EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

Feelings of helplessness

From our daily member newsletter on September 30, 2012

“They” say (I don’t know who they are) that searching for a job is filled with highs and lows. It doesn’t matter who you may have heard it from or how often you heard these words of consolation, if you have been through a long job search, you know the feelings. I suppose we can find ways to live with the highs. But, the lows, that’s another story. I believe you feel helpless when you are job searching because the whole process seems to be out of your control. In some sense we flatter ourselves that before we were looking for a job we somehow had total control over our lives. As “they” say, the best laid plans of mice [ Read more… ]

Lucy, you got some splaining to do

From our daily member newsletter on September 27, 2012

Down sized, right sized, laid off, fired, reduction in force. I think you have to agree that the world has developed a very colorful vocabulary to describe those things that have caused many of our members to be active in their respective job searches. If one of us went in for an interview and was wearing a cast on one arm, I don’t think that we would hesitate much to explain how it happened. Furthermore, I am pretty sure that we would provide an explanation without any prompting. It is just such an obvious thing that it cries out for commentary. And, as long as it didn’t happen in any embarrassing manner, such as sheer clumsiness, I don’t think that [ Read more… ]

Counterintuitive ideas

From our daily member newsletter on September 26, 2012

There are a lot of counterintuitive ideas out in the world. (It is sometimes called “out of the box thinking.”) What may not be fully recognized is that The FENG, our little circle of friends, is based on quite a few radical ideas, and amazingly they all work. The earliest premise of our organization was that sharing job leads was a good idea. Not well accepted at the time, but for most of our members today it is so ingrained in our makeup that when someone claims not to understand why we do it, we have almost forgotten what the explanations are. (How could anyone not understand the wisdom of it all?) Our resume review committee headed up by Bill [ Read more… ]

The care and feeding of those who help

From our daily member newsletter on September 25, 2012

After “I love you,” “thank you” is probably the next thing no one hears enough. The subject, I am going to discuss tonight could also be called common courtesy, or common courtesies. I know that everyone who is active in their search is very busy, but so are those who are sharing their valuable business connections. If you haven’t fully noticed, I never miss an opportunity to thank those who provide editorial material AND I always encourage those members who are in the mood to “pile on” by adding their own thanks and comments for someone taking the time to share a big idea with us. It takes time to write, and your thank you notes encourage them to write [ Read more… ]

Puzzles within enigmas

From our daily member newsletter on September 24, 2012

I can see from the resumes that cross my desk, that more than a few of our members don’t take to heart some of the editorial material presented in this newsletter, or are taking advice from lightweights in matters related to job search. I hope this will stop! (For our loyal readers and followers, please ignore my previous harsh comment. It is all the “other” members I am speaking to tonight.) More and more I am seeing resumes with early work histories left off and/or year ranges left off jobs early in your careers. Friends, I have a fertile imagination. Were you in prison for some period of time so that if you provided the years there would be gaps? [ Read more… ]

Dumber than dirt

From our daily member newsletter on September 23, 2012

There is a lot of poor thinking going on out in the world about how to be considered for jobs that are a step or two back in your career. The thinking seems to be that you have to dumb down your resume. I agree. I just don’t agree that deleting work history from earlier in your career or leaving off dates is the suggested approach. The constant challenge for most members of this august body is that we are over qualified (or should I say well qualified) for most jobs. After 20+ years of work experience, how could you not be? The approach to appearing “dumber than dirt” or “as dumb as a box of rocks” isn’t to make [ Read more… ]

Best supporting actor

From our daily member newsletter on September 20, 2012

I once wrote an editorial I called: Your resume stands alone If I must say so myself, it was one of my better missives. It highlighted the simple fact that unless your resume sings your praises properly, you honestly don’t stand a chance. A resume needs to be complete, as in no missing jobs or obvious skipped time spans, especially at the beginning of your career. The companies you have worked for need to be defined in one simple line or two, and your job titles need to sort of jump off the page. Career progression speaks miles about you, especially early in your career. If the resume is so darn important, you might ask, what is the role of [ Read more… ]

The benefit of the doubt

From our daily member newsletter on September 19, 2012

The FENG is a networking organization. I hope none of you are fooled by the volume of job leads we publish. The actual purpose of our little circle of friends is to be helpful to one another as often as possible in this struggle we all face to earn a living. In my role as Chairman, I am always searching for ways for you to think about the many folks who might contact you from time to time with no further verification of their credentials than that they are part of our extended family. When you are the “giver,” it is hard not to be a little suspicious of those contacting you. After all, they are asking for access to [ Read more… ]

After all we have meant to each other

From our daily member newsletter on September 18, 2012

A few times a week I get a note from one of our members asking me to stop the newsletter. Although sometimes I do get an explanation of sorts, often times I don’t. All I get is the subject: Unsubscribe. Perhaps I shouldn’t admit this, but I am a little offended that someone who has been receiving our free newsletter, usually for several years, can’t take the time to dash off a few lines of thanks and an explanation. Have they decided to retire? Are they no longer working in Finance? Inquiring minds want to know. I won’t even get into the notes that ask me to stop because they are starting a new job on Monday. You would think [ Read more… ]

Confusing tools with a cure

From our daily member newsletter on September 17, 2012

I saw an article several years ago that went on at length about the dissatisfaction folks had with outplacement firms. While I’m not a big fan of everything outplacement firms teach, it is vitally important that anyone who wants to work until THEY want to stop learn about this whole job search thing. It’s not that outplacement firms do a bad job, it is more that they don’t exist to find you a job, because they CAN’T. No one can find you a job except you. All that anyone can do for you, if you are a job seeker, is help educate you on the process. In part, I think the reason people over value job leads is that they [ Read more… ]