Sometimes”‘free” means “wow what a great bargain,” and sometimes it just mean worthless. CareerBuilder offers a free resume review on their site—enter your email address, upload your resume, and “we’ll email you the results of your free evaluation, including tips on writing a resume that will help you land the interview.” All it really does is collect your address so it can send you unsolicited email (we got spammed 30 minutes later), and your “review” is just a boilerplate page of generic advice.
Drew sent in his resume and got a suspiciously canned response a few minutes later, so we decided to try the service with a couple of fake resumes. Surprise! We got the same canned responses, emailed to us in less than three minutes.
Thirty minutes after that, we got our spam email with “job matches”:
We found the following jobs on CareerBuilder.com. These recommendations are based on the jobs you have seen and applications you have already submitted!
At no point on the resume submission page is there any fine print or notice that you’re agreeing to be contacted by them with more email.
The spam issue aside, it wouldn’t be quite so unseemly if CareerBuilder didn’t deliberately try to give the impression that actual experts will look at your review and provide customized feedback. In the email you receive after submitting your resume, they write:
Our Resume Review team has had a chance to review your resume and have completed the evaluation. See your Results >>
In our first “resume,” we just posted the OP’s story from the Sears post earlier today. After reading the canned review, we made some suggested changes—we added real contact info at the top and broke the paragraphs into one-line chunks so a scanning program wouldn’t identify them as paragraphs—and re-submitted it. In under three minutes, we got back the same review with the exact same tips.
Here’s the canned response. Voila—now you don’t have to give CareerBuilder your email for no good reason.
(Robot copping a squat: thraxil)