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Tuesday, July 16, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Resume-Writing Site Called a Come-on

SAN DIEGO (CN) - A federal class action claims the Jobfox.com website advertises itself as a "free" site to critique job-search resumes, but uses "canned" criticisms to try to pry $350 to $500 from customers regardless of the quality of their resumes.

Named plaintiff Suzanne Werden sued JobFox on eight causes of action, including fraud in the inducement, fraudulent misrepresentation, breach of contract, unfair competition and consumer law violations.

Jobfox.com, based in McLean, Va., "systematically collects resumes from users, creates and sends to these users critical and artificial 'critiques' of their resumes, and, based on the alleged problems identified in the critique, attempts to convince users to pay hundreds of dollars for defendant to rewrite the resume," the complaint states.

While Jobfox markets itself as a "free" employment search tool, "the primary purpose of the website is to induce users to purchase the resume writing service," according to the complaint.

Users are instructed to upload their resumes to the website, which claims: "Your resume is the key to joining networks, looking attractive to recruiters, and landing the jobs that you want," according to the complaint.

The class claims that Jobfox does not inform users "that they are not required to upload a resume to complete their registration" with the website, and does not disclose the costs associated with its "resume advice network."

The class claims that Jobfox tells users that each resume critique is done by a "Jobfox resume expert" who "provides an 'honest, straightforward assessment' of the user's current resume," but that Jobfox actually provides "an automated, 'canned' critique that heavily criticizes the resume's visual presentation, content, and writing style, regardless of the quality of the resume submitted by the user."

Each critique "is nearly identical in form and contains numerous matching paragraphs, phrases and boilerplate criticisms," the class claims. Jobfox "attempts to pull a small number of words and phrases from users' resumes and place them within the critique at predetermined locations," it adds.

"Regardless of the quality or individual characteristics of a resume, each of defendant's critiques determines that the user's resume is 'selling you short,' and concludes that the resume should be 'professionally' rewritten by Jobfox," according to the complaint.

Werden says that Jobfox refuses to respond to users who are unhappy with the results, even though "the resume writing service fails to provide the level of service and quality promised."

Werden says she paid $399 for the resume writing service, and was not satisfied with the changes to her resume, "many of which made her resume appear more generic that the original."

She says she tried to contact Jobfox to request changes, but it refused to return her calls and emails.

Werden says Jobfox offered a "Break Through Service," "to match jobseekers to appropriate opportunities," by offering 2 months free of the service for any user who bought the writing service. She says the users "automatically became paying subscribers" of the service, and were not provided "with a separate contract" or with a detailed description of the services.

She claims that Jobfox "systematically advertises expired and/or filled job listings to subscribers of Jobfox's premium monthly service, posts job listings without the consent of employers, and fails to provide adequate written contracts to such subscribers, conduct that expressly violates California statutes governing job listing services such as defendant."

Werden seeks class certification and statutory and punitive damages. She is represented by Sean Reis with Edelson McGuire of Rancho Santa Margarita.

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