Everyone is looking for a leg-up when it comes to job hunting and resumes these days, and there’s no shortage of “hacks” floating around the internet promising to make the job hunt easier.
One of those hacks is the advice to include “white wording” on your resume, but at least one professional recruiter is advising against it.
If you’re unfamiliar, “white wording” entails copying and pasting the job description and requirements at the end of your resume, then making the font as small as possible and white so that it blends in with your background.
This will trick the automated software into thinking you’re the perfect match for the job and will put you at the top of the list when a real person starts making calls for interviews.
Unfortunately, says experienced recruiter at Google Erica Rivera, most recruiters are aware of this “hack” and it’s easy to find out who is trying to cheat the system.
She talked to Buzzfeed about why this really isn’t a great idea.
“I have seen this at least a dozen times in my career. It was very unfortunate because I had to reject the person’s application.”
She says that while it does help you pass through the automated software, anyone who learns what you did would be forced to automatically trash your resume anyway.
“This hack has been circulating for years now. Many recruiters are aware of it. A quick ‘select all’ of the text on one’s resume could uncover this and get a person rejected.”
Not only that, but we should know by now that artificial intelligence is always learning.
“ATS technology has become much more sophisticated. You will get yourself rejected before you have even had the opportunity to get in front of a manager! For example, there are ATS systems that will actually uncover these ‘hidden’ words once a resume has been parsed through the system.”
She also wanted to remind everyone that the Applicant Tracking Software has its role, but it does not have the final say on any job or applicant.
“I have personally moved candidates forward in the interview process after uncovering resumes that did not ‘make the cut’ based on ATS scan. What I can say is that the capabilities of ATS systems vary. Depending on the ATS system, there are systems that parse a resume’s content into categories and then scan it for specific and relevant keywords to determine if the job application should be passed along to the recruiter.”
Although white-wording will likely not have the affect your hoping for during a job hunt, Erica does have a few hacks of her own that she believes are worth following.
First, she says you should always customize your resume to each job description and each prospective employer.
Second, match your resume’s keywords to the skills listed in the description for the role you’re applying for, because the algorithms are a real thing.
Third, use the long AND acronym versions of keywords in order to cover all of your bases.
Sure, it’s a pain, but customization is really going to save you time in the long run.
“Please take some time and tailor your resume to the role you are applying for. Generic resumes that are not tailored typically do not tell a recruiter what they need to know for the role they are recruiting for.”
If you’d like more tips and tricks like these, Erica dishes them out on her TikTok.
Have you ever tried a hack to beat the recruitment software? Do you have some great tips of your own?
We’d love to hear about either (or both) in the comments!