons can add a modern touch to your resume, making it more dynamic and visually interesting. However, it’s important to choose the right kinds of icons and position them in the ideal sections of your resume. 

Including icons next to your contact information can make it stand out and be easily accessible. A phone icon next to your phone number or an image of an envelope next to your email address is universal. 

You can also draw attention to the “Skills” section of your resume. If you’re proficient in specific software, including the logos of those programs can quickly communicate your expertise. You can also highlight your language skills with small flag icons, making it easy for recruiters to see which languages you speak. 

If you’ve worked for a prestigious or well-known company, consider incorporating their logo into the “Experience” segment of your resume. These icons are immediately recognizable and can catch the recruiter’s eye as they skim through your documents. 

You can also add the logo of the company you are applying for to demonstrate that the resume has been customized for that job application. Many recruiters prefer customized resumes and cover letters as opposed to generic documents. 

Are you looking for inspiration on how best to incorporate icons into your resume? Check out our resume examples

“Icons can add a modern touch to your resume, making it more dynamic and visually interesting.”

Design considerations

Color selection is one of the biggest design considerations involved in selecting resume icons. If you are going for a crisp, clean, and professional aesthetic, it may be best to include black and white or grayscale images. Conversely, if you are looking to showcase your creativity and catch the recruiter’s eye, go with full-color logos. 

Any company logos should generally be in full color. Logos like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft don’t carry as much visual appeal if they don’t feature those brands’ iconic color schemes. 

After you’ve chosen the ideal color for your resume icons, it’s time to identify the perfect location. Resist the urge to include icons in every section of your resume. Doing so can make your document appear too busy and distract the reader from the most important sections. 

Identify which areas of your resume are most important. Focus on incorporating icons and logos into those sections. You want to guide the reader’s attention to specific sections and help them efficiently progress through the document. 

On that note, make sure you include more than one resume icon. Featuring just one logo makes the imagery look like an afterthought. Aim for between 3-5 different logos or icons. Some imagery to consider includes:

  • A phone or email icon
  • A location icon
  • A company logo
  • Logos or images to identify skills

If you are going to include logos for educational institutions or places of employment, it’s okay to exceed the 3-5 image limit. Be consistent. If you are going to include the logo of the institution where you obtained your master’s degree, include the icon for the college you attended for your undergraduate program, too. 


Here are a few other considerations to help you effectively use resume icons: 

  • Be Selective: Only use icons where they add value since too many logos can make your resume look cluttered 
  • Consistency: Use icons of the same style and size to maintain a cohesive look
  • Relevance: Ensure the icons are relevant to the content 
  • Professionalism: Choose simple, professional images and avoid overly decorative or whimsical icons
  • Legibility: Print your resume or view it on different devices to ensure the icons are clear and legible and don’t alter your document settings

Always verify that your documents are easy to read and formatted correctly, even on different devices or browsers. 

Additional resources

Creating and adding resume icons doesn’t require extensive graphic design skills. There are several tools and resources you can use to get started. 

Programs like Microsoft Word and Adobe Illustrator allow you to easily add and customize images. You could also opt for online tools like Canva and Figma, which boast user-friendly interfaces and a wide selection of icons. 

Icon libraries provide yet another option. Some common libraries include Font Awesome and Flaticon. They provide imagery in various styles and formats, making it easy to find resources that match your resume design and layout.

Should you include resume icons? 

Incorporating icons into your resume can make it more visually appealing and help you stand out. However, you should consider the expectations of the employer and the type of position you are applying for when deciding whether to include imagery in your resume. 

Don’t rely on images as the sole tool for differentiating yourself from the competition. Our vast library of resources can help you position yourself as a strong candidate.  

Our cover letter examples are a great resource every jobseeker should be using. They can provide insights regarding the length, structure, tone, and style of your cover letter so you can create better application documents. We also invite you to check out our resume articles to learn more about what recruiters look for in a job application. 


(1) Queros: 30+ Resume Statistics for Job Seekers

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Sarah Edwards
Sarah Edwards
A seasoned HR writer with more than a decade of experience, Sarah crafts insightful guides and timely articles that help people grow their skills.

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