Make an impact with your words, not your styling.
"Employers hate overly complicated or fussy designs. They are used to finding the information they need in certain places, they don't want to hunt for it," says Augustine.
Opt for a clean layout with clearly marked sections and breathing space. Align your most important information along the left side of the page and the top corners, as this so-called "F-pattern" design best mimics the way we skim documents and holds recruiters' attention for longer than those arranged down the center or viewed from left to right, according to a study from job site Ladders.
Top-performing resumes also made use of one or two easy-to-read fonts, section and title headers, and bold job titles supported by a bulleted list of accomplishments, according to that same Ladders study. Stick to standard headers such as education, experience, summary and skills, as that is what the computer systems that process your online application scan for.
If you want to add visual interest, try using a single pop of color to break up the text, say in dividers or subheads. Skip adding a photo of yourself, graphics, logos or other unnecessary embellishments.
"The systems that process online applications, used by most large companies, don't understand images or graphics. Some can't handle PDFs. Some won't read information placed in the header or footer sections of a Word document," says Augustine.
Test how well bots will comprehend yours by copying it into a plain text file. "If odd symbols pop up, if things appear out of order, that's how the computer will read and process it," says Augustine. If you love your current design, save that version for sending directly to hiring managers.