University of South Carolina :: Darla Moore School of Business   the Competitive Edge

by William Arruda

Overview/What You Will Learn

Using color in your career marketing tools is another way to stand out and be recognized among all your competitors.  William Arruda, Personal Branding Expert, explains how and where you can use color as part of your job search strategy.

Key Points

  • Using color is an effective way to stand apart. Make sure you pick one that reflects your brand attributes and use it consistently.


  • You can use color on all your career marketing tools, including:
    • Resumes (e.g., insert a colored box around your name or add a colored line across the top of the page, or include logos of your previous employers);

    • Business cards;

    • Thank you letters;

    • Online tools (e.g., your YouTube channel, your website, Twitter account background, headshot background, etc.).

  • Picking a color involves knowing which color represents your personality traits and strengths.  For example, yellow = optimism and positivity. Blue = reliability and trust.  Go to the website: to identify which color is right for you. 

  • Make sure you always use the exact shade and hue of the color you select – not multiple shades of any one color.

  • Make sure your color is relevant for your target audience.  For example, pink would not be suitable to use if you’re looking for a career in sports marketing.  Also be sure your color factors in any cultural sensitivities that may apply.

Your Next Steps / Tips for Success

  • Choose the color that’s right for you.  Identify the exact shade and hue.

  • Use it consistently and apply it to all your career marketing tools.

Expert BIO
by William Arruda

William Arruda is an international branding consultant, author and public speaker focused on professional development and executive leadership.  William is the Founder of Reach Personal Branding, the #1 provider of personal branding services to Fortune 500 companies and leading universities, guiding professionals to unearth what makes them exceptional and use their unique gifts and experience to drive value for their career and organization. He lectures and conducts workshops on personal branding at top-tier graduate schools of business, including Harvard, Duke, NYU, Berkeley, Wharton, University of Michigan, UCLA and Cornell. In addition, he lectures and consults to executives at the world's largest corporations including Johnson and Johnson, Price Waterhouse, Sheraton, Microsoft, Disney, Ogilvy and J.P. Morgan.  He is the co-author of Career Distinction: Stand Out By Building Your Brand, a guidebook with the tools managers need to differentiate themselves from their peers and thrive in today’s job market.  William blogs at