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?


I’ve become a statistic

Well…I’ve become another statistic. I’m already part of larger groups like “college grad,” “people who own ferrets as pets,” and “those who like vegetables.”

I was informed yesterday that my position with Large Corporate Monolith, Co. Inc. was being terminated. I knew layoffs were coming, but I didn’t realize they meant ME.

Basically, I have 60 days to find a position within the company. Then I have 30 days severance. Then I will be a free agent.

Yesterday, as I sat in the room with a co-worker, our manager, our director, and an HR rep, it was surreal. Our director read from a script full of corporate nonsense about how Large Corporate Monolith (LCM) is grateful for our service and this was a very difficult decision. She went on to say read that LCM will support us in every way through this very difficult time. My manager looked shell shocked. My co-worker wasn’t surprised – this wasn’t his first time at the rodeo, he’s been laid off several times from different jobs (the hallmark of a career in advertising).

I was just mad. I was mad that I don’t have bosses who will stick up for my talent. I was mad that I’m going to have to spend the next two months hauling ass to find a new job. I was mad that “at least I have a job, in THIS economy” no longer means me. I was mad that you can’t just work someplace for twenty years anymore.

However, strangely, very strangely, the overwhelming feeling is…excitement. I actually feel like something cool is coming. Don’t misunderstand – there is a streak of sheer panic there, too – oh my lord what about money and what if the car dies and health insurance and oooohhh nooooo. And I certainly didn’t WANT to lose my job. But I hope to make the most of the opportunity, however oddly it may have come to me.

Yesterday, I text messaged my sister, Boot, with whom I had planned to attend my first spinning class last night. (As a side note, I hate cycling. However, I know that spinning is a good exercise to do, and I should at least try it.)  Boot gave me an easy out – you don’t have to go, you just lost your job. I went anyway. I did a whole spin class and it was fun. I might even do it again.

I hope getting laid off will be just like that – a series of new little adventures. We’ll see.

In the meantime, I am a writer, graphic recorder/facilitator, and creative soul in the Louisville, Kentucky area. I will be beefing up my professional site,, in the coming days so drop me a line if you have something interesting in mind.