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What To Know About Resume Icons This Year

Adding icons to your resume can be a way to inject some flair, but what should you know about using icons?

Ho Lin Profile
By Ho Lin 3 minute read

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Resume Icons

When you’re designing your resume, it’s important that you give attention to every element of the resume template. In a modern resume, it’s very common for people to use resume icons to spice up a resume and make your headings a little easier for a hiring manager to understand. However, knowing how to find these resume icons, how to use them in your job search, and which icons you should use is a bit more complicated than it may sound at first. Here’s everything you need to know about using resume icons.

What Are Resume Icons?

Resume icons are small pictograms and graphic elements that you can use to maximize the usefulness of your resume. For example, instead of putting “Phone number: 917-457-9548,” you may be able to replace the phrase “Phone number” with a small picture of a phone. This gets across the same information but without using words. It often makes the resume look more modern and less wordy because it shows you have an eye for graphic design. Many resume templates utilize resume icons to get across all sorts of information.

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How To Find Free Resume Icons

If you’re hoping to use icons for your resume, you need to know how to find the right icons. You can find an icon pack or icon set on many websites across the internet. Here are a few of the websites where you can find icons to add to a resume:

  • Icons8
  • Iconfinder
  • Freepik

You may also be able to find an icon set by searching for terms like “icons collection” or “free resume icons” online.

Important Things To Know Before You Add Resume Icons

Resume icons are a great way to spruce up your resume, but what should you know about them before you start adding them all over your resume? Here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Don’t add icons in place of important keywords, such as section headings or lists of skills and experiences. Keywords are one of the best ways to land a new job, and they help your resume get past applicant tracking systems (ATS) that scan resumes. Your resume shouldn’t be a pure infographic; it should an overview of your qualifications.
  • Make sure your icons align with your resume style. If your resume is sleek and modern, frilly icons won’t be appropriate. Look for web design line icons that make sense with the job you’re searching for and the resume you’ve submitted.
  • Use high-quality icons. Your best option is typically an SVG file, which is used for vector graphics. However, a very high-resolution PNG may also work.
  • Many resume templates already have icons built into the resume. These may include social media icons, contact icons and more. To construct your resume from top to bottom with professional templates and suggestions, you can also use the ResumeHelp resume builder.

Remember that resume icons are not stickers, and you shouldn’t just be using them anywhere and everywhere. Social media icons and contact icons are the best places to use icons. Outside of that, you might want to stick to traditional bullet points and text.


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FAQ: Resume Icons

Have questions? We’re here to help.

Not all business icons you find online are free to use for your job search. Check to make sure the usage rights allow you to add them to your resume without credit. Often, icons that are available as a free download are okay for personal use, which includes a personal resume. You can use a search like “flat icons free” or “CV icons free” to make sure the search pulls up icons that are free for you to use in a personal project.

You can technically add resume icons to a Microsoft Word document, but adding icons to a resume can sometimes create issues when loading and reading a Word document. Instead, use a PSD file to make sure the document looks amazing, then save it as a PDF. Not only is a PDF an easy file type to open, you don’t have to worry about the hiring manager being unable to open it, but it will also save your resume exactly how you see it in the PSD.

It is technically possible to make your own resume icons, and if you have graphic design skills, you may want to design icons that perfectly fit your resume. However, if you don’t have these skills, it’s typically best to use one of the websites from this page to find icons instead. The last thing you want is for your resume or cover letter to come off as unprofessional because you created subpar icons.

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Ho Lin Profile

Ho Lin is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and editor with two decades of experience in content strategy, creation, and development. He holds a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University and his background includes experience aiding military veterans as they transition to civilian careers.

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