Resume-Writing Service Copies Cover Letter From Website, Accuses Site Of Copying

There are plenty of ways to copy/paste resumes and cover letters posted online for the cost of zero dollars. So if you’re going to pay a service to help you write your cover letter, you’d at least hope to get something original. And when you find out they have lied to you, you’d probably expect them to own up to their thievery.

Here’s the backstory. Back in 2014, AskAManager.com’s Alison Green posted this example of a cover letter that she’d worked on with a reader. A lot of people have stolen this post and the cover letter and posted elsewhere online, but that’s the Internet and there’s only so much you can do to stop it.

In this new post on the site, Alison details her attempts at getting the “writer” and his employer to acknowledge that the document had been lifted from the 2014 post on her site.

First the writer claimed Alison was a career advisor in Virginia Beach in 2012-2013 and that she must have attended one of his cover-letter-writing workshops where he presented that letter as a demo.

“I’ve never worked as a career advisor, or worked in Virginia Beach, or taught a cover letter writing workshop, or attended a cover letter writing workshop,” counters Alison.

Even when the company conceded there must have been confusion over two people named Alison Green, the actual writer of the copied cover letter claimed that the document he provided to the customer was not plagiarism because “it is my property to begin with,” and that Alison was “wrong for taking my work and posting it on some website.”

The service then alleged that the letter, published on AskAManager in Feb. 2014, was identical to a document that the writer had been using since 2011 in his writing tutorials.

But Alison says that while you can find clones of her letter online, none predate her Feb. 2014 posting date.

“Despite these claims that he’s been circulating it since 2011, there’s not one instance of any of its key phrases that pre-date its publication on Ask a Manager,” she writes.

The company also said that maybe the reader whose cover letter was posted on the site got it from one of the writer’s tutorial sessions or from someone who attended a session.

But the post on AskAManager shows before and after versions of the documents and Alison worked with the reader to craft that “after” version, which is what the service sold as original work.

Alison requested a copy of that presentation that the writer had allegedly been using since 2011, and when she finally got a look at it, there was another indicator that the document was likely copied from her site.

To anonymize private individuals, Alison often uses character names from Game of Thrones. In the Feb. 2014 letter posted on her site, the name was “Catelyn Stark.” And the name on the cover letter in the presentation provided by the resume writers? Catelyn Stark.

She brought this incredible coincidence up to the company, which replied that this was not evidence of plagiarism, “Especially since several of our employees are big GOT fans… and [the writer] has discussed the show with us on several occasions.”

The company claims that while it might be “odd” that both letters used the same exact name, Game of Thrones “is one of the most popular shows around right now, so we wrote it off as coincidence.”