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Letter from Tim Meadowcroft
Received October 19, 2001

Hi Dan,

Just read your article and quite enjoyed it. I used to have a long resume (and I keep a long copy for people who want it) but trimmed it down to 2 pages a few years back, and it sounds pretty much like you describe.

Regarding Agency Mutilation: I actually put a copyright notice on my resume and license it to agencies (on the few occasions when I use them). The copyright specifically prohibits the mutilation of the document or the production of derivative works. I get them to agree to this before I'll hand it over. The license they get also prohibits unauthorised copying and distribution-they have to get my permission before sending it out. (I've been burnt by an agency mailshotting my resume to every company in the city.) Luckily I'm in a position where I can make and enforce these conditions (I haven't had to sue anyone yet), but if we all started asserting our copyright then we'd be in a stronger position.

Tim Meadowcroft
London, UK

We asked Tim if he would be willing to share his copyrighted resume technique, and he was generous enough to do so. Below is the information that he sent. Also, for those not familiar with the term, "CV" stands for "curriculum vitae," which is the same thing as a resume.

In File-Properties (of Word) under Comments I have the text

Copyright 2000 by Tim Meadowcroft. Tim Meadowcroft has asserted his moral right under the Copyright, Design and Patents Act, 1988, to be identified as the author of this work. No reproduction, copy or transmissions of this document may be made without written permission.

This is based on the wording you find in the front title page of a book (in the US I think you need to quote the Copyright Act of 1976), and by putting it in the summary info then it appears in file browsers (such as Explorer) when the file is simply selected, and in the summary details if you right-click on the doc and choose properties.

I then have a custom property (see the same File-Properties dialog, Custom tab) called Copyright which contains the string

Copyright © 2000 by Tim Meadowcroft. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction, Copy or Transmissions without written permission.

This string is then included in the footer of all pages (View-Header and Footer) as a field (Insert-Field and choosing a DocProperty and giving the name "copyright").

Doing it this way means that the entries cannot be "accidentally deleted" by an agency, they appear on every page, and they would find it hard to claim that they had not seen the messages.

In my covering email/CV I raise the issue, but also quote the terms (i.e. the "written permission") with a flattering paragraph like

There are copyright notices on it, these are to prevent the "less professional" agencies away from mailshotting my CV to loads of people-but from previous contacts with yourselves I know you don't do this. In particular, with regards to the clause "No reproduction, copy or transmissions of this document may be made without written permission." in the document properties, you may regard this email as permission to reproduce, copy and transmit the document according to normal business practices - that is you may store the document for private use but you can only reproduce it to non-employees of your agency after you ring or email me for my permission (as you always have done so far).

and I explicitly warn the person who wants my CV about these terms and conditions before I agree to send it... I did consider issuing a license for the doc (under the GLPL perhaps) but decided this was enough.

Note also that I don't actually forbid the "mutilation" (i.e. printing the doc and Tipex-ing out the contact details) or explicitly state anything about "derivative works," but the idea is to scare the agency into doing the right thing without being dismissed as a "problem client"-and if they did do either of those in a nasty way I think (IANAL) that I'd have enough rights given the above to give them a hard time.