Vanity Publications – Is Who’s Who a scam?

From time to time I see a resume that includes the accolade “Listed in Who’s Who” under the Awards and Recognition section, and I question if it should be there. I mean no disrespect for anyone who has been selected by the organization, and also paid the Who’s Who folks to receive a personal copy of the book.

My question is what happens if one gets a notice of inclusion and chooses not to buy the book. Will my name be dropped? That I don’t know. What I do know is this. I have a close relative who received a notice about all his wonderful accomplishments and how he was selected to be part of the exclusive group of high achievers listed in the big volume. I laughed because my relative did not achieve or even closely resemble the person described in his bio on the postcard.

Recently I searched “Who’s Who scam” and found that these books are considered nothing more than vanity publications. And while not necessarily a scam, it is a novel idea on how to generate revenue. The only folks who buy these books are the folks with their names in them. I doubt very highly that a hiring director would purchase and search Who’s Who to find their next employee. They’re using Linkedin.com for that.

If you are selected for Who’s Who, I don’t recommend listing it on your resume. It either makes you look gullible or egotistical. I’m not sure which. But neither trait will help your job search.

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