Tech-Savvy Job Hunters Turn to 'White Fonting'

But trick to outsmart AI screening for resumes could backfire, warn recruiters
By Steve Huff,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2023 3:20 PM CDT
Tech-Savvy Job Hunters Turn to 'White Fonting'
   (Getty Images / People Images)

Some applicants have been using an interesting hack to dupe AI and other tech filters when pursuing new positions. It's called "white fonting," explains the Washington Post. The idea is pretty straightforward—job seekers cram keywords from job descriptions onto their resumes, but change the font to white so they remain invisible to the naked eye. If, as is increasingly common, the résumé is screened first by an AI tool looking for such words, the hack may help the résumé make the first cut. The Post notes that the move has become more popular on forums such as TikTok as the labor market tightens and employers lean into tech solutions to manage the flow. One big caveat: Lots of recruiters think it's a bad idea because the ploy can be detected.

Andreea Macoveschi of consulting firm Korn Ferry tells the Post that the practice of "white fonting" raises questions that might work against getting hired, like, "Is it lack of integrity or being savvy with tech?" Speaking to the UK's Metro news outlet, career coach Joanna Stokes says she doesn't "think the practice of white fonting is good advice for anyone." Instead, job seekers should use those keywords organically in their résumé and cover letter, she advises. Writing on LinkedIn, career coach Joanne Meehl also advises against using any such trickery. The "white-on-white text IS highly visible to most of today's digital systems," she writes. "And they'll get you in trouble for hiding them: companies view this as sneaky, dishonest and unimaginative." (More career counseling stories.)

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