Thanks, Jobfox…The Writing Spider Hates You Now

Dear Jobfox’s Resume Critiquer Madeline Willis,

You know I just lost my job right? And that’s why I searched for new jobs on your website. Mind you, it took me a good two hours to get through uploading my resume and filling out a couple of stupid questionnaires before I could actually LOOK for anything.


Can you make it more difficult to find jobs on Jobfox? Because I got nothing but time, sister. Time to fiddle around on your overly-elaborate site.   Jobfox asks you to “register” on their site which includes uploading a resume and filling out questions about your work history and it takes EONS. It is NOT USER FRIENDLY.

So once I did finally get all my little ducks in a row, I didn’t actually find any jobs worth applying for.

Believe me, Madeline, I’m a pro at search words for jobs.

Can you imagine my feeling upon waking this morning to find an email from you, Madeline Willis Candidate Service Consultant, detailing in 1,900 words (I counted) exactly how crappy and horrible my resume is? Madeline! I submitted my resume around 3 pm yesterday, EST, and according to the time stamp on the email you replied by 1:53 AM. You must have stayed up all night combing my resume and writing nearly two thousand words about it!

Bless your little heart.

However, Madeline, turnabout is fair play and I’ve provided a resume critique critique for you here so you can indeed become a better resume critiquer. Best of all, I’m not charging you FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS to do it. I’m doing it FOR FREE. How’s that for customer service?

(*Author’s note: I am listening to Pandora now, on my Baroque Chamber music station {don’t hate} and you know what’s on? Beethoven’s FIFTH. HOW APPROPRIATE.)

Madeline, I think you’re sabotaging your message here by saying things like:  ” I didn’t find [your resume] to be exciting, and it didn’t make me want to run to the phone to call you. In short, your resume is effectively sabotaging your job search.” Sabotage? Is that really a good word to choose? I suggest investing in a thesaurus to help you find more appropriate words. Frankly, I’m glad you don’t want to call me. You’re a robot.

Now, this was really hurtful.   “I’m concerned that your resume is selling you like a generic, and that it’s not likely to get picked among those of other candidates. The ideal resume design is airy, clean, and uncluttered, with the effective and strategic use of white space.”

White space?

Madeline, I really believe

that this email letter I got

was a generic auto-response generated from Jobfox to make me feel bad enough to pay you to “fix” my resume.




PREYS on people who’ve just lost their jobs.

Moving on.

“From the way the resume is worded, you come across as a “doer” not an “achiever.”” Thou dost wound me, lady! As a card-carrying member of the Overachiever’s Club of America, I don’t see how you came to this conclusion. Perhaps I should fax you copies of my middle school report cards? I reviewed my resume after reading your letter and truly – it’s CRAMMED full of ACTION VERBS, RESULTS, and OTHER FANTASTIC STUFF. Here are some verbs I used: planned, facilitated, organized, supported, wrote, edited, proofread. Those are verbs, Maddie.

But I guess since you’re probably an autobot….NAY a DECEPTICON…you can’t really read.

Here’s where we come to the crux of your letter. See how she repeatedly uses my name to show that it’s a Personalized Letter to Me?

Sara, it was difficult for me to evaluate your resume because there was so little information and this is a big problem. You would really benefit from working with one of our writers. They have a way of helping you articulate your strengths and identify accomplishments that will transform your resume into an impressive document. My clients tell me the process also helps to prepare them for interviews.

I would REALLY benefit huh…? Tell me more!

To encourage you to make the investment now, we are offering our best price on our resume writing services in the first 5 days after you view your resume evaluation. Save $100 off our price of $399, a 25% discount. In addition, we are the only resume service that offers the option to pay for your resume in installments. We spread the cost over six months to make our service affordable for everyone.

If you purchase in the next 5 days, you have the option to make a one-time payment of $299 (a $100 savings), or six monthly payments of $53.29 (a $100 savings). Either way, you will still have your new documents back in 4-5 business days so you can improve your chances of getting hired quickly.

Egads a discount! What would I do without that discount? The ONLY service to offer payment in INSTALLMENTS? So you’re like the QVC of resume rewriters!?

I felt badly about my resume after I read this letter. Well…until I realized it was a cleverly disguised marketing ploy designed to prey on the panicked job seeker who wandered into the Jobfox’s den…

In short, Madeline, and Jobfox – shame on you.

In conclusion, I feel my time at Jobfox has been wasted. I feel manipulated. I’m also sorry for the unwitting who pay you money to do anything.

Best regards,

The Writing Spider

PS – How’s that for a generic no-talent self-sabotaging copywriter?



  1. I got the critique a while ago. Here is what it said:

    “…However, your resume isn’t doing a good job saying that to an employer. I found it to be mundane and unlikely to catch an employer’s attention. If you were selling yourself as Crème Brulee, it’s as if your resume is saying “pudding in a cup”…..”

    Yes, really.

  2. OH!! It gets better:

    If you were selling yourself as sushi, it’s as if your resume is saying “cold dead fish”….

    or this:

    “If you were selling yourself as Sizzling Grilled Steak, it’s as if your resume is saying “cooked meat.” …

  3. Dearest Madeline,
    I would expect nothing less of you than for your style to be “straightforward”, because you are required to follow the rules set forth for you by JobFox’s junior programmer. My oh my was I shocked to learn that I had a word misspelled on my resume, but that you failed to take a stab at identifying which mysterious word it was that your uncanny spelling ability caught, but my Pharma-employed wife, my constantly updated spell check, and my excessively anal, law school educated self missed. You see, the little programmer guy in your head, failed to realize that all caps in a word (for instance “SQAD”) likely identifies, ironically, a specific program that I am capable of operating. This is especially true when that word is following the caption “Computer Skills”.
    Ironically though, you spelled palanner wrong in your critique of my spelling. We, of the flesh and blood clan, prefer to call that word “planner”…
    Oh, did I mention that when you critique a resume that’s only one page long, don’t talk about things leaking over to the next page. you poor little idiot robot, you’re sabotaging your sales. Then again, considering that I figured it to be a sales attempt before I ever got that far, you hadn’t done much damage at all. At that point, I was just reading for sport. Speaking of sports, Madeline have you ever played a… oops… sorry… CP3O.
    Lastly my dearest madeline, one thing I neglected to mention on my resume… was that I actually have written resumes for people- professionally- so please return to my resume and count the action verbs with me. as for the $400 makeover, thanks, but no thanks- scam artist.
    Sincerely (a human sentiment),

  4. Jobfox is at it again. Now you’ll be bombarded with emails about resume writing AND some new feature they claim will get you hired. Got this email from Rob McGovern today ( being his email address…)

    Dear Laurie:
    You’re a strong person who has solid experience, but you need to beat intense competition. Here is a way to revamp your job search and dramatically improve your ability to get hired. There are two parts to my proposal:

    Significantly improve your job search by going far beyond job listings. Only 13% of hires happen from online job listings. I want you to outsmart the difficult job market.

    Rewrite your resume to make you a better and more appealing candidate. You’ll get far more interviews with a professionally written resume.

    Try two free months of our new Break Through service as a bonus with the purchase of your new discounted resume. Break Through is a comprehensive service designed to cover every base in your job search. It will be introduced in two weeks and cost $30 per month. If you purchase a professionally written resume this week, you can save $100 on your resume rewrite and use Break Through for free. That is a savings of $160.00.

    Here’s an overview of Break Through, which is included with your resume purchase:

    Leverage your personal connections to find jobs. Confidentially identify job matches where you know someone. Networking doesn’t mean cold-calling or attending uncomfortable gatherings with strangers. You’ll be equipped with smart, inside information in seconds.

    Use Facebook and LinkedIn to get hired. 71% of companies investigate candidates on social networks before requesting an interview. One of our experts will review your social networking profiles to make recommendations on how your social pages can make you more appealing to employers.

    Impress employers with your connections. Employers want to know you are connected to customers, vendors, and business partners. With Break Through, you can share parts of your social network connections with employers. Rest assured that you decide what information is shared.

    Establish an online presence. Jobfox will create an exciting “About Me” web page for you that will make it easy for employers to learn about you, your skills, and your experiences.

    Know how you compare. You’ll be able to see how you compare to other candidates who have applied for the same jobs.

    Be Smarter Than Your Competition. Receive weekly job search advice from a leading job search expert. A job search is a lonely place, and receiving advice is critical.

    Break Through will officially launch in two weeks so we will notify you when your service begins. In the meantime, get your resume professionally written so you are ready to take full advantage of the program. I’m confident a new resume and Break Through will dramatically improve your chances of getting the job you want.

    Note to JF: the economy may be getting better but unemployment is still at record highs so who has the money to pay for all of this????

  5. I totally agree with your assessment of this service. I have not received any feedback/response from any job I have applied for using “regular old” JobFox. I am not truly sure I want to pay $9.99 a month for an “enhanced version” of the service that may not pay off.

    The words used in your resume critique were exactly the same as my critique response from Madeline. Now, I am bombarded with emails and solicitations leading me to believe I will receive a discount off a rewrite from JobFox.


  6. Pingback: Jobfox: still a scam « The Word Cynic

  7. I have just begun my job search and thought jobfox seemed like a good site. I also recieved the so called critique of my resume which was essentially EXACTLY like the others although signed by a different name. Like others, the response just “looked” like a form letter. Of course no response to my telling them this. I lost my job and do NOT have an extra 8 gazzzillion dollars to purchase their service…

  8. After reading this post, I didn’t even bother reading the resume critique, and I was annoyed at having to fill out the 10 million questions about my work history. However, after I completed the profile, Jobfox showed me 15 jobs that would be a great fit for me, and 3 that would be more perfectly matched to my skills and interests than any job I’ve worked in my life–seriously.

    My job site mantra is: Don’t pay for anything. Use the free option, and if it sucks, move on.

    I found all the opportunities on Jobfox without paying a dime; the same is true for most job sites, the up-sell comes in the form of “better visibility” and resume services. Don’t bother; you don’t need either. Just take advantage of the free services and let other people float the funding for the website by purchasing unnecessary services.

  9. (Although I have to admit… I’m almost tempted to pay the ten bucks for the promise of access to the 85% of jobs they say are never posted… truest thing Jobfox has to say. The 85%, that is: of course, the rest of us suckers will never GET that access, much less for the price of two sandwiches, but I continually gnash my teeth when I think of the degree of nepotism that goes into the hiring process.)

  10. Man, that was a great post! (I know that sounds like a blog spam-bot comment so I will note here that it is about the generic JobFox resume critique). Anyway, I found this because I just submitted a resume and wondered if it goes anywhere because I never bought any of their resume services. I half heartedly respond to JobFox’s list (rather extensive since they appear to link to others (Dice, CareerBliss, etc) but the best way to find positions is to drive around, write down company names, and look for their pages. I have a hard time trusting that JobFox will slip your resume to the top of the stack if you grease their collective palms.

  11. Yep! Similar letter to me. More than likely from my signing up with JobFox

    Mine was from “ / Chailyn Johnson”

    The robot proofreader did get me on a tense change- and perhaps I could have stressed how absolutely incredible and invaluable I have been at every single job, going back to my mail clerk days.

    Honest to God- between these folks and the “agencies” that haul you in for an interview that does nothing for you- but does pad the client list and provide them with a frightening amount of personal info (I’m looking at you, Robert Half and it’s evil step child “The Creative Group”) …

  12. Thank you for sharing! Apparently things have not changed since March of last year. I just submitted my resume to Jobfox yesterday and received a resume critique from an Ian Richards.

    Interestingly enough, the verbiage is identical to what you stated above:
    “I’m concerned that your resume is selling you like a generic, and that it’s not likely to get picked among those of other candidates. The ideal resume design is airy, clean, and uncluttered, with the effective and strategic use of white space.”

    “From the way the resume is worded, you come across as a “doer,” not an “achiever.”

    The best part of my critique was: “This is a common mistake for non-professional resume writers.” Really? My resume was written professionally not once but twice! Two very large companies paid for resume writing services for me due to a layoff and a move.

    As with Jeff’s critique, I too had at least one word misspelled on my resume and there was no mention of what this glaring error was. Ian is not aware that I am a type A, OCD suffering, anal retentive spell checker! With the benefit of hind sight, I wish I had searched Jobfox on Google, before wasting an afternoon submitting my resume and filling out endless questionnaires for each job I have held over the years. I thank you again for posting this and will be sharing with people.

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