White Texting Is Like Hiding Your Vegetables….Huh????

Dear Resume Survis Lady,

I just read your post about adding keywords to your resume and I understand the concept.  What is your opinion on “white texting” within a resume?  Will that help me get noticed?

First of all, for those of you that don’t know what “white texting” is, it’s the practice of adding a bunch of keywords at the base of a resume and having the text be colored white so that the words are invisible to the naked eye but a computer will hit on them and pull back the resume during a keyword search.  Now as for if it will help you get noticed, it will but necessarily in a good way.

Have you ever heard a story about how someone’s child hid their veggies in a napkin or fed them to the dog because their parents told them
they had to eat them but they didn’t want to? Maybe you did this as a child? To avoid actually eating them they come up with a way to conceal the evidence so to speak to make it look like they ate them and appease their parents.  White texting is a little bit like that food hidden in a napkin.  It’s a dirty little secret way of trying to cover up experience that one might not actually have and make themselves look better to a potential employer.  When I pull back a resume and I cannot find the keywords or experience that I am looking for, the first thing I do is go to
the bottom of the resume and highlight it to see if there are any hidden words there.   9 times out of 10 the key words I was looking for can be found this way.   Are you getting the picture that I don’t like white texting?

When I come across a resume that contains white text, the first thing I do is scrutinize the resume.  If the keywords I’m looking for are not actually in the resume does this candidate even have the experience that I’m looking for?  Chances are they do not.  My next question as I’m looking through the resume is: “what else are they hiding or being dishonest about?”  Job seekers, if you have certain experience, put it in your resume, don’t hide it.  If you’ve taken the time to research what keywords are important and want to include them so your resume will get hits, find a way to incorporate them into your resume.  This could be in your objective, work experience, technology; adding them to any of these sections would work.  If you’re not sure how to do incorporate the keywords you’ve identified, consult a resume writer.  I happen to know a  good one.

Resume Survis Lady is written by Billye Survis.  To have your resume or job search questions answered by Resume Survis Lady, send your questions to: resumesurvislady@gmail.com or on twitter: resumesurvisldy or connect with her directly on LinkedIn:  www.linkedin.com/in/Billye


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jeannette Paladino
    May 17, 2011 @ 23:01:29

    I had never heard of white texting. I don’t see the point. If the hidden key words enable your resume to be pulled up, what good does it do if you don’t have the requisite experience or credentials? As you point out, it will make a negative impression on the recruiter.


  2. Dianne
    May 18, 2011 @ 09:35:17

    Wow. I had no idea this was even possible! Apparently I’ve been out of the “employment search” business too long…


  3. Farden Rapgrit
    May 19, 2011 @ 12:09:45

    Apparently this technique has been recommended by some job-finding consultants. A friend of mine said they were even teaching it at a job finding seminar she attended!

    There is one further problem with using this trick. These days a lot of companies use software that strips all the text out of a Word or pdf document and places it into an HR database – white text and all. Anyone who then looks at this processed version of the resume, sees everything complete with all the extra keywords cluttering up the resume. That won’t look good – in more ways than one!


    • resumesurvislady
      May 27, 2011 @ 06:55:54

      @Farden…I’ve heard from clients of mine that this is being taught by people who consider themselves to be experts in the field. While they might have gotten away with white texting a few years ago, us recruiters and hiring managers are on to the scheme.


  4. Catarina Alexon
    May 21, 2011 @ 13:07:44

    Am honestly shocked. Have noticed how dishonest a lot of people are but seriously is there no limit?

    Had to think before I understood what white texting was. What is the point in adding key words if they don’t describe you?


  5. Sherryl perry
    May 22, 2011 @ 23:03:02

    I’m with Jeannette and Catarina on this one. I have never heard of this practice before and I find it totally dishonest. If your resume does not speak for itself, you would not find your resume going any further than the “circular file”. Thanks for bringing this to light. It’s a deceptive practice that was popular amongst website designers about 10 years ago before the search engines started penalizing sites that used this practice. I’m surprised that someone has found a new use for this. White text needs to go.


  6. TheUndercoverCouponer
    May 24, 2011 @ 22:16:24

    Wow. What will they think of next?
    I used to look through 100s of resumes back in the dark ages (B.C. ~ Before Computers…at least the kind that used online job search tools). I think the employer is looking for a certain “spark” with the resume…and it’s not “sparkling” white text! Your experience has to be there, or else everything else is just white smoke…and that will be obvious (and annoying to the employer!).
    Thanks for the great info!


  7. K.Lee
    Nov 27, 2011 @ 22:16:08

    I was also told at a resume writing class that this was the thing to do in order to ensure that my resume got noticed by the scanners. I even recommended it to my BF just now, before I did some googling and found out that it is no longer recommended! Glad I did!!!

    I never would have considered it dishonest or a ‘dirty trick’…especially since I was told to do so by a career consultant, but it seems this is outdated or outright bad information (that class was a couple years ago). It seems that it’s no longer well received at all!

    Thanks for the info! It’s sad that the so called “experts” are teaching this stuff to innocent unwitting applicants.


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