What to know about CV icons this year

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

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Table of Contents

  1. CV icons
  2. What are CV icons?
  3. How to find free CV icons
  4. Important things to know before you add CV icons
  5. FAQ: CV icons

CV icons

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


What are CV icons?

CV icons are small pictograms and graphic elements that you can use to maximize the usefulness of your CV. 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 CV look more modern and less wordy because it shows you have an eye for graphic design. Many CV templates utilize CV icons to get across all sorts of information.

How to find free CV icons

If you’re hoping to use icons for your CV, 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 CV:

  • Icons8
  • Freeicons.io
  • The Noun Project

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


Important things to know before you add CV icons

CV icons are a great way to spruce up your CV, but what should you know about them before you start adding them all over your CV? 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 CV get past applicant tracking systems (ATS) that scan CVs. Your CV shouldn’t be a pure infographic; it should an overview of your qualifications.
  • Make sure your icons align with your CV style. If your CV 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 CV 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 CV templates already have icons built into the CV. These may include social media icons, contact icons and more. To construct your CV from top to bottom with professional templates and suggestions, you can also use the CVHelp CV builder.

Remember that CV 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.

FAQ: CV icons

Q: How do I make sure CV icons are free to use?

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 CV without credit. Often, icons that are available as a free download are okay for personal use, which includes a personal CV. 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.

Q: Can I put CV icons on a Microsoft Word document?

You can technically add CV icons to a Microsoft Word document, but adding icons to a CV 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 CV exactly how you see it in the PSD.

Q: Can I make my own CV icons?

It is technically possible to make your own CV icons, and if you have graphic design skills, you may want to design icons that perfectly fit your CV. 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 CV or cover letter to come off as unprofessional because you created subpar icons.

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