Online job boards rent, sell, trade, loan, and otherwise fully exploit resumes people submit to them. This was pretty well documented even several years ago. Today, unscrupulous “recruiters” use the job boards as their personal data bases, uploading people’s resumes without their knowledge, and downloading and submitting to their “clients” the resumes of other unsuspecting rubes. That’s why the job boards in general are a national disaster.
An Ask The Headhunter reader (who asked to be anonymous) suggests an interesting solution to the misuse of resumes. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether this might be the first volley in a legal battle to protect your credentials and privacy. Look carefully at the disclaimer this reader places at the bottom of communications with employers and headhunters (and probably on resumes). The idea is intriguing, especially if you consider that some people spend considerable amounts of money to have their resumes written professionally. (I’m not a lawyer, but this seems to establish that a resume is a different kind of asset than some might assume — now it has a documented monetary value.)
Resume trafficking is a multi-billion dollar business. What would recruiters and job boards do if people invoked their copyrights and defended them in court?
I would like to share an experience with your readers. This is about copyright infringement on resumes. Unfortunately these crooks doing the job as “recruiters” don’t care even a bit about professionalism. They use resumes only in order to meet quotas or something for their exclusive needs, not the job hunter’s.
I am in the process now to serve to a recruiting firm a “cease and desist” order for improper use of my resume and refusal to confirm in writing that they destroyed any existing copy of it. As you can see in my signature, I already put in place a disclaimer. I am sure that no recruiter will read it (they are too stupid to do this), but in court it will be useful, at least in my humble opinion. I would like to see in your newsletter an article about it. I believe that job hunters must start acting in the “American way”: making them pay for recruiters’ idiocy. You are authorized, to publish the content of this email exchange; just please take out my name.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER, PLEASE READ:
I am the only owner of my resume’s copyright. If you receive my resume YOU CANNOT FREELY USE IT. The purpose of a resume is to present it to the INTENDED EMPLOYER and any use of my resume MUST BE AUTHORIZED BY MYSELF IN WRITING. Any violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act can be and will be prosecuted in a FEDERAL COURT and/or with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). I reserve the right to ask a minimum of $300 for each day of violation of this disposition. By receiving my resume you aknowledge my right to elect as the competent Court, the Court closest to my place of residence.
This brings to mind another suggestion made by an attorney and former Human Resources executive who believes that employers routinely waste job applicants’ time when recruiting and interviewing them. In The No-Nonsense Interview Agreement, Conrado Hinojosa puts a sharp point on HR’s failure to manage the hiring process responsibly.
My prediction: This economy is going to blow up America’s employment system, which has long been broken. Too many unscrupulous “businesses” are profiting from desperate job hunters, and many thoughtless employers have been mistreating and taking advantage of meek, anxious applicants. Get ready for class-action lawsuits and government investigations. Let the resume wars begin.