A recruiter debunks the viral ‘white font’ resume trick: ‘It drives me nuts’


Applying for jobs sometimes feels like a game of numbers, and people often seek out clever strategies to increase their chances of getting noticed by hiring managers. However, one viral tip that has been circulating on TikTok called "white fonting" may not be as effective as it seems. Farah Sharghi, a recruiter with extensive experience interviewing for companies like Google, Lyft, and TikTok, dismisses this hack as bad advice.

The concept behind "white fonting" is based on the widely known practice of tailoring a resume using keywords from the job description. The idea here is to copy and paste the job description, reduce its font size, change the text color to white, and hide it on the resume. This way, the resume will not be affected visually but may still be scanned by an artificial intelligence (AI) system, increasing the chances of advancing to the next stage of consideration.

However, Sharghi strongly disagrees with this technique. She describes it as a source of frustration, especially since it resurfaces annually on TikTok and gains millions of views, leading people to try it out. Ultimately, though, she emphasizes that "it's not going to work."

Sharghi explains that the way search engine algorithms work, such as Google, differs from how applicant tracking systems function. Applicant tracking systems primarily serve as tracking tools rather than decision-making systems. Instead of ranking resumes based on keywords, these systems use optical character recognition technology to extract text from resumes. Any copied job descriptions hidden in white font will be detected by the system and may even distract the person reviewing the resume from the genuine qualifications and skills listed.

Relying on the white-font trick could raise concerns about the strength of your resume and candidacy. It indicates a lack of confidence in the content of your resume and raises questions about your ability to effectively communicate your value. Instead, Sharghi suggests reconsidering your approach by bridging the connection between your skills, experience, and the job description. Find ways to incorporate relevant keywords that accurately reflect your real work experience. Taking the time to reflect and refine your resume is a significantly better use of your efforts.

In summary, "white fronting" is not a recommended strategy for enhancing your resume. It does not align with how applicant tracking systems function and may actually hinder your chances of getting selected. Instead, focus on creating a strong and accurate resume that effectively highlights your qualifications and skills in relation to the job requirements.  

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