Can you include graphics and company logos on a CV? (2024 Guide)

Can you include graphics and company logos on a CV? (2024 Guide)

author Sobhan Mohmand, Career Expert         date 1 January 2024

Not displaying a company logo on a CV

A common question that we are often asked is,

“Can I use graphics, images and logos on my CV?”

The short answer to that question is: no.

Even though there is no such thing as an official CV rulebook to which all CVs have to adhere to, we do have standard guidelines and practices for acceptable and conventional CVs.

These conventions dictate that a standard CV should not contain any pictures, photos, graphics, images or company logos.

Table of contents

Legal considerations

The general rule of thumb is not to assume that you are permitted to use another company’s brand or logo without their explicit consent.

Logos are protected by intellectual property (IP) and trademark laws. You may infringe upon the IP of the company by using its logo – without their permission – to promote yourself.

Intellectual property experts Warren & Odom state: “Third parties are advised not to use another’s logo for any purpose, except as specifically provided by license, signed agreement, or other written permission with a specific company or person.”

Furthermore, many organisations have their own Logo Usage Terms and Conditions where they explicitly outline in which cases their logo may – or may not – be used.

For instance, Microsoft’s Logo Guidelines states: “As a general rule, third parties may not use the Microsoft® logo (‘logo’).”

Readability and presentation considerations

Living in the digital age, it is common practice among many firms to fax, scan, photocopy, digitally store and reprint applicants’ CVs.

Needless to say, colourful images, pictures and symbols that looked impressive and striking at the start of the process may look absolutely awful when photocopied or reprinted.

Other presentational considerations:

  • Logos/graphics make the CV look tacky and less professional
  • The CV will look cluttered and difficult to read
  • It will take up valuable space which can be better utilised
  • Some recruiters may perceive the use of images as puffery (i.e. exaggerated or false praise).

Although there is no legal case against bad presentation; you must consider all the downsides of including logos and graphics on your CV and how they will affect your chances of securing a job interview.

Recruiters prefer conventional CVs

The golden rule for a successful CV is that it should look professional and not stand out for the wrong reasons. You do not want to stand out from the crowd with a sign over your head stating, “I am a loner!”

Employers and recruiters – the people you are trying to impress – are used to receiving conventional CVs. These conventional CVs do not contain anything else besides plain text and some minimal design features.

This was confirmed by our 2022 survey of 56 CV writing books, which found that none of the recruitment experts recommended including graphics, images or logos on a CV. None!

When is it OK to use graphics on my CV?

For every rule, there is an exception.

In some circumstances, it may be acceptable to use graphics on your CV when applying for jobs in the following industries:

  • Media
  • Fashion
  • Design
  • Arts and Crafts

This concession applies to using small icons, colour schemes and borders. Using company logos, on the other hand, is still strongly discouraged for the reasons outlined previously.


It is not recommended to use images, graphics or company brands on a CV.

  • Employers prefer to see well-structured, well-presented conventional CVs as opposed to something that goes directly against the mainstream practices of CV writing.
  • There is also the risk of it being a direct infringement of intellectual property rights if the logo is used without the company’s approval.
  • None of the standard CV writing handbooks recommend including graphics on your CV so it’s best to stick to plain text if you want to improve your chances of securing a job interview.

Good luck with your job hunt!

Written by Sobhan Mohmand
Sobhan is a qualified Careers Advisor and Professional CV Writer with over 10 years of experience in helping job seekers get a job. He is a Member of the Careers Development Institute (CDI) and is listed on the official UK Register of Career Development Professionals. He holds a Level 6 Diploma in Career Guidance and Development (QCF).