Speaking of gaming technology to make your resume look more impressive, here’s a no-no for jobseekers: white-fonting.
Apparently this is a “thing” in the same way that SEO “experts” leaving nonsense keywords scattered at the bottom of a page is a “thing” and spammers quoting Proust is a “thing”: it’s a sneaky trick to get you past a robotic gatekeeper, but likely won’t work on any human with half a brain.
Heather Huhman explains exactly what white fonting is: “when an applicant submits a resume via an applicant tracking system (ATS) that appears to be nicely formatted with a traditional black font; however, scattered in the margins of the document are keywords pertaining to the job and employer. In theory, white font applicants hope that those keywords will be enough to get their resume through to a second round of consideration.”
The computer can read the “invisible” text, but humans can’t, so it’s a way to squeeze in more keywords.
This won’t work for a number of reasons: first, if a recruiter scans your resume and doesn’t see the keywords that her ATS swears are there, she’ll probably conclude it’s a bug and throw out your resume. If she doesn’t conclude it’s a bug and figures out that you’ve snuck invisible text in there…well, now you’ve just proven you’re sneaky. Which may be a positive trait in some jobs, but most hiring managers want to see straight-shooters, not wily foxes.
“If a job seeker does not possess the necessary experience required to be able to honestly and visibly insert those key terms into the body of their resume,” Carolyn Yencharis Corcoran, assistant director of the Insalaco Center for Career Development at Misericordia University, told Huhman, “then white fonting would probably not be an effective method of getting their resume noticed. Even worse, it could be perceived by a potential employer as unethical, aggressive and manipulative.”
We’re gonna say, don’t try this at home.