White Font in Your Resume?

By Tom Jackson
Ever since, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software started shipping with FAX machines. People have tried to pack their resumes with key words. I have heard a number of people talk about putting ‘key words’ into their resumes using white font color (ie footers, headers, small font between spaces). At first this seems like a pretty good idea. Until you realize that the resume in question has to be uploaded to a web page in either HTML or TEXT.

Do this experiment. Type some words on a word document, change the color to white (ie invisible) then cut and paste this material into ‘Notepad’. Guess what – the white font is magically turned to black. The same will occur more times than not with HTML, depending on the editor used.

Let’s now assume that the white lettering (invisible text) does make pass the text editing software. The assumption now is that your resume will be found and pulled to the top during a key work search. However, most all resume software highlights the key words in question. Go to the advanced tab in LinkedIn, type a word into the ‘Keyword’ search field and hit enter. Next select one of the profiles that comes up and note that keyword entered is highlighted in yellow through out the profile. Your resume would look pretty funny with red, yellow, green of what ever color is used to highlight and no words showing.

Lastly, the recruiters and HR people have seen it all before and if they you trying to pass of white text to trick the system, that’s a sure way to not get the job, and if you’re unlucky, to get a bad reputation. Just maximize your resume white space with the best black font key words you can.



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